A major, groundbreaking work on early European migration to North America.
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. The presence of these early New World people was established by distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture. 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.
©2012 The Regents of the University of California (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks
"Across Atlantic Ice is brilliant and groundbreaking. As fascinating as it is controversial, this book brings together decades of research from diverse areas into a single volume that is well argued, factually rich, elegantly written, and absolutely riveting. I could not put it down." (Douglas Preston, author of Cities of Gold, Thunderhead, and former archaeology correspondent for the New Yorker)
"North America's first peoples were long thought to be Asians who migrated over the Bering land bridge some 12,000 years ago, bringing with them the tools of the Clovis culture. Now archaeologists Dennis Stanford and Bruce Bradley have radically recast the story. Drawing on climatic, genetic and archaeological evidence, they argue that the roots of Clovis culture rest in the Solutrean people of Spain and France, who sent some of their number across the Atlantic in boats 18,000 years ago." (Nature)
"This carefully crafted, well-researched book aims to change our thinking of who the first Americans were and where they came from...will affect the way the larger narrative of the first chapter of human history in the New World is written." (Tom D. Dillehay, author of The Settlement of the Americas)
Given the subject matter and the reviews suggesting that the authors had some good evidence for rejecting the land bridge theory of migration of the first Americans from Asia, I was really looking forward to this presentation.
It was, however, the driest book I have read or heard in a long time (and that is saying a lot, as I am a physician and read dry scientific studies every day). And the reader was up to the task; I have not in a long time heard such a monotonous reading. The information could be good--how would I know? This book might better lend itself, along with illustrations and footnotes, to a written form, rather than audio. After listening, I don"t intend to find out.
However, the premise is still an exciting one, and if the authors are capable, and find a good editor with a strong swing of red ink, they might just rewrite a plausible version of either a good technical journal or a good popular archeologic rending of their findings and hypothesis. Either would be welcome.
I enjoy non fiction almost exclusively and especially love the history of Rome, the conquest of the Americas, and early American history from the founding of the earliest colonial settlements to the Antebellum rise of the United States.
Science is a messy process. That being said, this is not just the story of the populating of the Americas, this is the story of science itself. This is a story of new ideas challenging the old, new evidence, and the search for a better understanding of the facts. Many of the chapters can get bogged down with excessive detail about flintknapping but it definitely adds to the understanding and evidence for much bigger points. The way the Americas were populated is obviously complex with many subtleties. This book does not declare and defend one position only, it shows more complexity and brings more understanding to this most interesting subject.
It was a great book, but it would have been better to have the illustrations/photographs in front of me. This is why I have it 3 stars as an overall rating. Had nothing to do with the book or narrator.
For anyone interested in the subject, this is a must book and audiobook. I’m glad it’s on audio. The authors back up their theory with solid evidence, and the prehistorical narrative they tell is fascinating. The writing is clear and informative, despite being technical at times. I bought this audiobook because the reviews on Amazon are excellent. I agree with the vast majority of the reviewers that this is an exciting, groundbreaking book. I think the narrator does a very good job with the material, and makes Across Atlantic Ice easy to listen to.
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