Jason Colavito has an interesting post on some recent research that damages the Solutrean Hypothesis. For those who haven’t heard of this, Jason explains:
Fringe history believers have long used the Solutrean claim as evidence for European primacy in the Americas, a belief that stretches back at least as far as the lost white race of Mound Builders the first European colonists imagined had been killed off by bloodthirsty Natives. As Scott Wolter told it on America Unearthed, the Solutrean hypothesis explains that white Europeans were the first Americans, long before Native Americans crossed over from Asia. White supremacists like John de Nugent, Kyle Bristow, and radio host Frank from Queens have gone still farther and proposed on these grounds that America was once a white cultural homeland, possibly the Garden of Eden, before “Beringians”—i.e., non-white Native Americans—crossed over and killed them all in a violent race war.
Jason then links to an essay in Science Magazine that discusses new findings in regard to the Solutream hypothesis — and the news isn’t good for “alternative historians.”
As Jason notes, what’s really a shame (or sham) here is the notion (common in the 19th century, but still around) that the “high” civilizations of North America (think the moundbuilders and the Incas, for example), really owe their technological skill to white Europeans of the distant past. Surely the native (non-White) populations were too backward and stupid to build anything that would impress anyone.
In the Old World (e.g., Egypt) the way “researchers” foist the same covert racism on us is the ancient alien hypothesis. Surely the Egyptians, for example, needed help from space to build the pyramids. If you don’t think racism is at the heart of that idea, then you need to start reading the theosophical literature from the 19th century — an endless pool of claptrap from which alternative historians get advanced civilizations and lost continents (Atlantis, Lemuria, Hyperboreans, etc.). Those advanced civilizations settled in the north and then migrated into places like India, Egypt, and Europe … from which their enlightened descendants migrated to North America. It’s really all aliens and their advanced white progeny.
In short, all the major elements of ancient alien theory can be found in the speculative literature (and its horror fiction) from the 19th-early twentieth centuries. The ideas that were “cutting edge” 150 years ago are the urce for the “alternative” perspective alternative historians and ancient alien hucksters present to their viewers and readers today. But for folks not familiar with that stuff, it all looks and sounds so “astonishing” that it gains an audience.