The earliest human habitation in the Americas has long been controversial, with conventional wisdom suggesting that humans first arrived about 13,000 years ago. But new international archaeological studies have put that date well in advance, suggesting that humans inhabited North America as early as 30,000 years ago.
Evidence of early human arrival in North America suggests that the Americas are older than previously thought, according to two new archaeological studies published in the journal Nature.
The paper says the arrival of humans in the Americas marked a major spread of humans on Earth. Conventional wisdom holds that humans first arrived in the Americas about 13,000 years ago and were associated with the formation of the Clovis culture, known for its unique stone tools. However, the patterns and timing of human migration to the Americas have long been controversial.
In the first study, Ciprian Ardelean of the Autonomous University of Zacatecas in Mexico and colleagues described excavations at Zacatecas Cave in central Mexico that included stone tools, plant fossils and environmental DNA. Combining dating evidence, their study shows that the high-altitude cave was occupied by humans between 30,000 and 13,000 years ago.
In a second study, the university of new south wales, Australia, Lena, Bella, Valdivia (Lorena Becerra – Valdivia) and the university of Oxford, Thomas graham (Thomas Higham) cooperation, the use of north American and bering land bridge (the area of connection in the history of Russia and America) 42 archaeological sites in the radioactive carbon and interpretation of the dating of light, to determine human migration pattern. A statistical model they built revealed strong signals of the presence of the pre-Clovis population, dating back at least to the last ice age (about 26,000 to 19,000 years ago) and its immediate aftermath.
The two new studies show that a small human presence in North America began much earlier than previously thought — possibly before the last ice age. The findings do not entirely fit the hypothesis that humans first entered North America via the Bering Land Bridge from Asia and then descended all the way south to form the Clovis culture, experts said in an opinion article. The new dating results advance that date to the pre-Clovis period, suggesting that humans may have first entered the Americas along the Pacific coast.