The First Americans (Peopling Of The Americas)

ramonmercado

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I guess this fits in here.

With each episode of America’s Lost Vikings, archaeologists Blue Nelson and Mike Arbuthnot move a little further away from L’Anse aux Meadows in their quest to trace the path of the Vikings on their hypothetical exploration of New England and the interior of North America. That means that each episode, in theory, should become a little more speculative and a little more out there. I hate to admit this, but I really wish they would just bite the bullet and try to be a little more extreme, because as it is, the show is so pedestrian and dull that even when confronted with purported evidence of Vikings deep in the interior of America, the hosts do little more than shrug and run off to play dress up. They whiffed playing t-ball, and it is no wonder viewership has sunk down to around 390,000 viewers for this episode.

This week’s episode, S01E03 “War in the New World,” explored the passages in the Icelandic sagas describing battles between the Vikings and the “Skraelings,” the indigenous peoples of Greenland and Vinland. It is commonly accepted that in Greenland the word referred to the Dorset people or their successors, the Thule, who are the ancestors of the Inuit. The controversy comes into play when extending the term to Vinland, since the thirteenth century sagas use that word to describe peoples encountered in the eleventh century. Since the location of Vinland has never been fully established, the people that the Vikings encountered there can’t be determined with certainty. Nelson and Arbuthnot want to play around in that uncertainty and extend the term “Skraeling” to a variety of Native people throughout New England and upstate New York, though there is not yet a reason to do so. Nor are they terribly clear about the widely accepted identification of Skraelings with the Arctic peoples, for to do so would limit the persuasiveness of the assertion that Native Americans of the continental U.S. were the Skraelings of the sagas. ...

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-americas-lost-vikings-s01e03-war-in-the-new-world
 

Kingsize Wombat

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That show hasn't made it down here yet AFAIK. Wouldn't mind seeing it, even with the limitations that the review points out.

I saw something promising being found by satellite archaeologist Sarah Parcak on TV recently, but it hasn't been investigated further I think. They found some evidence of metal smelting that pointed to the Vikings being there.

PS: Found a link, but that is 3 years old. I can't find anything newer.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...haeology-viking-settlement-excavation-canada/
 
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... I saw something promising being found by satellite archaeologist Sarah Parcak on TV recently, but it hasn't been further investigated as far as I know. IIRC, they found some evidence of metal smelting that pointed to the Vikings being there.

PS: Found a link, but that is 3 years old. I can't find anything newer.
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...haeology-viking-settlement-excavation-canada/

According to this Canadian newspaper article, the excavations in 2015 - 2016 didn't turn up the anticipated traces of Viking settlement at Point Rosee.
Thor loser: Vikings likely didn’t live on south coast of Newfoundland, study finds
It looks like the Vikings may not have spent time in an area on Newfoundland's south coast, as had been posited by one American researcher.

An archaeological report presented to the provincial government says there are no signs of a Norse presence in the Point Rosee area in the Codroy Valley. ...

FULL STORY: https://www.thestar.com/news/canada...-south-coast-of-newfoundland-study-finds.html
 

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Here's a more detailed (and illustrated) account of the fruitless Point Rosee excavations ...

https://www.age-of-the-sage.org/vikings_north_american/point_rosee_settlement.html

Pointless? You can't be serious! While this site hasn't yielded any definite proof of the Vikings being there, it has nevertheless turned up interesting results.

From the link you provided:
"I hate, as an archeologist ... to say it's definitely Norse," [Sarah Parcak] said. "We absolutely cannot say that right now."

"We have the second pre-Colombian iron processing site in North America," she said. "I feel very comfortable saying that."

And:
Another intriguing find at Point Rosee was that of seeds of a type of butternut tree which is not held to have grown on the island of Newfoundland; thus hinting at southerly voyagings to milder climates in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Seeds of the butternut tree have also been found at L'Anse aux Meadows!

Once again, no proof, but strong hints that the same people who were at L'Anse aux Meadows also were at Point Rosee. To me, that's not at all pointless, but simply shows that there is more out there to find - if only we knew where to look.
 

