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Palaeontology

Did first Americans arrive 130,000 years ago?

By T.K. Randall
April 27, 2017 · Comment icon 72 comments



It seems we know very little about the first humans in America. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Tim Evanson
A new discovery has indicated that the first humans arrived in the Americas much earlier than thought.
Researchers in Southern California have found evidence of human activity dating back 130,000 years, a discovery that, if confirmed, could rewrite the history books.

Up until now scientists had believed that the first humans arrived in America 15,000 years ago.

The new evidence takes the form of mastodon bone and teeth fragments exhibiting signs of being deliberately smashed by rocks - something that only our ancestors could have done.
Even more intriguing is the fact that, given how old this evidence is, the first people in America may have not even been Homo sapiens at all. Instead, there's a chance that they were Neanderthals, Denisovans or perhaps an even older forerunner of modern humans known as Homo erectus.

"The very honest answer is, we don't know," said lead study author Steven Holen.

Whoever these early explorers might have been, they must have reached the continent either by boat or by crossing the Beringea land bridge that once connected Siberia to Alaska.

"If the results stand up to further [examination], this does indeed change everything we thought we knew," said Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London.

Source: Washington Post | Comments (72)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #63 Posted by docyabut2 6 years ago
†Again the oldest†skulls †ever found in the Americas was in the Yucatan†and dated to around 14,000 years ago. No one knows if they were from the Clovis, who crossed the Bering Strait †or from the Polynesians islands. The California skulls had†elongated††skulls, while others had the round face†skulls http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2008/09/080903-oldest-skeletons.html † http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/12/03/oldest.skull/index.html?_s=PM:TECH
Comment icon #64 Posted by stereologist 6 years ago
It doesn't mean that everything is changed. That's what is called hyperbole. It certainly doesn't mean that the time line for ancient Egypt, the Mayans, or the Greeks is wrong. These add to the timelines of other events and to a greater understanding of early man. Again, the idea of sacred cows is a fringie idea. Take something like physics. Is supraluminal speed a sacred cow? Unlike archaeology or anthropology that requires the discovery of items limited to small places around the world, physics information can be collected around the world. Do you consider supraluminal speed a sacred cow?
Comment icon #65 Posted by DanL 6 years ago
"Carnivorfox points out it is done to show a more complete skeleton using similar species. Hoax? No. When I go to museums I see that the exhibits clearly state what the exhibit shows. Maybe I'm odd, but I do read the text that is posted." Strange! This is exactly what was done with the Piltdown man. They took the body of one species, slapped the head of another species on it and TRA DA had a brand new "species". Why is that commonly called a hoax yet the beloved Brontosaurus is defended as "good" science??? Based on that idea I guess the Griffin, Dragons and all mythical beasts and the Egyptia... [More]
Comment icon #66 Posted by Gingitsune 6 years ago
It sure isn't working that way in Canada. If something seems out of place with the current knowledge they'll just say the site is "hard to read" and will leave it as is. If more and more of this kind of site turns up, they'll start to consider there may be something†missing in our comprehension of Canada's history. Human remains will be properly studied no matter how old they are. They will only be given back†for proper burial after the archaeologists and other experts'†work is done. Could there be a European, African or Asian settlement on the continent which would be exclusively on the terri... [More]
Comment icon #67 Posted by Carnivorfox 6 years ago
You're clearly misunderstanding the situation. The postcranial skeleton of the AMNH mount belongs to Brontosaurus, which was already it's own valid genus. The head was a sculpt based on†Camarasaurus, also already it's own genus. They didn't take two different genera and combine them to make a "brand new species". They took one species (Brontosaurus excelsus), and filled in the missing material (the skull) with a†related species (Camarasaurus lentus). Mounting a nearly complete postcranial skeleton without a skull would not make any sense in a museum setting, especially when there was competiti... [More]
Comment icon #68 Posted by stereologist 6 years ago
Piltdown was a hoax. Bones were found which were cobbled together and claimed ot be a new species. In fact the bones were not old. They were made to look old. They were modified as well. The purpose of Piltdown was to fool. Did you actually look into this? It seems to be unlikely since your deion deviates from what happened. Who was involved in the hoax is unclear. The perpetrator of the hoax was never revealed. Brontosaurus was 2 pieces known to have been from separate finds. The fact that the skeleton was missing parts was known and reported. The fact that parts were added was known. The fac... [More]
Comment icon #69 Posted by stereologist 6 years ago
Carnivorfox has been quite clear on the issue and my post did not have the important information. Please take the time to read Canivorfox's post.
Comment icon #70 Posted by coolguy 6 years ago
Frist humans in america were from south america and from Europe, †
Comment icon #71 Posted by DanL 6 years ago
I guess this is where the various species of jackalope and hummingators came from. I've seem several mounted jackalopes so they must be for real...You recken;? LOL, As I stated in the beginning I fully expected to get skin't alive. The fact is I don't take my own theories to heart and find that we learn best when we disagree. Nothing is more boring than a bunch of people sitting around nodding their heads in agreement like a bunch of bobble headed dolls. Lots of good new info here. I learned some new stuff and thank you one and all for a nice friendly "ish" debate.† † Reread this and wanted to... [More]
Comment icon #72 Posted by Harte 6 years ago
I couldn't agree more - you sound like me. I'll go even further and say that, on the forums where†mods limit (censor) skeptics - and it happens a lot - the bobbleheading isn't merely boring, it's atrociously sickening. Harte


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