History of The Old North Trail
The Blackfoot Trail
Europe, Alaska, Canada to Mexico
'The Backbone of the World,'
The Blackfoot Indians called what we know as the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide Trail.
This ancient, sacred highway carried travelers from Europe, Alaska, Canada to Mexico.
The Bering Straight migration theory suggests that humans began crossing the Bering Straight as early as 15,000 B.C.
The Bering Straight Migration
The Bering Straight migration theory suggests that humans began crossing the Bering Straight as early as 15,000 B.C.
The area of the Bering Land Bridge, called by some scholars “Beringia” is thought to have been a 500-mile wide swath of land covered with tundra-like vegetation used by both humans and animals to cross into the North American arctic regions and beyond.
This swath of land is thought to have been created 20,000 to 25,000 years ago, near the end of the Pleistocene (Ice Ages).
Continental glaciers forming in the northern hemisphere locked up so much water that the level of the oceans are thought to have dropped more than 300 feet lower than present levels.
It is known that the Toltecs, a wandering people of Central America, settled in Mexico approximately 11,000 years ago.
The Toltecs had little dogs with long hair, known as techichis.
Their likeness can be found on many engraved stones of that period.
Mexican naked dog: It is believed that the Mexican naked dog had its origins in China, and was introduced with wandering tribes crossing the Bering Straight to settle on the North American Continent.
When the Toltecs were attacked and defeated by the Aztec people in the 14th century, these little dogs became the pets of the Aztec aristocracy and were the object of real veneration.
It is believed that the Aztec people appreciated this small breed for companionship, and also for culinary reasons....
As the dating for human migration across Bering Strait is pushed further and further back in time, there is a tendency to forget that such migration was not a single incident, but rather a continuing one.
Until modern hostilities developed between the former Soviet Union and the United States, communication across the Strait was an ongoing process; it did not require a land bridge.
Similar cultural developments on both sides of Bering Strait suggest that the people had been moving back and forth across it for thousands of years.
Indeed, human migration and interaction between Chukotka and Alaska probably have been more or less continuous ever since the straight was most recently formed, some 14,000 years ago. (Burch, Jr. 1988: 227)
The Red Record begins with the Lenni-Lenape story of the Creation - with Adam and Eve and the Snake of Eden - each with a Native name.
Throughout time, the snake has been the Lenni-Lenape symbol for the enemy.
The story of man's struggle continues through the Great Flood, and the re-settling of the land after the waters receded.
At the time of the re-settling, there came a common understanding shared by all the people that a great body of water lay to their east.
It was their destiny to reach that body of water, and so their migration began.
The Red Record estimates that the migration began 1600 years Before Christ.
The people set out from their ancestral home located near the border between present day China, Mongolia and Russia.
On their journey eastward, settlements, villages and towns of the various inhabitants along their path were encountered.
Some were avoided, and some allowed safe and peaceful passage, but there battles and wars to be fought, especially among the great dynasties of China.
The Lenni-Lenape reached the Bering Straight, which was primarily a land bridge with a small strip of swift and treacherous water between them and the shores of present day Alaska.
Realizing that they could not cross the water safely, they camped along the shore waiting for the waters to freeze over.
When the freeze came, some 10,000 people made the crossing into the North American Continent.
As they traveled inland, they encountered other Natives already living in the area.
The main body of the migration divided, with some bearing south into the area of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, and others continuing deeper into Canada.
Their passage through this territory continues to be evidenced today by marked differences in the appearance and customs of the interior Eskimo, and the coastal Eskimo/Inuit.
The "Red Record" (The Wallum Olum) is not new or a recently discovered piece of ancient history.
It was given to the white man in 1820, when its last caretaker presented it to a Dr. Ward, a Moravian missionary and physician who had lived among the Lenni-Lenape for a number of years.
Dr. Ward had saved the life of the village historian and, as a show of appreciation, the Red Record was given with the statement, "This is like our Bible".
Their language lay at the root of the Algonquian-speaking people; the most widespread language group in pre-Columbian North America.
They were the founding fathers of:
The Mohicans; the Nanticokes; the Shawnee; the Ojibwa; The Cree; the Powhatan; the Abenaki; the Massachusetts; the Blackfoot; the Cheyenne; the Munsees; the Yuroks; the Wiyots; the Algonkins; the Montagnais; the Arapahoe; the Menominee; the Potowatomi; the Ottowa; the Sauk; the Fox; the Nipmuc; the Narraganset; the Pequot; the Wampanoag; the Montauk; the Illinois; the Conoy.
