Coastal Route Theory

Coastal Route Theory:  New research and studies have prompted some anthropologists and archaelogists to present the theory that people from Southeast Asia traveled by boat along the coastline and settled in the Western portion of North America and the Northwestern portion of South America.  The theory also helps to explain how certain artifacts have been found so far from the Bering Strait region dating before and around the supposed time that humans first came into contact with the Americas via the Bering Land Bridge.


Map displaying the route that Southeast Asians and Polynesians could have taken to reach the Americas






Kennewick Man: 9,500 year old skeleton found near Kennewick, Washington believed to be of Polynesian or Ainu (South Asian) descent rather than Caucasoid or European descent, which shows clear evidence of migration to the present-day Northwestern United States by peoples other than Caucasoid.





[Excerpt from "Pre-Clovis Breakthrough" by Andrew Curry]

In his lab in Copenhagen, Willerslev and a colleague had come up with stunning results. Six of the turds contained undeniably human DNA. Not only that, they bore certain genetic markers found only in Native American populations. Willerslev agreed to pay labs in Oxford and Florida to radiocarbon date each coprolite.

The results, Jenkins says, were "earth-shaking." Both labs agreed that the coprolites were left 14,300 years ago--almost 1,500 years before the earliest agreed-upon evidence for human presence in the Americas...The find's implications are tremendous. For almost a century, archaeologists believed that people arrived in North America 13,000 years ago--a conclusion based on dating sites with a distinctive stone tool type first found near Clovis, New Mexico in the 1930s. For the last two decades, the "Clovis-first" idea has been under steady assault. Call it revisionist prehistory: researchers have turned up evidence they say supports everything from a much earlier migration from Asia to a sea-borne invasion from Europe.

[Excerpt from "Researchers uncover signs of area's earliest settlers" by Diedtra Henderson]

Just to the north, on Prince of Wales Island, E. James Dixon, curator of archaeology at Denver Museum of Natural History, and co-workers had another startling discovery at a nondescript cave in an area about to be logged.

"It's just a very unspectacular little hole in the rock," Dixon said. Then a colleague's radiocarbon date indicated an animal bone found within was more than 20,000 years ago.

"That got our attention. This cave has been calling to us, but we weren't smart enough to follow up on the call," Dixon said.

Also found there were a human jaw bone, three vertebra, two ribs, part of a pelvis and an incisor more than 1,000 years older than the Kennewick Man, representing the oldest human skeleton yet found in Alaska. That puts humans on the island at the time seas were lower and when trees moved in.

The male, who died in his early 20s, had notches in his teeth from some repetitive task, like holding fishing lines, and ate as much seafood as a sea otter, he said.

Pushing farther south, two separate archaeological crews working in southern Peru this fall published articles about prehistoric settlers practicing a seafaring lifestyle as long as 13,000 years ago. Scattered around hearths built by the early Americans were resources gathered from the ocean, including anchovy, mussels and clams, as well as seabirds such as cormorants.

"It really gives a lot more evidence to the theory that very early migration to America could have taken place along a coastal route by people who were fishers rather than big-game hunters," David Keefer, a U.S. Geological Survey archeologist who led one of the projects, told The Associated Press.