that all Indian populations in the Americas,rnnorth and south, ultimately derivedrnfrom these Siberian migrants.rnThe Clovis theory of New World settlementrnworked magnificently so long asrnthe amount of contrary evidence wasrnsmall enough to be controlled and, abovernall, no material evidence of earlier settlementrnappeared. Partly, this was achievedrnby an unconscious conspiracy: Archaeologistsrnnow freely admit that when theyrnreached Clovis levels at a particular site,rnthey simply stopped digging, becausernthey knew in their hearts that nothingrnelse could be there. Unfortunately, therernalmost certainly was older materialrnwhich was simply ignored. In the lastrndecade or two, an intellectual revolutionrnhas ensued, which indicates, first, thatrnpeople have been in the Americas forrnmuch longer than we had hithertornthought: probably for 30,000 or 40,000rnyears, and possibly for 50,000 or 60,000.rnSecond, the remains of these ancientrnpeople are, frankly, in the wrong places.rnIf they were all Siberian newcomers, it isrnodd that their ancient remains should bernturning up more in South America thanrnin the north, as much in the eastern halfrnof the United States as in the west.rnTrying to explain these inconvenientrnfacts, scholars are now proposing an arrayrnof theories which, had they been proposedrn20 years ago, would have been asrnrespectable as the idea that our ancestorsrnall landed in UFOs as part of a highschoolrnscience project on Alpha Centauri.rnIf we find people here before 15,000rnyears ago, we can no longer assume arnland bridge route and must entertain thernidea that the first Americans came byrnboat, probably cruising along the coasts,rnand perhaps in quest of marine mammals.rnInstead of Siberians, they wouldrnhave been more akin to the people wernnow find in various parts of East Asia andrnPolynesia or—and this is a deeply controversialrnidea —in Western Europe. Onernexplosive theory suggests that the firstrnAmericans came from what is now Spainrnand France, bearing with them the kindrnof “Solutrean” culture which then prevailedrnin those regions. In this model,rnsettlers would have coasted along thernfrozen shores of the North Atlantic viarnIceland and Greenland, entering thernNew World through Labrador. Obviously,rnthe people we call “Indians” appearedrnat some point, but either they were onerngroup among many, or else they were laternarrivals. Gradually, they displaced orrn(more likely) assimilated the older populations,rnwhom we might call the truern”Native” Americans.rnContributing to the demolition of thernClovis model is a small but quite devastatingrnassemblage of anthropological evidence,rnin the form of ancient skeletons.rnThe most celebrated is the fairly completernskeleton of a man found at Kennewick,rnWashington, in 1996 and datedrnto around 9,000 years before the present,rnbut other important examples includernthe astonishing Spirit Cave mummy inrnUtah, which seems to have had brownish-rnred hair. None of the most ancientrnhuman remains in the Americas evenrnvaguely fits a Siberian pattern, nor do anyrnshow a resemblance to American Indians.rnThe oldest humans found in thernAmericas were characterized by longrnskulls and narrow faces.rnAt this point, we can see why the newrndiscoveries are so troubling to AmericanrnIndians, and hence to American theoriesrnof race. For Indians, the sense that theyrnhave always been here is fundamental torntheir whole belief system, and, often, religiousrnvalues: White Americans payrnhomage to this idea when we use thernterm “Native Americans.” In somernsense, Indians obviously have occupiedrnthe Americas far longer than the descendantsrnof the British or Germans or Italians,rnbut some Indian advocates take thisrn”native” idea to unconscionable extremes.rnA whole school of “Native Creationism”rnholds that Indian creationrnmyths are literally correct in asserting thatrnparhcular tribes really did originate in thernareas of North America which theyrnclaimed, and that scientific stories of geologicalrnchange and human evolution arernjust another vhite man’s lie (though wh)-rnthe white man would have invented ancestralrnorigins in Africa remains unclear).rnThe best-known advocate of this radicalrnposition is Vine DeLoria, Jr., author of arnsilly farrago of misinformation and specialrnpleading entitled Red Earth, WhiternLies (1995). A milder form of the creationistrnidea holds that particular tribesrnhave “always been” more or less wherernthey first appear in the historical record,rnand that thev have “always” veneratedrnparticular mountains, rivers, or naturalrnfeatures in that location. This autochthonousrnclaim is even made by tribesrnthat we know perfectly well moved torntheir present location relatively recently:rnThe Navajo arrived in their southwesternrnhomeland around the time that Columbusrnwas setting sail, while the Lakota/rnSioux probably had not even seen thernBlack Hills of Dakota before the 19thrncentury. Nevertheless, modern activistsrnhold that the respective sacred landscapesrnreally have belonged to thoserntribes since time immemorial, and an’-rnone who claims to the contrary is arndamned Indian-hater. We can imaginernthe distress with which Indians regardrnclaims that their ancestors were relativelyrnlate arrivals who vmdertook their ownrnparticular kind of ancient ethnic cleansing,rnand perhaps even displaced Europeanrnpredecessors.rnIndian rhetoric that “we have alwavsrnbeen here” has a strong appeal not justrnfor the usual liberal constituency, suffusedrnin Dances With Wolves sentimentalit’,rnbut also for any impartial student ofrnAmerican history who can appreciaternthat Indians frequentlv have been treatedrnverv, very badly by white newcomers,rnsometimes to the point of diabolical savager’.rnA substantial feeling of white guiltrnis understandable, and it has found expressionrnin federal laws designed to preventrna repetition of past atrocities. Thernproblem is that some of these well-intentionedrnlaws now create a critical conflictrnbetween the soundly attested findings ofrnobjective science and what we can onlyrncall archaeological correctness.rnThe most important measure in thisrnregard is the Native American GravesrnProtection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)rnof 1990, which was designed tornprevent the kind of ghoulish exploitationrnof Indian skeletons which had been commonplacernin earlier decades. Under thernlaw, Indian bones which had long beenrngathering dust in various museimis werernto be restored to their tribes of origin, andrnspecial obligations were laid upon archaeologistsrnwho might come upon suchrnremains. Any “Native American culturalrnitems” found on federal land were to bernrestored to “the lineal descendants of thernNative American,” or, where that couldrnnot be determined, to the tribe on whosernland these remains were found. In casesrnof controversy, a claim could be staked byrn”the Indian tribe that is recognized asrnaboriginally occupying the area in whichrnthe objects were discovered.” The lawrnthus institutionalizes not just one but arnwhole series of scholarly orthodoxiesrnwhich were already shaky in 1990 andrnhave now all but disintegrated: namelv,rnthat any pre-Columbian material remainsrnare by definition American Indian;rnand, moreover, that particular tribes arern”aboriginal,” that they have been in thatrnprecise area since time immemorial (or.rn44/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn