The First Americans (Peopling Of The Americas)

EnolaGaia

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Carbon dating of animal bones from a Mexican cave occupied in prehistoric times yielded a surprising age of circa 30,000 years BP. If credible evidence can be found to link these oldest bones with human activity it would push the estimated timeframe for initial human migration into the Americas back before the Last Glacial Maximum - in other words, circa 20,000 years earlier than the current prevailing estimate.
Unexpected Discovery of Ancient Bones May Change Timeline for When People First Arrived in North America

An unexpected discovery by an Iowa State University researcher suggests that the first humans may have arrived in North America more than 30,000 years ago – nearly 20,000 years earlier than originally thought.

Andrew Somerville, an assistant professor of anthropology in world languages and cultures, says he and his colleagues made the discovery while studying the origins of agriculture in the Tehuacan Valley in Mexico. As part of that work, they wanted to establish a date for the earliest human occupation of the Coxcatlan Cave in the valley, so they obtained radiocarbon dates for several rabbit and deer bones that were collected from the cave in the 1960s as part of the Tehuacan Archaeological-Botanical Project. The dates for the bones suddenly took Somerville and his colleagues in a different direction with their work.

The date ranges for the bone samples from the base of the cave ranged from 33,448 to 28,279 years old. The results are published in the academic journal Latin American Antiquity. Somerville says even though previous studies had not dated items from the bottom of the cave, he was not expecting such old ages. The findings add to the debate over a long-standing theory that the first humans crossed the Bering Land Bridge into the Americas 13,000 years ago. ...

... However, questions still remain. Most importantly, is there a human link to the bottom layer of the cave where the bones were found?

To answer that question, Somerville and Matthew Hill, ISU associate professor of anthropology, plan to take a closer look at the bone samples for evidence of cut marks that indicate the bones were butchered by a stone tool or human, or thermal alternations that suggest the bones were boiled or roasted over fire. He says the possible stone tools from the early levels of the cave may also yield clues. ...
FULL STORY: https://scitechdaily.com/unexpected...r-when-people-first-arrived-in-north-america/
 

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research report. The full report is accessible at the link below.

Somerville, A., Casar, I., & Arroyo-Cabrales, J. (2021).
New AMS Radiocarbon Ages from the Preceramic Levels of Coxcatlan Cave, Puebla, Mexico: A Pleistocene Occupation of the Tehuacan Valley?
Latin American Antiquity, 1-15.
doi:10.1017/laq.2021.26

Abstract
Archaeological studies at Coxcatlan Cave in the Tehuacan Valley of southern Puebla, Mexico, have been instrumental to the development of the chronology for the region and for our understanding of the origins of food production in the Americas. This article refines the Preceramic chronology of the Tehuacan Valley by presenting 14 new accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from faunal bone samples uncovered from early depositional levels of the rock shelter. Although bones associated with the El Riego (9893–7838 cal BP), Coxcatlan (7838–6375 cal BP), and Abejas (6375–4545 cal BP) phase zones of the cave yielded ages similar to those of the previously proposed chronology for the region, bones from the Ajuereado phase zones at the base of the cave yielded surprisingly old ages that range from 33,448 to 28,279 cal BP, a time prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Because these early ages are many thousands of years older than current models estimate for the peopling of the Americas, they require reassessments of the artifacts and ecofacts excavated from these early zones.

FULL REPORT: https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...acan-valley/F4C32FB10E73D660CB7D9B44E2C29A72#
 

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research report. The full report is accessible at the link below.

Somerville, A., Casar, I., & Arroyo-Cabrales, J. (2021).
New AMS Radiocarbon Ages from the Preceramic Levels of Coxcatlan Cave, Puebla, Mexico: A Pleistocene Occupation of the Tehuacan Valley?
Latin American Antiquity, 1-15.
doi:10.1017/laq.2021.26

Abstract
Archaeological studies at Coxcatlan Cave in the Tehuacan Valley of southern Puebla, Mexico, have been instrumental to the development of the chronology for the region and for our understanding of the origins of food production in the Americas. This article refines the Preceramic chronology of the Tehuacan Valley by presenting 14 new accelerated mass spectrometry (AMS) radiocarbon ages from faunal bone samples uncovered from early depositional levels of the rock shelter. Although bones associated with the El Riego (9893–7838 cal BP), Coxcatlan (7838–6375 cal BP), and Abejas (6375–4545 cal BP) phase zones of the cave yielded ages similar to those of the previously proposed chronology for the region, bones from the Ajuereado phase zones at the base of the cave yielded surprisingly old ages that range from 33,448 to 28,279 cal BP, a time prior to the Last Glacial Maximum. Because these early ages are many thousands of years older than current models estimate for the peopling of the Americas, they require reassessments of the artifacts and ecofacts excavated from these early zones.

FULL REPORT: https://www.cambridge.org/core/jour...acan-valley/F4C32FB10E73D660CB7D9B44E2C29A72#
Interesting E.G. Very interesting.

Looking at the various phase zones of that area and their dating, and the intermittent local glacial maxima in the last 100K years of the Northern American continent, The pause between the El Riego phase of the strata, and the deposition strata of these dated rabbit and deer bones could correlate with the inadvisability of living in the Tehuacan area....Be aware that my opinion is an uneducated assumption.

But...There is an interglacial episode between the Tahoe2, and the Tioga 2-4 that could encourage the use of that area, at that elevation, in a more hospitable climate - in comparison to the coastal areas.

As I said this is all uneducated conjecture on my part...but it goes someway to explain some of the C14 dating much further south on the southern most end of the South American continent.
 

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Earliest definitive proof that humans were in North America 7000 year earlier than previously thought.

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"Humans reached the Americas at least 7,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new findings.

