Did first Americans arrive 130,000 years ago?
By T.K. Randall
April 27, 2017 · 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
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