No. 118: Jul-Aug 1998
More anomalous than Kennewick Man (that 9,300-year-old skeleton from Washington with Caucasian features (SF#109), is a skull from Brazil dubbed Luzia. Luzia was a female, aged 20-25, who lived near Belo Horizonte in southeastern Brazil. Luzia's skull and other artifacts came from a campsite carbon-dated by labs in Brazil and France as being about 11,500 years old. This makes Luzia the oldest skeleton ever found in the Americas -- assuming this whole story hangs together.
The 11,500-year date is impressive enough, but anthropologist W. Neves, University of Sao Paulo, asserts that Luzia's skull and teeth are not Mongoloid but really characteristic of the South Sea islanders. Such observations agree with the studies of skeletal material by J. Powell, University of New Mexico. Powell has concluded that the oldest settlers of the New World probably did not trek across the Bering Land Bridge from Asia but came from elsewhere.
(Borden, Keefe; "Skull Find Redefines American Ancestry," Austin American Statesman, May 24, 1998. (Cr. D. Phelps)