"Venetian glass beads from Italy archeologists uncovered along an old trading
route in the Alaskan Arctic indicate what the Alaska Native Iñupiat, who have
occupied the land since time immemorial, have always known: their existence
long predated Christopher Columbus’s “discovery” of America.
Arctic archeologists Mike Kunz and Robert Mills last month published a study on
the beads they in part helped excavate and analyze from three different sites
in the Brooks Range of the Alaskan Arctic. Though the beads were recovered
throughout the 1950s, 1960s and early 2000s, technology was not yet able to
clearly timestamp the artifacts.
Recently, using carbon dating technology, plant fibers surrounding the buried
beads told the scientists the relics arrived in Alaska sometime between 1440
and 1480, at least a decade before Columbus made landfall in what is now the
Bahamas. Further study of the craftsmanship of Venetian glassmaking in that
time period ascribed the type of beads –– pea-sized, blue glass balls –– to
“This is the first documented instance of the presence of indubitable European
materials in pre-contact sites in the Western Hemisphere as the result of
overland transport across the Eurasian continent,” the study reads."
Via Muse, who wrote "I frequently wonder what the “Americas” would have been
like if Europe simply traded with these people, rather than invading them."
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*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics