The number of similarities between Pre-Columbian Americans and others in the world and possible explanations for those similarities grows all the time among archaeologists, anthropologists, and historians. The burgeoning field of genetics and DNA research adds new layers of understanding to the past, but unlike depictions in television and movies it is not a quick and easy explanation. There are more questions than answers.
Ancient pottery, words, and genetic diseases found among several islands off the west coast of the Americas are very similar to those found in ancient Japan. The cultures of Egypt and the Aztecs and Mayans share similar written dialects (hieroglyphics), medicine, embalming, astronomy, mathematics, and pyramids. The Aztec and Mayan sun gods were white and expected to return from the East in the future. It is possible that ancient mariners could have sailed out of the Mediterranean down the coast of Africa and then due west to the Caribbean and Central America. That is the same voyage Columbus took in 1492.
It is very possible that people from every continent could have walked or sailed to the Americas. If so, then where were they when Columbus and other Europeans “discovered” the Americas? No one is suggesting that they made up the majority of Pre-Columbians. Perhaps they interacted with the larger number of Bering Strait migrants and were defeated in battle or they intermarried and were absorbed into the bloodline. It is also possible they died out naturally due to disease, drought, famine, or even an asteroid strike.
Please keep an open mind when thinking of the past. Avoid accepting only one answer as the absolute truth of what happened. We owe it to those who came before us to consider all possibilities that have created the world as we know it. The more we consider, the greater our understanding.
Editors Note: Travis Childs is a history instructor at Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. He is a graduate of Midway High School and lives in Bluegrove. He is currently president of the Clay County Historical Society.