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Tats have been around for a long while.

THE TOOL IS made from a bundle of prickly pear cactus spines, their tips saturated with dark pigment, inserted into a handle carved from lemonade sumac and bound with yucca fiber.

Some 2,000 years ago, a tattooist in what’s now southeast Utah used this tool to hand-poke a design into someone’s skin. After the point of one of the cactus spines broke off, the tool was likely tossed into a trash heap. It remained there for centuries, in a pile of bones, corncobs, and other discarded items.

Now, in a new paper in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports, a team of archaeologists conclude that this cactus spine tool is the earliest evidence of tattooing in the Southwest.

The tattooing tool has had an interesting journey since its disposal two millennia ago. In 1972, a team of archaeologists excavated the trash heap in Turkey Pen site in the Greater Cedar Mesa area. Without giving much thought to the “odd-looking little artifact,” as one archaeologist later called it, the team packed hundreds of objects from the site into boxes for storage at Washington State University. ...

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/...ditorial::add=History_20190318::rid=641112160
 

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And so to Alaska.

After five fairly pointless outings of America’s Lost Vikings, we have finally come to the sixth and final episode of this misbegotten series, the misnamed “The Alaska Enigma.”

I have relatively little stay about this episode except that until its final few minutes, it was distinctly out of character for the series in that it did not involve Vikings or the United States. The topic was almost wholly unconnected to Viking expeditions to Vinland, and it had nothing to do with the search for Vikings in the continental U.S. Indeed, if the episode’s conclusions are correct, it would seemingly contradict much of what the series had attempted to use cutting-edge speculation to fantasize.

The season finale starts with a trip to Greenland to explore why the Norse settlements on that island failed after almost 500 years. The question remains unresolved, but the best answer is that climate change and conflicts with both European pirates and the ancestral Inuit known as the Thule made Greenland less hospitable, reducing the birthrate below replacement levels, and the isolated settlements faded away over a several generations, until the last old folk died in the late 1400s. Hosts Mike Arbuthnot and Blue Nelson, however, suspect that the Greenland Norse did not fade away but instead moved en masse to America, chasing the utopian Vinland of the Icelandic sagas. This is the tenuously thin connection to America used to justify an hour that is otherwise a largely uncontroversial, straightforward, and very low-rent knock-off of a National Geographic special on Greenland. ...

http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/review-of-americas-lost-vikings-s01e06-the-alaska-enigma
 

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The season finale starts with a trip to Greenland to explore why the Norse settlements on that island failed after almost 500 years.
Gavin Menzies reckons that the Chinese Treasure fleet wiped out Norse Greenland.

I am more inclined to think it was their terrible agricultural practices and unwillingness to adapt that did them in.
 

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Gavin Menzies reckons that the Chinese Treasure fleet wiped out Norse Greenland.

I am more inclined to think it was their terrible agricultural practices and unwillingness to adapt that did them in.
I thought it was the ice taking back the green land, making it impossible to grow crops?
 

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I reckon that the climatic change to this...
nasausgssate.jpg



Might have had something to do with it.
 

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Recent results from studying a prehistoric settlement in Idaho suggest a timeframe early enough to rule out the notion humans migrated to North America on land (e.g., a "land bridge" affording an ice-free land corridor). Instead, the evidence lends weight to the hypothesis that the earliest migrants arrived by sea (most probably following the shorelines).
Oldest Evidence of North American Settlement May Have Been Found in Idaho

Humans might have first settled North America around 16,000 years ago, setting off on boats from northeast Asia and traveling along the Pacific Coast, new findings suggest. That's the earliest evidence yet of settlement in this region.

The mystery of how the first settlers arrived in North America remains hotly debated. For years, the dominant theory has been that the first people to arrive in North America walked across the Bering Land Bridge, which connected Asia and North America, when sea levels dropped at the end of the last ice age. From there, the theory holds, they followed an ice-free corridor which opened around 14,800 years ago, down to North America.

