Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dying Languages Link Siberia and New World Indians

One thing that has always raised eyebrows is the lack of cultural links between indigenous Siberians and New World Indians (excluding Eskimos who are not usually considered Indians because they came over much later). However, researchers have created a scientific test that links the American Na-Dene language to the Siberian Yeniseian language family. Na-Dene is centered in northwest Canada and eastern Alaska but was found in pockets in Texas.

The proposed common language goes back at least 10,000 years. This is interesting because the Bering Land Bridge was already gone 10,000 years ago. So either the common language and people are older than 10,000 years or there was still intercontinental contact after the land bridge was submerged. The latter is a realistic possibility because of short sea distances and global warming temperatures at the time.

Time is running out for some of these cultural studies. Greater integration is bettering the lives of many Indians but a side effect is the loss of these ancient ties. All those interested in American history and the rise of man should hurry in their race against time.

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