This question has been a puzzle for historians for centuries. Although there are many theories as to who discovered America first, there is not one definitive answer. We will be exploring some of the most popular theories, and discussing their strengths and weaknesses.
Answering the question “Who discovered America first?” It will be a never-ending struggle. History is not predictable. Although we know the dates, names and events of history, it is impossible to predict when one occurred. Archaeology continues to uncover new information about our historical origins and events.
Everyone believed that Columbus was the first person to discover America for a long time. In recent years, however, some have criticized the use of the term “finding”. There were people living in America before Columbus. Even more important, old manuscripts mention other explorers who arrived in America from Europe (and possibly China) before Columbus.
Who was the real discoverer of America? We must travel back in time to find the answer to this question.
Is it Christopher Columbus or another?
Columbus crossed the ocean. Columbus “found” America in 1492 AD. It’s not true. He actually stumbled upon a vast land mass that was previously explored by Europeans (and possibly others). There were anywhere from 2 million to 112 millions people living there at that time. Douglas Ubelaker and Henry Dobyns, two scholars, are currently discussing population estimates. It is well-known that Columbus, and all the legends surrounding him “discovery”, was not the first person who set foot on American soil.
Are Africans the first to arrive in America?
Pre-Columbian cultures provide some evidence of African interaction. The similarities between African peoples and basalt stones from Mexico’s eastern coast are striking. Arab texts dating back to the ninth century also mention contact between Americas and Africa.
Additionally, Portuguese records from 1311 to 1460 CE mention West African immigrants. These accounts claim that Africans (and most likely Arabs who populated the northern parts of Africa) traveled to Haiti and Panama. Columbus first met the Arawaks who informed him of the possibility of obtaining guanine spearpoints from black traders from south and west. Captain Balboa’s account of black slaves in the area added to the evidence.
Directions to Vinland
The Vikings, ah! the Vikings. Legendary storytellers and seafarers. According to the Nordic sagas, Erik the Red and Leif Eriksson (son from Erik the Red), sailed to “Vinland” by the Vikings. This narrative was not widely believed until archaeological evidence began to emerge.
The Kensington Stone was first written in 1362. It refers to the Norweigen-Goth expedition that arrived at southeastern Minnesota in 1362. In 1898, a Swedish-American farmer found the stone in Kensington, Minnesota. Scholars dismissed the stone at first as a fake, but H. R. Holad’s 1907 study revealed that the inscription could be from the 1300s based on its word forms. The argument was further strengthened by the 1355 report of a monarch from Sweden/Norway, which mentioned a western settlement (“Vest Bygd”) in Greenland, that helped colonists in Vinland.
Vinland is also mentioned in other tales, including Gudrid’s book The Far Traveler. Gudrid is the first European woman to have a child in America.
According to the sagas Leif Eriksson arrived at Vinland around 1000 CE. Erik the Red arrived at 984 CE. The sagas refer to Native Americans as “Skraelings”. Most of these stories are based upon Nordic folklore. However, many other aspects of Nordic folklore have been proved accurate in recent years. It is possible that the Vikings arrived at America. Their ships were capable of making such a trip.
But is there any hard evidence? In fact, yes. L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada, was the site of a Viking-era settlement that shared many similarities with sites found in Scandinavian countries. It was discovered in 1960. Since then, excavations have revealed almost 300 years worth of contact between Vikings in intermittent ways with Native Americans peoples, particularly in the Canadian Arctic. The Smithsonian website contains a series of articles and artifacts that provide more information about the possible history of the colonies.
The Vikings weren’t the first.
St. Brendan, an Irish monk who lived around 400 CE, claimed that he had discovered “enchanted island” far beyond the Atlantic. Although most stories depict St. Brendan crossing the Atlantic on the back a sea turtle (although earlier accounts show him travelling in a small currach, an Irish traditional boat made of wood and leather), the majority of his tales are true. The Voyage of St. Brendan is a Latin book that recounts his journeys through the 9th century. It’s full of incredible tales about his voyage.
