It is often taught that Black people first arrived in the Americas during the slave trade. But that history is in the process of being rewritten as archaeologists continue to find evidence that Black people occupied the American content before the Bering Strait was crossed by Mongolian Asians.
According to the BBC documentary series Ancient Voices and some scholars, these peoples were the Black aboriginal people of Australia and Melanesia. They were later massacred by the invaders from Asia.
Here is some of the evidence that has been presented to prove Black people were the first to populate the Americas.
Human skulls have been uncovered in Central and South America that are 9,000 to 12,000 years old, among the oldest skulls in the Americas.
Walter Neves, an archaeologist from the University of Sao Paolo, has taken extensive measurements from dozens of skulls, including the oldest, from a young woman whom the archaeologist named Luzia, discovered in Lagoa Santa, Minas Gerais, Brazil. “The measurements show that Luzia was anything but mongoloid,” he says.
Reconstruction of Luzia’s 12,000-year-old skull by forensic artist Richard Neave from the University of Manchester, England, showed all the features of a Negroid face, Neave said in a 1998 segment of the BBC documentary series Ancient Voices.
In the broadcast segment, the scientist concluded that the dimensions of the prehistoric skulls found in Brazil matched those of the aboriginal people of Australia and Melanesia.
Stone tools and charcoal from the Pedra Furada sites in Brazil show evidence of human habitation as long ago as 50,000 years.
In addition, radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains and artifacts unearthed along the Savannah River in Allendale County, S.C., indicate that humans inhabited North America at least 50,000 years ago, long before the last ice age. The tests were conducted by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear in 2004.
Brazil Cave Paintings
Cave paintings found at Serra Da Capivara in remote northeast Brazil also provided evidence of the existence of a much older people.
The rock art, which shows images of giant armadillos, a species extinct before the last ice age, is dated to around 25,000 years ago. Some eminent rock art specialists are proposing an even earlier date — perhaps as far back as 36,000 years ago.
The finding challenges the widely held view that the Americas were first colonized by people from the North, via the Bering Strait, at around 10,000 B.C., moving south to inhabit Central and South America in the millennia thereafter.
Australian Cave Paintings
The Bradshaw Cave paintings found in Kimberley, Australia, a region at the northern tip of Western Australia, offer evidence the Aborigines may have built boats capable of making the journey 8,450 miles (13,500 kilometers) across the ocean.
Grahame Walsh, an expert on Australian rock art, found the oldest painting of a boat anywhere in the world. The style of the art means it is at least 17,000 years old, but it could be up to 50,000 years old.
The high prow of the boat in the art is a crucial detail because it would have been unnecessary for vessels used in calm, inland waters, suggesting it was used on the open ocean.
Negroid Features Among Native Americans
There’s evidence that pre-European Fuegians from Tierra del Fuego, the islands at the remotest southern tip of South America, may be the descendants of mixed Negroid and Mongolian populations.
The Fuegians were pushed to the brink of extinction by European diseases and genocide campaigns, but a number of survivors still show hybrid skull features that could have resulted from procreation between Mongoloid and Negroid people. Their rituals and traditions also bear some resemblance to the ancient rock art of Brazil.
Studies of the ancient DNA samples of Fuegians show they are genetically distinct from other Amerindian groups.