Monday, June 4, 2007

Polynesians Found Americas Before Columbus??

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...Christopher Columbus and his crew were the first outsiders to reach the New World.

But chicken bones recently unearthed on the coast of Chile—dating prior to Columbus’ “discovery” of America and resembling the DNA of a fowl species native to Polynesia—may challenge that notion, researchers say.

Polynesians made contact with the west coast of South America as much as a century before any Spanish conquistadors, her findings imply.

The chicken bones were discovered at an archaeological site called El Arenal, on the south coast of Chile, alongside other materials belonging to the indigenous population. While chickens aren’t native to the region, it was believed the local Araucana species found there now was brought to the Americas by Spanish settlers around 1500.

Tests on the bones, however, now indicate the birds arrived well before any European made landfall in South America, Matisoo-Smith and her colleague Alice Storey found.

DNA extracted from the bones also matched closely with a Polynesian breed of chicken, rather than any chickens found in Europe...

Source : LiveScience

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