Although there is no evidence to support his visit, it is possible that ship technology from the time reached Nordic communities in Greenland or Iceland. In 1976, historian Tim Severin put this to the test by building a traditional currach named Brendan and trying to sail from Ireland to North America. Severin was a great success.
St. Brendan’s story is unlikely to be true. Because these stories were recorded centuries after the events occurred, it is likely that St. Brendan’s recollections are reports of trips to the Americas. St. Brendan’s account did have an impact on America’s hunt: Christopher Columbus used his story to support his claim that America was accessible over the Atlantic.
Cleopatra and the Chinese
It is possible that Phoenicians, or Egyptians, reached the Americas around 600 BCE. It is possible that Egyptian technology may have reached the Canary Islands off the coast of Spain or Ireland. However, this theory has not been proven. The presence of Negroid-likenesses in American pottery and sculpture, along with stories from Arab history, suggests that some interaction might have occurred.
It is also possible that the Chinese arrived in Central America around 1000 BCE. It is not clear if the evidence is reliable. There are certain Chinese stories and cultural connections that Native Americans and Chinese have. There is no hard evidence to support this claim. (There is also evidence that suggests the Chinese may have reached America in 1421 CE. This would be 70 years prior to Columbus’ arrival.
Travelling on Thin Ice
But, we need to go back in history to find out who “found” America. During the Pleistocene, the Cordilleran-Laurentide ice sheets created a small passage between Russia and Alaska.
Archaeological evidence has shown that the “first Americans”, the earliest human beings, crossed the land bridge to enter North America via the corridor. As they traveled south, these peoples would have come across northern deciduous trees like oak, hickory, and beech. These migrations took place over long periods of time as the passage was closed and opened by the ice.
Who were these people? These individuals were most likely from Asian families. Paleoanthropologists can use many methods to determine this, including language, dental records, and mitochondrial DNA testing. These methods have some differences. They show that “first Americans” spoke Amerind languages and had dental records that were similar to those of Southwest Asians (the Sundadont clan), but that their mitochondrial DNA was quite different from those of modern Asians. This suggests that the “split” between Native Americans and modern Asians occurred at least 21,000 year ago.
We know that individuals who moved to the Americas by foot or by boat after the Ice Age ended and the ice sheets began melting are now isolated from the rest. This isolation resulted in an absence of immunity to diseases that would later be harmful to the indigenous peoples once Europe arrived.
Related Questions: Who Discovered America?
Who Discovered America and Why? Between 1492-1504, Columbus made four roundtrip voyages between Spain, Americas and Europe. Each voyage was sponsored by the Crown de Castile. He independently discovered the Americas on his first voyage.
Who was the one who discovered America?A brave band of Vikings, led by Leif Eriksson, set foot in North America five hundred years ago and established a settlement. Some scholars believe that the Americas were visited long before Columbus, by seafaring travellers from China and perhaps even visitors from Africa.
Who was the first to discover America?Christopher Columbus, the explorer, made four trips across Atlantic Ocean from Spain in 1492 to 1493, 1498, 1498, and 1502. Although he was determined to find a water route from Europe to Asia, he failed to do so. He instead discovered the Americas.
Is Columbus the one who discovered America?Christopher Columbus, 1451-1506 is best known for his 1492 discovery of the New World of the Americas aboard his ship Santa Maria. In actual fact, Columbus did not discover North America. … He continued southwards on his subsequent expeditions, going to Central and South America.
If it weren’t Columbus, who would have discovered America?
Wikimedia Commons “Leif Erikson Discovers America” (Hans Dahl, 1849-1937). Erikson was likely born in Iceland in 970 A.D. Erikson sailed east to Norway at the age of 30 when he was about 30 years old.
When was America founded?
“Clovis first theory” refers the 1950s hypothesis that Clovis culture was the earliest human presence in Americas. It dates back to approximately 13,000 years ago. Evidence of pre-Clovis cultures have accumulated since 2000, pushing back possible date of first American peopling to 33,000 years.
