Just a few years ago, we were taught that Neanderthals were just shambling brutes, with little intelligence, and who, were no match for their more advanced cousins, our modern human ancestors. In recent years, though, we have been told to forget all that. Neanderthals have turned out to be as smart, if not more so, as humans, with many of the same abilities, and then some—albeit thousands of years earlier. Some researchers, like the late Colin Wilson, wrote that a lost and forgotten civilization, like perhaps Atlantis, indeed could have been the work of Neanderthals. Such views, of course, have been dismissed by mainstream science, arguing that however smart they were, they were simply insufficiently numerous to have created anything resembling a ‘civilization.’ That argument also, turns out to be wrong.
A new study now claims there could have been many thousands of Neanderthals walking the earth, as long as 744,000 years ago—300,000 years earlier than previously believed. By comparing modern Eurasians, modern Africans, Neanderthals, and Denisovans, scientists at the University of Utah have calculated that there must have been tens of thousands of them in Europe alone. Professor Alan Rogers and his team used recently developed DNA techniques to recreate the early history and migration patterns of ancient populations.
The paper was published in August of 2017 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Until recently, one of the primary arguments used to debunk the possible existence of lost civilizations, like, say, Atlantis, was that there simply had not been enough time for society to evolve to anything like our present advanced state. However, given the standard timeline for the development of our own civilization—about 10,000 years from hunter/ gatherer to Silicon Valley entrepreneur—it is easy to see how such advancement could have occurred in the past more than once, maybe many more times, and yet have vanished, leaving scarcely a trace.
America’s Cherokee Roots
The ancient ancestry of America’s Cherokee Indians is getting increased scrutiny. Currently, several DNA firms market tests that can be ordered online to determine whether or not one has Cherokee in the family tree. Some of the data derived, it is said, suggests that Cherokees originated in the Middle East or North Africa. Among those who have cited findings, DNA Consultants, Inc. of Longmont, CO, reports finding strong markers indicating Cherokee connections with Berbers, native Egyptians, Turks, Lebanese, Hebrews, and Mesopotamians.
At other times, some linguists have argued that the Cherokee language (though officially thought to be Southern Iroquoian) is an archaic form of Hebrew, so it is not surprising to learn that some think they are one of the lost tribes of Israel. Today many Americans, including Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, believe there are Cherokees among their ancestors, but it seems unlikely that Cherokee numbers were ever great enough to support a diaspora of such magnitude. It is clear, however, that there was a great deal of interaction and mutual influence between Cherokees and the founders of America, who considered them one of five civilized tribes.
Today, many authorities dispute the DNA claims, arguing that there has been so much intermingling of Cherokee blood with other ethnicities, that it is virtually impossible to unravel the threads and draw any significant conclusions. Nevertheless, a quick look at nineteenth century portraits of Cherokee leaders shows a manner of dress and behavior very much unlike those of any other indigenous American tribe. Though mainstream anthropologists and historians insist that they know where Cherokees come from, they usually concede that such knowledge as they have, has many holes.