Estimates For Peopling of Americas Getting Earlier
Estimates for peopling of Americas getting earlier
March 13, 2008
and World Science staff
Archeologists are presenting what they call the latest evidence that a traditional account of the peopling of the Americas is wrong.
The mainstream view prevailing in the past several decades holds that humans entered the continent about 12,000 years ago using a temporary land bridge from northeastern Asia to Alaska. These migrants would have given rise to a culture of mammoth hunters known for their unique stone projectile-points and dubbed Clovis, after remains found near Clovis, N.M., in the 1930s.
Excavation of the Schaefer mammoth in Wisconsin, thought by archaeologists to date to about 14,500 years ago. (Image courtesy D. Joyce)
But in recent years evidence has turned up that the first Americans might have been considerably older, some archaeologists argue.
A new review published in the research journal Science contends that that the first Americans had their roots in southern Siberia, ventured across the Bering land bridge probably around 22,000 years ago, and migrated down into the Americas as early as 16,000 years ago.
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