But growing evidence suggests that the first settlers didn't trudge through a flat, grassy plain following large prey, but rather set off along the Pacific Coast in ancient boats. ...

To re-create the picture of this vast, ancient migration, Davis and his team analyzed ancient remains found at the Cooper's Ferry archaeological site, which sits at the junction of the Rock Creek and the lower Salmon River in western Idaho. ...

The radiocarbon dating ... revealed that people occupied the area for a long period of time, but the oldest biological samples were between 16,560 and 15,280 years old. Since they were found in the same layers as human artifacts, such as tools, they are likely of similar age, Davis said.

For a long time, it was thought that the first settlers of the Americas were the "Clovis" people who arrived around 13,000 years ago. But later excavations at various sites in North and South America revealed evidence of settlements that predated the Clovis culture, such as Monte Verde in Chile, which has some artifacts of human settlement that date to between 14,000 and 19,000 years ago.

These new results suggest that humans already lived in Idaho around 16,000 years ago — over a thousand years earlier than the time during which an ice-free corridor opened up across the western U.S. "So you might say that we refuted the hypothesis of the ice-free corridor," Davis said. The findings lend "great support to the idea that people came down the Pacific Coast instead." ...

FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/america-settlement-was-by-boat.html
 

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From the Great Lakes to Georgia.

Ancient North American hunter-gatherers had direct contacts with people living halfway across the continent, researchers say.

A ceremonial copper object and related burial practices at a roughly 4,000-year-old human grave site encircled by a massive ring of seashells in what’s now the southeastern United States closely correspond to those previously found at hunter-gatherer sites near the Great Lakes.

Because the object and practices appear together, emissaries, traders or perhaps even religious pilgrims must have traveled most or all of the more than 1,500 kilometers from the Upper Midwest to St. Catherines Island, off Georgia’s coast, the researchers conclude September 2 in American Antiquity.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/island-grave-site-hints-far-flung-ties-among-ancient-americans
 
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ramonmercado

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The article also relates to other areas around the world.

Prehistoric children may have been cherished by their parents— but until recently, they’ve been neglected by many archaeologists, who assumed that childhood is simply about toys and games. Now, a new study adds to the growing literature that prehistoric children were hard workers, who learned from an early age to use the weapons and tools that would help them with the rigors of adulthood.

This latest study of ancient children at work started accidentally. Archaeologists Robert Losey and Emily Hull at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, were examining artifacts from a 1700-year-old refuse pile at a site on Oregon’s coast, an area historically home to Chinookan- and Salish-speaking populations. Among the finds were the broken remains of several atlatls—handheld spear-throwing tools that were, until the invention of the bow and arrow, one of humankind’s deadliest hunting implements. But some of the broken atlatls looked different.

“They were just not made for adult-sized hands,” Losey says. Instead, they appeared to be scaled-down versions for children. Perhaps, the researchers speculate, adults fashioned the tiny tools so that youngsters could begin to hone the hunting skills they would later need, the researchers report this month in Antiquity. “To be a successful hunter you really needed to have mastery over the atlatl,” Losey says. The tool has almost—but not quite—vanished from the hunter’s toolkit today, but some studies suggest it takes years to gain full proficiency ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/playing-tools-and-weapons-was-normal-part-prehistoric-childhood
 

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The article also relates to other areas around the world.

Prehistoric children may have been cherished by their parents— but until recently, they’ve been neglected by many archaeologists, who assumed that childhood is simply about toys and games. Now, a new study adds to the growing literature that prehistoric children were hard workers, who learned from an early age to use the weapons and tools that would help them with the rigors of adulthood.

This latest study of ancient children at work started accidentally. Archaeologists Robert Losey and Emily Hull at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, were examining artifacts from a 1700-year-old refuse pile at a site on Oregon’s coast, an area historically home to Chinookan- and Salish-speaking populations. Among the finds were the broken remains of several atlatls—handheld spear-throwing tools that were, until the invention of the bow and arrow, one of humankind’s deadliest hunting implements. But some of the broken atlatls looked different.

