Wednesday, 10 May 2017

New study: Humans reached America 100,000 years earlier than we thought

April 27, 2017

by Chuck Bednar

New research published online this week in the journal Nature is claiming that the first humans found their way to the Americas far earlier than previously believed – more than 100,000 years earlier, to be precise – but not everyone seems to be on board with the study’s findings.

In the study, scientists from the Center for American Paleolithic Research in South Dakota and their colleagues examined animal bones and tools unearthed from the Cerutti Mastodon site near San Diego, California – a site initially discovered in 1992, according to BBC News reports. Among their discoveries were potential stone tools and remains believed to be from a mastodon, the British news outlet added. However, the researchers were unable to use radiocarbon dating to analyze the remains, so instead they used a technique known as uranium-thorium dating.

Those tests, the study authors said, claimed that the artifacts were 130,000 years old – significant because most prior research has concluded that the Clovis people were the first people to come to the Americas across the Beringia land bridge some 13,000 years ago, Scientific American noted.

If the CAPR-led team is right, the publication added, “the find could call into question the long-held assumption that H. sapiens was the first and only member of the human family to reach the New World, because it hails from a time when multiple human species... roamed the planet.” 

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