THE FIRST AMERICANS RESOURCES
The term ‘diffusionist’ was first used in 1893 to denote a scholar who believed that most folklore was borrowed from an Old World center of high culture, such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, or India (Oxford English Dictionary 1971). The term initially contrasted with it was ‘evolutionist,’ meaning, in this context, a folklorist who maintained that most traditional oral narratives originated in the area in which they were current. But, because the term evolutionist was more often employed to designate someone supporting a nontheistic theory of biological speciation, the word ‘inventionist’ came to replace evolutionist as the label for a believer in predominantly autonomous local cultural development.
The distinction between diffusionism and inventionism became progressively sharper as the two positions polarized. Increasingly, adherents of each school saw themselves as defensively compelled to refute the misinterpretations of the other school. In this respect, the relation between diffusionism and inventionism was much like that between evolutionism and creationism with regard to the origin of species, or that between uniformitarianism and catastrophism with regard to the history of the earth. In all three cases, polemics grew at the expense of mutual understanding.
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by Roger Williams Wescott, Across Before Columbus, NEARA publications, 1998.
CLOVIS AND BEYOND:REPORT ON THE SANTA FE CONFERENCE, OCTOBER 1999
The Peopling of the Americas! Now there is a topic guaranteed to generate vigorous arguments among
archaeologists, each of whom is convinced that he or she has a piece of the truth. The odd thing is that
perhaps each one does, and the place to discover this was in Santa Fe, New Mexico, over the
Halloween weekend, 1999, at the Clovis and Beyond conference.
Co-sponsored by the Center for the Study of the First Americans, Clovis and Beyond attracted more
then 1400 archaeologists and interested lay people.
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CLOVIS & BEYOND
by Ann Humphrey
Standford, Dennis & Bruce Bradely,
Across Atlantic Ice
The Origin of America's Clovis Culture
2012 University of California Press
Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. Distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture established the presence of these early New World people. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative and, in the process, counter traditional—and often subjective—approaches to archaeological testing for historical relatedness. The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the technological antecedents of Clovis in Europe and posits that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. Supplying archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this assertion, the book dismantles the old paradigm while persuasively linking Clovis technology with the culture of the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000 years ago.
For other related book from the University of California press see http://www.ucpress.edu/book