E.P. Grondine wrote:As I understand it, the agreement between Spain and Portugal over the division of the Americas
was arrived at before Columbus.
Pre-columbian contact with the Americas is real, because we know that the vikings came via Greenland to Canada in the 11th c. and Amerindians came via Sibera to Alaska c. 14,000 years ago. I think a Japanese boat was found in Alaska in a ruined state from before the Russians' own discovery of Alaska. I don't remember if it went to pre-Columbian times. There are records and stories of what sounds like Amerindians rarely crossing from Greenland to Europe in canoes.
One can reasonably propose that since the Pacific islanders got to Hawaii and Easter Island, they got to South America too. The theory that Basque fishermen who we know fished in Greenland also made it to Canada before Columbus' voyage is also reasonable.
Thor Heyerdahl and others showed that other transatlantic travel to or from the Americas to the Old World was feasible for thousands of years. But I don't see us having enough reliable finds or claims in records to show whether it's true or not. For example, there are jade masks in Shang China and in Olmec Mexico, both from the 2nd millenium BC, and it's interesting for me to imagine a connection, but I doubt that we have any jade masks made in China found in Olmec Mexico. If such a transatlantic voyage occurred, the hurdles are not only that there were less records made in those days and that Old World wooden and cloth artifacts could rot away, but the difficulty of making a return voyage. That is, it's hard enough to complete an oceanic crossing of about a month's length, and harder still to make it back because of the countercurrents.
My personal guess is that pre-columbian voyages across the Atlantic did happen besides those of the vikings. One reason is that mankind has in its nature a desire to explore the world. And another is that the voyage is feasible. And it could even happen as an accident. I think that in post-columbian history there are cases of people accidentally being swept from one side of the Atlantic to the other.
^ I don't agree that Vinland is considered New England in particular. I think it either referred to Newfoundland where we found their colony's remains or else to North America south of Labrador.
In any case, to return to the thread's main topic, I think that the megalithic remains in New England were only built by Amerindians and postcolumbian colonists, one reason being that we haven't found clear Bronze Age remains or other definite pre-columbian European remains at these sites (like bronze shields).
And so what I would most like is for mainstream archaeologists to go over the main New England megalithic sites like Gungywamp, the Upton Chamber & Pratt's Hill, the Goshen Chamber Mystery Hill in depth, to see how much of them were made by Amerindians and how much by the New England colonists.