“They were just not made for adult-sized hands,” Losey says. Instead, they appeared to be scaled-down versions for children. Perhaps, the researchers speculate, adults fashioned the tiny tools so that youngsters could begin to hone the hunting skills they would later need, the researchers report this month in Antiquity. “To be a successful hunter you really needed to have mastery over the atlatl,” Losey says. The tool has almost—but not quite—vanished from the hunter’s toolkit today, but some studies suggest it takes years to gain full proficiency ...

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/12/playing-tools-and-weapons-was-normal-part-prehistoric-childhood

They can't understand early society if they didn't know this.

This happens in all none post-modern societies.


My apologies for being brusque.

Young fella's would use reeds as a spear, and hunt little jackie lizards, graduating to a spear thrower once they got their eye in and their throw right, while the girls would imitate their Mum by going out for 'Womans Tucker', learning to identify their vegies and grains when in season, and medicinals also. With some tucker suffused with toxic alkaloids (cheeky tucker), they learnt to grate them with a mussel shell and soak it in a reed basket at least, overnight.

The girls were shown to break of the yam with the vine and dig it back. The girls learnt to track sugar bag ants, and chase native bees back to their hives.

They learnt where the perpetual water holes were in the rock outcrops (gnamma), and more importantly, to cover them up so that the snake or lizard didn't fall in and drown.

All the while, these children were learning Identity, Agriculture, Law, Social responsibility, their Cosmogenisis and oral tradition - some spanning twenty thousand years

They were apprentice adults from the time they could walk, and be understood.
 
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Rowan Gavin Paton Menzies, born Aug 14, 1937-died Easter Apr 12, 2020. Menzies was a British author & retired submarine lieutenant-commander who wrote books claiming the Chinese sailed to America before Columbus.



There is some mention Tribble by Mr Menzies, that the Chinese in the 15th Century sailed down the eastern coast of Australia, in huge Junks, putting in when things looked interesting, and unintentionally leaving coins and artifacts behind.
 

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Women Warriors In The Older Wild West.

Sexual divisions of labor characterized ancient societies, but were not as rigidly enforced as has often been assumed, the new studies suggest.

“The traditional view [in anthropology] of ‘man the hunter and woman the gatherer’ is likely flawed and overly simplistic,” says forensic anthropologist Marin Pilloud of the University of Nevada, Reno.

Consider hunter-gatherers who lived in central California as early as around 5,000 years ago as well as more recent Native Americans groups in that region, such as Coast Miwok and Yana. Some archaeological evidence as well as historical accounts and 20th century anthropologists’ descriptions generally portray men in those groups as hunters, fishers and fighters in tribal feuds and conflicts with outside armies. Women are presented as focused on gathering and preparing plant foods, weaving and child care.

But skeletons of 128 of those hunter-gatherer women display damage from arrows and sharp objects such as knives comparable to skeletal injuries of 289 presumed male warriors, Pilloud and her colleagues found. Whether those women fought alongside men or carried out other dangerous battle duties, such as sneaking up on enemies to cut their bow strings, can’t be determined from their bones. Individuals in this sample came from 19 Native American groups in central California, and had lived in any of five time periods between around 5,000 and 200 years ago.

Evidence analyzed by Pilloud’s team was part of a database of excavated skeletal remains from more than 18,000 central California hunter-gatherers assembled by study coauthor Al Schwitalla of Millennia Archaeological Consulting in Sacramento. A 2014 study directed by Schwitalla determined that 10.7 percent of males in the database had suffered injuries from sharp objects and projectile points, versus 4.5 percent of females. The new study finds similar patterns of those injuries on the skeletons of men and women.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/women-warriors-hunter-gatherers-battles-mongolia
 

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Earliest inhabitants of the Caribbean.

The Caribbean, which today includes a diverse mix of human cultures, was one of the last places in the Americas occupied by people.

Yet researchers don’t know precisely where these early migrants came from when they arrived somewhere between 8000 and 5000 years ago. Now, ancient DNA suggests the deep history of the Caribbean includes complex tales of migration and mingling, including how descendants of the first waves of inhabitants interacted with newcomers who arrived beginning 2800 years ago.

