Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Homo erectus in America - Evidence

Homo erctus and sapiens skull comparison
Comparison of the skulls of a modern man (H. sapiens) and a Homo erectus.

If Homo erectus came into America from Asia across Beringia, then we should have found his remains here. But, according to mainstream archaeology he did not leave the Old World and, all alleged H. erectus “remains” found in America are either incorrectly dated or natural artifacts (i.e. not man made).

Some evidence

A very interesting site that is apparently so old that it predates even the appearance of modern man in Africa, is the one at Valsequillo Reservoir at Puebla, Mexico [1] which was excavated by Cynthia Irwin-Williams.

There she found remains of Pleistocene animal bones and also some man-made stone tools (projectile points). The bones were very mineralized so they could not be dated with the traditional 14C method but a uranium series method gave dates of 245,000 +/- 40,000 years and, the dates of the overlying volcanic ash using fission track dating gave ages ranging from 600,000 +/- 340,000 to 370,000 +/- 200,000 years.

These dates are very old, and well beyond the accepted dates for the peopling of America by modern humans -not more than 50,000 years at the most. Furthermore, they are even older than the appearance of modern men in Africa.

This would imply that they could have been tools made by H. erectus, however the bifacial (having two faces) projectile points are very sophisticated and perhaps could not have been made by a H. erectus, or, our ancestor, after moving to America, evolved better stone working techniques.

Another site in Mexico

In the state of Jalisco, on the western coast of Mexico, scientist Federico Solórzano since the 1950s, recovered over half a million specimens of bones belonging to many upper Pleistocene mammals that have been dated to 50 – 80,000 years ago. Among them is a surprising piece of bone (a very small fragment) which seems to be a supraorbital ridge (the brow bone), which is similar to many known examples of archaic humans from the Old World.

To understand what this means, look at the image above that compares a modern human skull with an H. erectus one; we can see the differences quite easily: a jutting chin, an upright forehead and a slightly rounded skull in H. sapiens. But the most striking difference is the strong brow-ridge in H. erectus (marked by the arrow).

This supraorbital torus (also known as superciliary arch) or brow ridge, is H. erectus most salient physical feature. Besides having a flattened forehead, it has this massive brow ridge above its eyes.

A paper cited in [1], by Irish, Davis, Lobdell and Solórzano (2000) [2], states the following regarding the findings at Jalisco:

One Chapala superciliary arch deserves specific mention due to its large size. Studies by Solórzano show the bone resembles that in archaic Homo sapiens at Arago, France. In an unpublished 1990 report,Texas A&M osteologists suggest the brow’s thickness and robustness are comparable to those of KNMER
3733 (African Homo erectus). Our measurements show the central torus thickness is 13.3, compared with 8.5 mm for KNM-ER 3733; the lateral torus thickness is 11.5 versus 9.0 mm (Rightmire 1998). Thus for the sake of comparison, the brow is more like that of Zhoukoudian Skull XI (Asian Homo erectus), with a central torus thickness of 13.2 +/- mm; lateral torus thickness was not measured (Rightmire 1998). Modern brows are too diminutive to allow these measurements. The brow also shows pneumatization (air pockets) along its length.
However, to reiterate the findings of the Texas A&M workers, these comparisons do not imply that pre-Homo sapiens were in the Americas.

Interesting conclusions, clearly further research is necessary.

More to come in future posts.


[1] Virginia Steen-McIntyre, (2008). A review of the Valsequillo, Mexico early-man archaeological sites (1962-2004)with emphasis on the geological investigations of Harold E. Malde . Presentation at 2008 Geological Society of America Joint Annual Meeting Oct. 5-9, Houston, Texas
[2] Irish, J. D., S.D. Davis, J.E. Lobdell, and F.A. Solórzano, (2000), Prehistoric Human Remains from Jalisco. Mexico, Current Research in the Pleistocene 17, 2000 pg. 95-96

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2011 International Year of Forests
2011 International Year of Forests Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 


  1. Very interesting.
    Have a look at my article (written in spanish, use the Google translation), concerning these possibilities.

    thanks and regards
    Yuri Leveratto - Colombia

  2. Hello Austin. Thank you for sharing such insightful information! I would like to ask for permission to use the figure above showing the comparison of the two skulls. I will be presenting a talk on "Genetics & Human Origins" and find this to be a useful figure. I will, of course, cite your name/website as the source, if it is allowed for use.

    Thank you very much!


  3. Hi Melissa, yes indeed, you can use the image. Thanks!

  4. Hello Austin I wanted to discuss the potential use of your images in a book my boss may be publishing. is there an email I could contact you with?


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