Native Village
Youth and Education news
December 2009  Volume 1

Ancient aboriginals in Australia may have been faster than a speeding Bolt!
Condensed by Native Village

Scotland:  Anthropologist Peter McAllister believes evidence proves modern man is inferior to his predecessors in, among other things, basic athletics and strength.  He says today's men are the weakest in history and that ancient Australian aboriginals could outrun Usian Boltz, the fastest man alive. He also believes a Neanderthal woman would crush Arnold Schwarzenegger in arm-wrestling.

McAllister, the author of "Manthropology: the Science of Inadequate Modern Man," bases the Australian aboriginals' speed on a set of fossilized footprints found on an ancient lake bed. The 20,000 years old prints are from men chasing prey. The footprints of one man, dubbed T8, show he reached speeds of 37 kilometers an hour on a soft, muddy lake bed. 

Bolt, by comparison, reached a top speed of 42 kph during his world 100 metres record of 9.69 seconds at last year's Beijing Olympics.

McAllister said that with modern training, spiked shoes and rubberised tracks, aboriginal hunters might have reached speeds of 45 kph.

"We can assume they are running close to their maximum if they are chasing an animal. But if they can do that speed of 37 kph on very soft ground, I suspect there is a strong chance they would have outdone Usain Bolt if they had all the advantages that he does," he said. "We can tell that T8 is accelerating towards the end of his tracks."

Turning to the high jump, McAllister said photographs taken by a German anthropologist showed young men jumping heights of up to 2.52 metres early last century. "They developed very phenomenal abilities in jumping. They were jumping from boyhood onwards to prove themselves," he said.

McAllister said that a Neanderthal woman had 10% more muscle bulk than modern European man.  With modern training, she could reach 90% of Schwarzenegger's bulk at his peak in the 1970s.  However, because women have  a much shorter lower arm, he believes Neanderthal woman would have been able to "slam him to the table without a problem", he said.  


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