“I’m thrilled to see the time span they were able to cover,” says Jada Benn Torres, a genetic anthropologist at Vanderbilt University who wasn’t involved in the new research. Genetic material decays quickly in tropical environments, she notes, and only a handful of genomes from precolonial Caribbean people had been sequenced prior to the new work.

Archaeologists divide precolonial Caribbean history into two eras: the Archaic Age, which includes the region’s early settlements and stretches back 8000 years on some islands, and the Ceramic Age, which began about 2800 years ago. In this latter age, an apparent wave of new arrivals from northern South America brought different styles of pottery and a lifestyle that depended more on agriculture to the islands, according to previous archaeological and genetic research.

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/202...erse-origins-caribbean-s-earliest-inhabitants
 

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Western coast, dont you man, Mungoman?

The Treasure fleet didnt go beyond the Indian Ocean.

Menzies claims are a bit wild.

However J Needham, the great Sinologist, describes very sophisticated ships; I think the ships themselves were certainly real.
 

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Western coast, dont you man, Mungoman?

The Treasure fleet didnt go beyond the Indian Ocean.

Menzies claims are a bit wild.

However J Needham, the great Sinologist, describes very sophisticated ships; I think the ships themselves were certainly real.


No.

Evidence of Coins, from China and from Africa were found on a beach in the Northern Territory, so any claim other than the Territory is, I suppose, assumption.

There is mention around campfires of somebodies Grandma's Grandma who found Chinese coins in sand hills around Byron Bay, and further mention of people being told stories of Chinese visitors to Australia, a long long long time ago. These all are anecdotal, but knowing the Australian Aborigine's propensity for Oral History, I wouldn't doubt the subject at all.

There are also tales of 5 keys found in a midden at Geelong (Victoria), but, unfortunately, those keys those have been lost. The idea with them, is that they were from Peru, with a Mr Ingpen writing a story about Hairy Fey People from Peru (The tale of the Poppy Kettle People), who sailed across the Pacific in a Clay Kettle, using the keys as a ballast.
 

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Learning from the past.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists studying thousands of oyster shells along the Georgia coast, some as old as 4,500 years, has published new insights into how Native Americans sustained oyster harvests for thousands of years, observations that may lead to better management practices of oyster reefs today.

Their study, led by University of Georgia archaeologist Victor Thompson, was published July 10 in the journal Science Advances.

The new research argues that understanding the long-term stability of coastal ecosystems requires documenting past and present conditions of such environments, as well as considering their future. The findings highlight a remarkable stability of oyster reefs prior to the 20th century and have implications for oyster-reef restoration by serving as a guide for the selection of suitable oyster restoration sites in the future.

Shellfish, such as oysters, have long been a food staple for human populations around the world, including Native American communities along the coast of the southeastern United States. The eastern oyster Crassostrea virginica is a species studied frequently by biologists and marine ecologists because of the central role the species plays in coastal ecosystems.

https://phys.org/news/2020-07-ancient-oyster-shells-historical-insights.html
 

EnolaGaia

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If the newly-published results of this study hold up it will upend prevailing theories of when and how the Americas were first populated by humans.
Earliest humans stayed at the Americas 'oldest hotel' in Mexican cave

A cave in a remote part of Mexico was visited by humans around 30,000 years ago - 15,000 years earlier than people were previously thought to have reached the Americas.

Painstaking excavations of Chiquihuite Cave, located in a mountainous area in northern Mexico controlled by drugs cartels, uncovered nearly 2000 stone tools from a small section of the high-altitude cave.

Archaeological analysis of the tools and DNA analysis of the sediment in the cave uncovered a new story of the colonisation of the Americas which now traces evidence of the first Americans back to 25,000-30,000 years ago.

The results, which have been published in Nature today (July 22 2020), challenge the commonly held theory that the Clovis people were the first human inhabitants of the Americas 15,000 years ago.

DNA scientist Professor Eske Willerslev ... led the study with archaeologist Dr Ciprian Ardelean ... in Mexico.