Who was the first to land in North America?
The Norse were the first Europeans to reach North America, at least for those for whom there is evidence, and they traveled west from Greenland where Erik the Red established a settlement in the year 985.
Is America owned by England?
From 1607 to 1783, British America included the colonies of the British Empire in America. … …
What was America before?
The “United States of America” is officially named by the Continental Congress on September 9, 1776. This replaces the term “United Colonies”, which was in common use.
What is America called?
Amerigo Vespucci is the Italian explorer and inventor of the revolutionary idea that the lands Christopher Columbus explored in 1492 were a separate continent, thus America’s name. … He also included data that Vespucci had gathered during his voyages from 1501-1502 to New World.
Why is it called Indians by natives?
American Indians – Native Americans
According to some, the term “Indian” refers to the original inhabitants on the American continent. It is believed that Christopher Columbus, a 15th-century boat-person, gave rise to the term. Some believe he used the term to indicate he believed he had reached “the Indies” or Asia, his destination.
Did Native Americans discover America?
Indians Believe Columbus Didn’t Discover America. He Invaded It With AM Columbus Day-US, Bjt. WASHINGTON (AP). _ Native Americans believe that Christopher Columbus didn’t discover America in 1492.
Did Africans discover America?
More ancient African skeletons from Africa were also discovered in Central America and South America. Some of these skeletons were even found in California.
Why didn’t America allow the Vikings to stay?
There are many reasons why the Vikings left North America. It could have been that there weren’t enough of them to support a settlement. They may have been expelled by the American Indians. … According to scholars, the west Atlantic suddenly became too cold for Vikings.
Are the Vikings allowed to land in America?
It was 1960 that the discovery of a Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada caused sensation. This proved that the stories were real. Five centuries before Columbus, Vikings had reached America’s coast.
What year did Indians arrive in America?
The first immigration to the United States began in India in the 19th century, when Indian immigrants settled in West Coast communities. They arrived initially in small numbers. However, new opportunities opened up in the middle of the 20th Century and the population grew in the following decades.
Which is the first person to be born?
Homo erectus was created around 1.9 million years ago. The Homo erectus human ancestor walked upright and had brains nearly twice the size of Homo habilis. Homo erectus was the first human ancestor to leave Africa and to show evidence of fire-use.
Where are humans from?
Africa was the first place that humans evolved, and a lot of human evolution took place there. Africa is home to all fossils of early human beings who lived between 6 million and 2 millions years ago. Scientists currently recognize 15 to 20 species of early human.
How long has humanity been around?
Between five million and seven millions years ago, the first human ancestors emerged. This was probably when some apelike animals in Africa started to walk on two legs. By 2.5 million years old, they were already flaking rough stone tools. After two million years, some of them began to spread across Africa and Asia into Europe.
Who was the first to set foot in North America?
Christopher Columbus, an Italian explorer, is often considered the first European to reach North America. Many historians believe that Viking sailors from Norway arrived in Canada in the 1000s A.D. before Columbus arrived in 1492.
Who discovered Canada?
The first European to land in Canada was John Cabot, an Italian national granted patent status by King Henry VII of England. According to records, he saw land in a northern area believed to be in the Atlantic provinces on June 24, 1497.
Is Queen Elizabeth a landowner in America?
This is just a small part of the story. 70% of the 60 million acres in the British Isles are owned by less than 5%. This amounts to approximately 3 million acres of mostly urbanized development. … The Crown’s declared lands amount to approximately 677,000 acres, when you add in the Queen’s duchies as well as private estates.
What is America’s real name?
The Second Continental Congress changed the name of the nation to the “United States of America” on September 9, 1776.
What was America called before 1776
9 September 1776. The Continental Congress officially changed the name of the new nation to the United States of America on September 9, 1776.
What is America’s age now?
The declaration was signed by the founding fathers on July 4, 1776. This makes the country 244-years-old as of today.