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Thread: Everyone was dead when Europeans first went to British Columbia

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    Everyone was dead when Europeans first went to British Columbia



    Perhaps a less severe but similar scenario played out in southeastern Europe? Could this explain the burning of settlements, the scattering of the population? We already know that steppe people harbored the plague. Probably we'll never know, but I think it's possible.

    See:
    http://news.nationalpost.com/news/ca...of-a-holocaust

    "Everywhere they looked, there were corpses. Abandoned, overgrown villages were littered with skulls; whole sections of coastline strewn with bleached, decayed bodies...They kept seeing rotting houses and massive clearings cut out of the Pacific forest — evidence that whoever lived here had been able to muster armies of labourers.And yet the only locals the sailors encountered were small groups of desperately poor people, many of them horribly scarred and missing an eye."

    "“News reached them from the east that a great sickness was travelling over the land, a sickness that no medicine could cure, and no person escape,” said a man identified as Old Pierre, a member of what is now the Katzie First Nation in Pitt Meadows, B.C.

    After an emergency meeting, the doomed forebears of the Katzie decided to face the coming catastrophe with as much grace as they could muster: Every adult returned to the home of their parents to wait for the end.
    “Then the wind carried the smallpox sickness among them. Some crawled away into the woods to die; many died in their homes,” Old Pierre told the anthropologist Diamond Jenness in 1936."

    "Just as the American Revolutionary War broke out in 1775, smallpox began sweeping through Patriot strongholds and encampments...The epidemic soon broke out of the war-torn coastal areas and began penetrating inland, surging across indigenous trading networks and passing between warring enemies.

    Before the Revolutionary War was over, its epidemiological offshoot had surged as far as Mexico and was scything its way through the Canadian Prairies."


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Perhaps a less severe but similar scenario played out in southeastern Europe? Could this explain the burning of settlements, the scattering of the population? We already know that steppe people harbored the plague. Probably we'll never know, but I think it's possible.
    Much of southeast Europe was deserted :
    In the Balkans, south of the Danube no mesolithic sites have been found, except in some coastal areas.
    However a holocaust is not an explanation, as the mesolithic in that area lasted 3000 year.
    No reason to leave an area unpopulated for 3000 years after a holocaust.

    Sorry .. you were refering to another period.

    You should check exact dating of both events.
    If I recall well, with data uptill now, it doesn't match.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Much of southeast Europe was deserted :
    In the Balkans, south of the Danube no mesolithic sites have been found, except in some coastal areas.
    However a holocaust is not an explanation, as the mesolithic in that area lasted 3000 year.
    No reason to leave an area unpopulated for 3000 years after a holocaust.

    Sorry .. you were refering to another period.

    You should check exact dating of both events.
    If I recall well, with data uptill now, it doesn't match.
    I guess I should have been more precise so that I wouldn't be misunderstood. I wasn't talking about the mesolithic at all. I was talking about this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucute...illian_culture

    You really thought I could make a mistake like that? :) What indeed would steppe people harboring the plague have to do with the mesolithic thousands of years earlier?

    Ed. Okay, I'm officially wounded, deeply, truly wounded. :)

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    Angela, I found out my reading and replying is sometimes faster than my understanding.
    I just read your post and your link diagonally, and indeed you didn't mention Cucuteni, but I immeadiately rushed to the mesolithic/neolithic transition in the Balkan area.

    Burning a house every 30/60 years isn't very effective against the plague, but the plague could have set in a tradition of house burning.
    The time frame for the first wave of plague fits early Cucuteni.

    However burning houses would have started earlier acording to wikipedia, around 6500 BC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burned_house_horizon

    They withold fumigation as one of the theories to explain this phenomenon though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Angela, I found out my reading and replying is sometimes faster than my understanding.
    I just read your post and your link diagonally, and indeed you didn't mention Cucuteni, but I immeadiately rushed to the mesolithic/neolithic transition in the Balkan area.

    Burning a house every 30/60 years isn't very effective against the plague, but the plague could have set in a tradition of house burning.
    The time frame for the first wave of plague fits early Cucuteni.

