Sep 15 2009, 12:42 AM
- May 5, 2009
Living in a county adjacent to Brevard county, where these people were discovered, made me interested.
Could Caucasoids be the original Floridians?
I did some research:
"Unique" is not a word any writer should use lightly; and truly "unique" archaeological sites are few and far between. I don't mean the oldest sites or the sites with the most golden artifacts, I mean the the kind of sites that the more you learn about them, the more startling and fascinating they become. The Early Middle Archaic Windover Bog site, a pond cemetery on Florida's Atlantic coast near Cape Canaveral, is just one of those sites.
Windover Bog was a pond cemetery for hunter-gatherers, people who lived hunting game and gathering vegetable material between about 8120-6990 years ago. The burials were staked down in the soft mud of the pond, and over the years at least 168 people were buried there, men, women, and children. Today that pond is a peat bog, and preservation in peat bogs can be quite astonishing. While the burials at Windover were not as well preserved as those of European bog bodies, 91 of the individuals buried contained bits of brain matter still intact enough for scientists to retrieve DNA.
Although scientists believed they had retrieved DNA from the fairly intact brain matter recovered from some of the human burials, subsequent research has shown that the mtDNA lineages reported are absent in all other prehistoric and contemporary Native American populations studied to date. Further attempts to retrieve more DNA have failed, and an amplification study has shown that there is no analyzable DNA left in the Windover burials.
About.com: Hirst (2008) "The Windover Bog Site: Archaic Pond Cemetery"
They have also discovered, at least so far, no biological affiliation between these early Floridians and modern Native American groups. They know this from studying DNA that survived within the corpses' brains and bones. "One can envision these folks as being ultimately ancestral to people in that area," Doran says. "But the DNA signatures that we can see certainly are not 1:1 matches for modern groups." More work remains to be done, however. In fact, if there is one area of the investigation that has not yet borne fruit on a par with its other successes, it's the DNA work. "To tell you the truth, it's been very frustrating," Doran says. "The DNA in most archeological sites is just not as well preserved as we'd like, and we're kind of waiting, I think, for some of the DNA extraction and purification techniques to improve."
PBS: Tyson (2006) "America's Bog People"
> Well, I've seen the Windover lineages at the on-line mtDNA Concordance
> but have not had access to any of the articles on the subject and so
> take this for what it's worth. The 14 sequences obtained by Hauswirth
> in 1994 ran from site no. 16151 to site no. 16317 (as is indicated in
> the 'Population Index' of the Concordance). Within this narrow band,
> the sequences do look 'Europeanish' butso do sequences in other parts
> of the world look 'Europeanish' to me such as some Melanesian. I
> describe them this way because:
> 1) Most have 16223C instead of 16223T (but so do other ancient New
> World sequences such as those of the Colombian mummies (which have
> lineages which are much closer to those of present Native Americans
> than the Windover)
> 2) They have few Native American markers but this is because many
> would have been exterior to the short segment which was examined .
> The markers definitive of Native American haplogroups which *could
> not* have been observed were 16111T & 16319A (of haplogroup A), 16325C
> (of haplogroups C & D), 16327T (of haplogroup C) and 16362C (of
> haplogroups A & D).
> The markers which *could* have been observed in the 16151-16317 window
> are: 16223T & 16290 for haplogroup A, 16189C & 16217C for haplogroup
> B, 16223T and 16298C for haplogroup C and 16223T for haplogroup D.
> One has 16290T, one has 16298C and one has the two haplogroup X
> markers (16223T & 16278T). Based upon this information, Salzano et
> al. wrote that 12% belonged to haplogroup B, 19% to haplogroup D, and
> 69% were "Other". I have no idea how they concluded this. Also,
> that 16 sequences were obtained when only 14 were listed at the
> Concordance. It has been previously mentioned in a couple articles
> that one could have been 'X' but researchers in the field would not
> normally classify sequences as belonging to this haplogroup, in
> particular, without additional information.
> 3) Some have a couple markers which are frequently found in Europe.
> If Native American markers would have been found in the portion of the
> sequence which was not examined, then these would be meaningless
> because recurrent mutations are a common problem.
> In conclusion, if the information at the mtDNA Concordance is
> accurate, then the issue is extremely murky. In a recent TV program
> on the Windover Bog, Lorenz was briefly interviewed. To the best of
> my recollection, he said that he was finding European markers instead
> of Native American and that it could possibly be due to contamination.
http://www.usenet.com/newsgroups/sci.anthropology.paleo/msg00984.html (Currently down)
JC Chatters - famous for his work on Kennewick man - said "..at Windover, Florida, and she told me, "They're not A, not B, not C, not D, and not X. We've been able to prove that they're not, but we don't know what they are." in his book.
Does anyone have any more data on these people? Do you think they are also European or Caucasoid in origin or just people migrating from Asia?