Professor Willerslev said: "For decades people have passionately debated when the first humans entered the Americas. Chiquihuite Cave will create a lot more debate as it is the first site that dates the arrival of people to the continent to around 30,000 years ago - 15,000 years earlier than previously thought. These early visitors didn't occupy the cave continuously, we think people spent part of the year there using it as a winter or summer shelter, or as a base to hunt during migration. This could be the Americas oldest ever hotel."

The 10-year long research project raises more questions about the early humans who lived in the Americas than it solves.

Dr Ardelean said: "We don't know who they were, where they came from or where they went. They are a complete enigma. We falsely assume that the indigenous populations in the Americas today are direct descendants from the earliest Americans, but now we do not think that is the case."

"By the time the famous Clovis population entered America, the very early Americans had disappeared thousands of years before. There could have been many failed colonisations that were lost in time and did not leave genetic traces in the population today." ...

FULL STORY: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-07/sjcu-ehs072220.php
 

EnolaGaia

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract of the newly published study ...

Ardelean, C.F., Becerra-Valdivia, L., Pedersen, M.W. et al.
Evidence of human occupation in Mexico around the Last Glacial Maximum.
Nature (2020).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2509-0
Abstract
The initial colonization of the Americas remains a highly debated topic, and the exact timing of the first arrivals is unknown. The earliest archaeological record of Mexico—which holds a key geographical position in the Americas—is poorly known and understudied. Historically, the region has remained on the periphery of research focused on the first American populations. However, recent investigations provide reliable evidence of a human presence in the northwest region of Mexico the Chiapas Highlands, Central Mexico and the Caribbean coast during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene epochs. Here we present results of recent excavations at Chiquihuite Cave—a high-altitude site in central-northern Mexico—that corroborate previous findings in the Americas of cultural evidence that dates to the Last Glacial Maximum (26,500–19,000 years ago), and which push back dates for human dispersal to the region possibly as early as 33,000–31,000 years ago. The site yielded about 1,900 stone artefacts within a 3-m-deep stratified sequence, revealing a previously unknown lithic industry that underwent only minor changes over millennia. More than 50 radiocarbon and luminescence dates provide chronological control, and genetic, palaeoenvironmental and chemical data document the changing environments in which the occupants lived. Our results provide new evidence for the antiquity of humans in the Americas, illustrate the cultural diversity of the earliest dispersal groups (which predate those of the Clovis culture) and open new directions of research.

SOURCE: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2509-0#citeas
 
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A second newly-published study in Nature used modeling and analysis techniques on data from 42 sites to estimate the dispersal of the first humans to reach the Americas. The results support the notion humans were already in the Americas by the time of the Last Glacial Maximum.

Becerra-Valdivia, L., Higham, T.
The timing and effect of the earliest human arrivals in North America.
Nature (2020).
https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2491-6

Abstract
The peopling of the Americas marks a major expansion of humans across the planet. However, questions regarding the timing and mechanisms of this dispersal remain, and the previously accepted model (termed ‘Clovis-first’)—suggesting that the first inhabitants of the Americas were linked with the Clovis tradition, a complex marked by distinctive fluted lithic points—has been effectively refuted. Here we analyse chronometric data from 42 North American and Beringian archaeological sites using a Bayesian age modelling approach, and use the resulting chronological framework to elucidate spatiotemporal patterns of human dispersal. We then integrate these patterns with the available genetic and climatic evidence. The data obtained show that humans were probably present before, during and immediately after the Last Glacial Maximum (about 26.5–19 thousand years ago) but that more widespread occupation began during a period of abrupt warming, Greenland Interstadial 1 (about 14.7–12.9 thousand years before AD 2000). We also identify the near-synchronous commencement of Beringian, Clovis and Western Stemmed cultural traditions, and an overlap of each with the last dates for the appearance of 18 now-extinct faunal genera. Our analysis suggests that the widespread expansion of humans through North America was a key factor in the extinction of large terrestrial mammals.

SOURCE: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2491-6
 
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