And surely many others not discovered, all of whom tell the same story of creation and migration, all of whom refer to the Lenni-Lenape as "Grandfather", and all of whom defer to the Lenni-Lenape as their ancestral elders.
The last entry into the Red Record was in 1620.
Linda Poolaw, the Grand Chief of the Delaware Nation Grand Council of North America in Oklahoma.
The Red Record is the oldest written record of a Native North American people, and spans almost 100 generations.
It is not a large book, and is fast reading well worth your time.
It may be in the history or research section of your library, or any store that carries Native American books can order it for you.
Complete information is:
"The Red Record: The Wallam Olum", by David McCutchen, (c) 1993; Avery Publishing Group, Inc., Garden City Park, New York; $14.95
It has long been accepted among scholars that proto-Athapaskan speaking people were the last Native Americans, excluding Polar peoples, to cross into the Americas.
In this paper, it will be suggested that this migration took place within the time span covered by trans-Pacific contact studies, and a major Asian technical complex, the most advanced form of archery, among other cultural aspects was brought with them as far south as northern Mexico.
Florida's first people arrived more than 12,000 years ago crossing the Bering Strait on foot, in search of food.
Evidence that Manatee County's first inhabitants depended on the resources of the Manatee River can be found in the burial, midden, and temple mounds located along the river's banks.
For centuries, these Indian tribes were left alone to enjoy what is today, Manatee County.
In a field along the trail, Curly Bear Wagner, a Blackfoot cultural leader, holds a rattle made of wood, bear hide, feathers, buffalo fur and turtle shell that he uses in ceremonial dances.
He says his great-grandfather walked the trail from Montana to Mexico.
"Imagine a mountain ridge that snakes like a knobbly spine all the way from the frozen Canadian Arctic down to the deserts of Mexico.
'The Backbone of the World,' the Blackfoot Indians called what we know as the Rocky Mountains and the Continental Divide.
Now imagine a footpath that runs along the base of the mountains following the 'shoreline' between the mountains and the plains —
twisting through stream gullies, unraveling over low ridges and around buttes running on for 2,000 to 3,000 miles."
So writes Peter Stark in July's Smithsonian Magazine.
Fragmentary evidence indicates that such a footpath existed, and it is called the Old North Trail.
For 10,000 years inhabitants of North America used the Old North Trail., first on foot, then with dogs pulling cargo-laden travois, and finally with horses.
Stark recreates part of the journey reflecting on what it might have been like to be an ancient traveler carrying trade goods —
such as obsidian for spearheads and seashells from the coast —
or visiting relatives, setting off on sacred missions, seeking a mate or just satisfying a curiosity about new lands.
There is intriguing evidence that early travelers used a network of footpaths that crisscrossed North America and traveled thousands of miles long before Europeans arrived, even before the last ice age ended.
As more physical evidence is uncovered along the Old North Trail., the stories and oral legends of the Blackfoot Indians take on new meaning.
The possibility exists that the humans who crossed from Asia on the Bering Land Bridge about 15,000 years ago and populated North America might have found an ice-free corridor along the eastern slope of the Rockies, to the area where the Trail now runs.
That means the Old North Trail carried the weight of one of the most significant human migrations of all time.
A Stunning Find Deep in a Utah Canyon
The half-buried stone-and-mortar houses, granary caches, and painted colorful trapezoidal figures on canyon walls found deep in the heart of Utah were home to an ancient civilization that dates from 300 years before the birth of Christ,
reports The Associated Press.
The ruins of the so-called Fremont people--named for a Spanish explorer who never even met them--are a treasure trove for archaeologists because they are virtually untouched by looters.
The artifacts could reveal secrets about the original Paleo-Indians, America's earliest inhabitants who are thought to have arrived in North America by way of the Bering Strait some 10,000 years ago.
They lived on this site in what is now modern-day Utah over a span of centuries that ended about 750 years ago.
"It's like finding a van Gogh in your grandmother's attic," Utah state archaeologist Kevin Jones told AP.
Unlike the nearby Anasazi people who were farmers, the Fremont were known for their creativity.
In addition to the farming and hunting skills they needed to survive, the Fremont had a distinctive style of basket weaving and made animal-claw moccasins. Even their everyday tools and pottery were quite different from the Anasazi.
The two cultures do have one thing in common:
They both packed up and left at the same time around 1250 A.D., and to this day it's not known why they fled or what became of them.
The Utah canyon in which the ruins were found were recently turned over to archaeologists by a rancher who owned the land and kept the site a secret in an attempt to preserve it.
Historians think this space, which was likely home to some 250 households, could have been the Fremont's last settlement.
They will look for clues as to why they were driven out of Utah.
Here are some of the recent finds in the Fremont ruins:
--Paddle-like wood shovel.
--Rare bundle of arrow shafts, found wedged in a canyon wall.
--Perfectly preserved beehive-shaped granary with a cap stone, still a third full with piles of parched wild grass seed and corn.
--Pair of human remains from surrounding federal land.
Call it lost in plain sight.
A team of British and American explorers has located in the jungles of Peru an Incan city that has been lost for centuries, reports Reuters. Amazingly, it is within sight of a key religious center at Machu Picchu.
Briton Hugh Thomson and American Gary Zeigler knew Llactapata was there. Somewhere.
It was first mentioned in 1912 by explorer Hiram Bingham, the discoverer of Machu Picchu.
But since his description of the location was very vague, the ruins of Llactapata were never found by anyone else.
Fast forward 90 years. Using infrared aerial photography to penetrate the dense forest canopy, Thomson and Zeigler were able to pinpoint the location of the lost city. The high-tech help ended there, though.
They still had to climb 9,000 feet up the side of a mountain using machetes to hack their way through the jungle.
It was worth it.
When they finally arrived in Llactapata, they found stone buildings, including a solar temple and houses covering several square miles.
Here's the most interesting part:
The buildings are located in the same alignment with the Pleiades star cluster and the June solstice sunrise as Machu Picchu, which was a sacred center.
"This is a very important discovery.
It is very close to Machu Picchu and aligned with it. This adds significantly to our knowledge about Machu Picchu," Thomson told Reuters.
"Llactapata adds to its significance."
One thing archaeologists know for sure:
There are more lost Incan cities just waiting to be found.
After the Spanish Conquistadors captured and executed the last Incan leader, Tupac Amaru, in 1572, the Incans deserted their cities and towns and beat a hasty retreat.
Reuters notes that while some of the cities have been rediscovered, many more are believed to lie hidden in the dense jungle.
The only way they will ever be found is with new technology or dumb luck. And machetes.
An ancient Teotihuacan settlement that is about 2,000 years old was recently unearthed in Mexico.
Artifacts--some with an unspeakably gruesome purpose--were found.
Mexico City, about 30 miles from the pyramids.
An ancient Teotihuacan settlement that is about 2,000 years old. Artifacts--some with an unspeakably gruesome purpose--were found.
The Teotihuacan culture influenced the area around what is now Mexico City far earlier than historians previously thought.
The recent discovery of a Teotihuacan settlement on a hill just behind the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City includes building structures, tools, and religious artifacts.
But even with this tangible find that tells stories of everyday life, the ancient city of Teotihuacan, which lies north of modern Mexico City and flourished during the time of Christ, is still a mystery--just as it was to the Aztecs who first stumbled on it in the 1300s.
In its day, Teotihuacan was one of the world's largest cities with some 150,000 residents, whose culture had a far-reaching impact on art and architecture as far away as the Yucatan peninsula.
But by the time the Aztecs arrived, Teotihuacan had long been abandoned and left crumbling. What happened? No one knows. It's a mystery that has endured for centuries.
The Teotihuacan artifacts that have just been found could rewrite the history books, pushing back the date of Mexico City's founding to the period of 300 to 600.
AP reports that the relics located in the 20-square-yard excavation include six pairs of ceramic urns of Teotihuacan style that may have been used to hold the remains of children sacrificed to the god of rain.
Other relics include ceramic domestic tools, a bone needle, and a figurine that was most likely used in religious rituals.
Archaeologists have also uncovered the remnants of a stone wall and floor that both date from the same period.
"This is a very important discovery, one that is just beginning," Maria de la Luz Moreno Cabrera, the archaeologist leading the investigation, told AP.
"It is very exciting to find such a site...it helps to show the real historical importance of this area."