    However burning houses would have started earlier acording to wikipedia, around 6500 BC.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burned_house_horizon

    They withold fumigation as one of the theories to explain this phenomenon though.
    I think they came to mind because we have been discussing their mtDna. (That was a good insight, by the way, that both places could have gotten it from a common source.)

    Also, I find the custom so bizarre, and destructive (didn't they denude some areas of trees?) that I search for a logical explanation.

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    Perhaps they were producing anthropogenic soils to counteract soil depletion. Organic detritus, fragmentary ceramic material and charcoal constitute the basic recipe for terra preta. Anthropogenic soils in pre-Columbian Amazonia sustained large populations which vanished after European diseases were introduced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wicket View Post
    Perhaps they were producing anthropogenic soils to counteract soil depletion. Organic detritus, fragmentary ceramic material and charcoal constitute the basic recipe for terra preta. Anthropogenic soils in pre-Columbian Amazonia sustained large populations which vanished after European diseases were introduced.
    I think, if they used the burnt soil to spread over their fields, the archeologists would have noticed that in the layers.

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    The observation that vegetation grows better on a burned over habitation site doesn't imply that the farmers were aware that fertilizers could be created and employed to improve soil fertility. A more likely conclusion on the part of the farmers is that there is a spiritual connection between the burnt location and the increased fertility of the soil.

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    Interesting!

    I read the Wikipedia article and I'm surprised they haven't thought (perhaps I missed the part) of what I'm about to mention.

    In Albanian tradition the burning of a house, farmland and livestock is done after a member of the family commits a crime/betrayal which is seen as disobeying the rules of Code of Honour. So the community kills the responsible person and chases out his/her family due to being of 'bad blood' and burns everything related to them.

    And consider that this practice has not been stopped long time ago and most likely continues until nowadays in the mountainous regions just like the Vendetta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    Interesting!

    I read the Wikipedia article and I'm surprised they haven't thought (perhaps I missed the part) of what I'm about to mention.

    In Albanian tradition the burning of a house, farmland and livestock is done after a member of the family commits a crime/betrayal which is seen as disobeying the rules of Code of Honour. So the community kills the responsible person and chases out his/her family due to being of 'bad blood' and burns everything related to them.

    And consider that this practice has not been stopped long time ago and most likely continues until nowadays in the mountainous regions just like the Vendetta.
    That is interesting, but in the case of CT whole settlements were burned, so I'm not sure that works.

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    Well it could be a mysterious tradition or simply warlike military societies never caught off guard by always retreating to the mountains whenever outnumbered, so the burning could be either done intentionally by themselves to leave the usurper without resources or the attacking side just burns it down.

    The Ottomans did that to the mountainous communities of the Balkans for many centuries with minimal to no casualties within the village/settlement itself.

    I just don't see anything mystical about it. Perhaps it's because I don't know much to begin with.

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    The biomass available as dry fuel would tend to be quite high in a large village of long-standing wattle and daub houses, even the daub would contain fuel in the form of straw binder material and dung. Ceramic conversion of the clay component is contingent upon temperature though, not fuel supply. The red color of the burnt clay indicates high temperatures from freely available oxygen within the fire. These facts argue in favor of substantial ground fire events in which convection currents generated by the fire draw in air which results in efficient combustion of the biomass, strong convection vortices, and increased oxygen draft. A large, densely populated long-established village; the epitome of neolithic success, creates the conditions which accomplish its destruction.
    Well meaning attempts at reproducing the effects of a massive urban ground fire by constructing artificially dilapidated wattle and daub structures and setting them afire wouldn't contribute much useful information, due to scale differences and perhaps water content of the materials employed. It's like burning a reconstruction of Mrs. O'Leary's cow shed in an effort to comprehend the 1871 Chicago fire.

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    Ludwik Krzywicki mentioned the same thing about epidemic diseases in North America:

    https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?...iew=1up;seq=85

    https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/003553254

    "The angel of death seems to have preceded rather than followed the white men" (page 69)

    On page 70 he also mentioned the epidemics in British Columbia, described in the OP.

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