Denisovan Origins: Hybrid Humans, Goebekli Tepe, and the Genesis of the Giants of Ancient America ペーパーバック – 2019/9/3
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Reveals the profound influence of the Denisovans and their hybrid descendants upon the flowering of human civilization around the world
• Traces the migrations of the sophisticated Denisovans and their interbreeding with Neanderthals and early human populations more than 40,000 years ago
• Shows how Denisovan hybrids became the elite of ancient societies, including the Adena mound-building culture
• Explores the Denisovans’ extraordinary advances, including precision-machined stone tools and jewelry, tailored clothing, and celestially-aligned architecture
Ice-age cave artists, the builders at Göbekli Tepe, and the mound-builders of North America all share a common ancestry in the Solutreans, Neanderthal-human hybrids of immense sophistication, who dominated southwest Europe before reaching North America 20,000 years ago. Yet, even before the Solutreans, the American continent was home to a powerful population of enormous stature, giants remembered in Native American legend as the Thunder People. New research shows they were hybrid descendants of an extinct human group known as the Denisovans, whose existence has now been confirmed from fossil remains found in a cave in the Altai region of Siberia.
Tracing the migrations of the Denisovans and their interbreeding with Neanderthals and early human populations in Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas, Andrew Collins and Greg Little explore how the new mental capabilities of the Denisovan-Neanderthal and Denisovan-human hybrids greatly accelerated the flowering of human civilization over 40,000 years ago. They show how the Denisovans displayed sophisticated advances, including precision-machined stone tools and jewelry, tailored clothing, celestially-aligned architecture, and horse domestication. Examining evidence from ancient America, the authors reveal how Denisovan hybrids became the elite of the Adena mound-building culture, explaining the giant skeletons found in Native American burial mounds. The authors also explore how the Denisovans’ descendants were the creators of a cosmological death journey and viewed the Milky Way as the Path of Souls.
Revealing the impact of the Denisovans upon every part of the world, the authors show that, without early man’s hybridization with Denisovans, Neanderthals, and other yet-to-be-discovered hominid populations, the modern world as we know it would not exist.
“Collins and Little are the perfect team to address one of humanity’s greatest enigmas. . . . From giant skeletons to the mysterious mound builders of ancient America, this team assembles the lost pieces of the human time line.”, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, award-winning New York Times bestselling author and documentary film director
“Andrew Collins and Greg Little are two of the most respected writers in the ancient mysteries subject. They team up to provide a comprehensive account of the enigmatic Denisovans and their impact on the emergence of modern human society. If they are correct in their findings, as I very much suspect they are, then they have discovered a missing chapter in our knowledge of the emergence of civilization, both in the ancient world and--as I put forward in my own book America Before--in the Americas.”, Graham Hancock, author of the New York Times bestseller America Before
After I tracked all the people from all over as best I could. I would go way back and learn about these very big people, who are pretty intriguing. So been a good read. Maybe I will figure out if my ancestors carried it out of Siberia, or somewhere else someday.
For the print version, I found that the cover gives the impression that this is a novel rather than a work of non-fiction. Although, the “feathered cape” individual holding what is undoubtedly a spear with a Solutrean point is in keeping with the narrative within. I was also pleased to find adequate notes and bibliography sections.
For about 1/3 of the book, I read it at 1.5 x normal speed with the Audible version while following along the text. The other 2/3 of my reading was split equally with just the book or just the Audible (while driving). My only real complaint about the Audible version is that it seems to cost nearly as much as the print version (regular price is $21.60 on Amazon, but it can be found for about $16 if you look around), but includes no footnotes, bibliography, or index, which are necessary in a text making claims of the sort found in Denisovan Origins. Making these sections available as downloadable supplements for the Audible version seems a logical choice. The narration in the audio version is also very well done and it’s obvious great care went into ensuring pronunciations were correct.
So why just two stars? The answer, of course, is due to the pseudoscientific nature of the content.
The thesis of the book is that the Americas were populated by the Solutrean culture, who were Denisovans, alongside Native Americans. Little makes every attempt to poison the well against skeptics who he predicts will point out the racism in their book. He claims that the authors aren’t trying to assign race to the Solutreans at all. If anything, they insist, the Solutreans are Asian in origin. Yet they arrive in North America’s northeast by boat rather than via Beringia.
Little tries to turn the race charge on its head in tu quoque fashion by accusing skeptics of being the racists since they can’t accept that giants once existed among them. Yes, there are giants in Denisovan Origins, though Collins and Little have largely toned this down to just really tall people.
I found the whole “I’m not a racist but the skeptics are” argument in the second half of the book to be just what it looked like: Little trying to cover for the tone Collins set in the first half. Here’s an example: Collins provides a detailed explanation of the cephalic index in chapter 11. Then, he rightly notes that it,
“is important, however, to point out that the use of the cephalic index to help determine the nature and type of a human skull is no longer considered meaningful, relevant, or even ethically acceptable within the anthropological community; all skulls of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens) are categorized today, simply, as regional variations of a common type that emerged out of Africa with our earliest ancestors” (pp. 104-5).
Then nearly for the full remainder of Part 1, Collins continues to refer to the cephalic index of the skulls of remains found throughout Europe. In fact, nearly every time Collins referred to hominid skeletal remains, there was a an anachronistic feel to the narrative (it might not be surprising that, after controlling for non-academic and purely pseudoscientific entries, nearly a full third of the book’s bibliography is dedicated to sources more than 50 years old).
For the reader unfamiliar with modern archaeological methods, recent discoveries in hominid remains, ancient DNA, and evidence of population migrations, Denisovan Origins will come across as a fascinating read by two authors that make no attempt to talk down to the reader. Admittedly, they do a fair job of conveying the narrative. It just happens that the overall narrative is a mixed bag of reality and speculation that ranges from reasonable to so extreme it’s utterly pseudoscientific.
I will say the writing styles between Parts 1 and 2 are noticeable. In Part 1, Collins lacks imagination and creative control. Words and phrases are repeated ad nauseam. The most over-used word is probably “indeed.” The most over-used phrase is probably “very clearly.” The most misused phrase has to be “very likely.” In Part 2, Little comes across angry and bitter toward the so-called “mainstream” that has refused to accept him in spite of his best efforts and to those big-bad skeptics that are always critiquing those efforts.
I purposely avoided going into a point-by-point “debunking” of the things I saw as wrong, exaggerated, misinterpreted, underrepresented, and/or pseudoscientific. But they include assumptions they’re making about genetics, site chronologies, the nature of what is considered scientific evidence (hint: myth and anecdote ain’t it), and so on.
Still, I couldn’t find it in me to give Denisovan Origins just a single star. I found some bits interesting and at least Little kept his giants mostly within normal human range.