The topic of when the continent was first settled from Asia has been controversial for decades.

Many researchers are sceptical of evidence for humans in the North American interior much earlier than 16,000 years ago.

Now, a team working in New Mexico has found scores of human footprints dated to between 23,000 and 21,000 years old.

The discovery could transform views about when the continent was settled. It suggests there could have been great migrations that we know nothing about. And it raises the possibility that these earlier populations could have gone extinct."

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-58638854
 
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EnolaGaia

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Earliest definitive proof that humans were in North America 7000 year earlier than previously thought.
This is big news ... There's been indirect evidence of pre-Clovis human activities, but this discovery seals the deal by demonstrating the actual presence of humans prior to Clovis.
Earliest conclusive evidence found of humans in the New World

Fossilized human footprints found in New Mexico reveal that people dwelled in the Americas during the last ice age's peak — a discovery that researchers suggest is conclusive proof of early migration to the New World, a new study finds.

Although the newfound footprints are not the oldest evidence of humans' arrival in the Americas, they may be the first unequivocal proof that people were there during the last ice age, scientists noted.

The arrival of the first people in the Americas was a key step in humanity's expansion across the planet, but the precise timing of this milestone remains hotly contested. Based on stone tools dating back roughly 13,000 years, archaeologists had long suggested that people from the prehistoric culture known as the Clovis were the first to migrate to the Americas. ...

However, researchers recently unearthed a great deal of evidence of pre-Clovis artifacts. For example, last year scientists revealed that stone artifacts discovered in Chiquihuite Cave in central Mexico were at least 26,500 years old; computer models found the cave's location was so far inland in the Americas, and thus so distant from the Old World from which human migrants arrived, that it suggested that humans might have first entered the New World as early as 33,000 years ago. ...

Still, the earliest archaeological evidence of human settlement of the Americas remains highly controversial. ...

Now, 60 footprints embedded in an ancient lake bed in what is now White Sands National Park in south central New Mexico are strong evidence that humans occupied the New World between about 21,000 and 23,000 years ago. ...

"The White Sands footprints provide unequivocal evidence of early occupation," study lead author Matthew Bennett, an ichnologist at Bournemouth University in England, told Live Science. "There are several proposed early sites, such as Chiquihuite, but they are all disputed by someone. The footprints are the first unequivocal data point in this debate." (Ichnologists study trace fossils, such as fossilized footprints and tracks.) ...

"It is not the oldest site, but it is a site which has unequivocal evidence, and that is its importance," Bennett said. ...

"Also, we believe they were there [for] much longer than the two millennia we are currently able to say," Bennett said. ...
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/earliest-conclusive-evidence-found-of-humans-in-the-new-world
 

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Here are the bibliographic details and abstract for the published research report ...


Evidence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum
Matthew R. Bennett, David Bustos, Jeffrey S. Pigati, Kathleen B. Springer, Thomas M. Urban, Vance T. Holliday, Sally C. Reynolds, Marcin Budka, Jeffrey S. Honke, Daniel Odess
SCIENCE 24 Sep 2021, Vol 373, Issue 6562, pp. 1528-1531
DOI: 10.1126/science.abg7586

Abstract
Archaeologists and researchers in allied fields have long sought to understand human colonization of North America. Questions remain about when and how people migrated, where they originated, and how their arrival affected the established fauna and landscape. Here, we present evidence from excavated surfaces in White Sands National Park (New Mexico, United States), where multiple in situ human footprints are stratigraphically constrained and bracketed by seed layers that yield calibrated radiocarbon ages between ~23 and 21 thousand years ago. These findings confirm the presence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum, adding evidence to the antiquity of human colonization of the Americas and providing a temporal range extension for the coexistence of early inhabitants and Pleistocene megafauna.

SOURCE: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abg7586
 

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Recent analyses of dental morphological features and DNA indicates the earliest Americans were not descended from the Japanese Jomon people, as had been previously proposed in some scholarly circles.
Analysis of ancient teeth questions theory that Native Americans originated from Japan

Native Americans may not have originated in Japan as previous archaeological evidence has suggested, according to a new study of ancient teeth.

For years, archaeologists had predicted that the first people to live in North America descended directly from a group called the Jomon, who occupied ancient Japan about 15,000 years ago, the same time people arrived in North America around 15,000 years ago via the Bering Land Bridge, a strip of land that previously connected Russia to North America before sea levels rose above it. This theory is based on archaeological similarities in stone tools, especially projectile weapons, found in Native American and Jomon settlements.

However, the authors of the new study say this scenario is highly unlikely because the biological evidence "simply does not match up" with the archaeological findings, according to a statement from the researchers. ...

"The Jomon were not directly ancestral to Native Americans," lead author G. Richard Scott, an anthropologist at the University of Nevada, Reno, told Live Science. "They [the Jomon] are more aligned with Southeast Asian and Pacific groups than with East Asian and Native American groups."

Instead, the researchers suspect that Native Americans descended from a different group living somewhere in East Asia, although a lot of uncertainty remains about exactly where and when those ancestors lived. ...

In this study, Scott and his team compared 25 dental morphology traits in around 1,500 sets of ancient teeth from Native American and Jomon people dating back over 10,000 years, as well as other ancient groups from East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

This analysis of tooth traits and DNA within the teeth revealed that the Native Americans were not closely related enough to the Jomon people to consider them ancestors but that they may have descended from another unknown group from East Asia, Scott said.
FULL STORY: https://www.livescience.com/native-american-origin-theory-debunked

PUBLISHED REPORT:
G. Richard Scott, Dennis H. O’Rourke, Jennifer A. Raff, Justin C. Tackney, Leslea J. Hlusko, Scott A. Elias, Lauriane Bourgeon, Olga Potapova, Elena Pavlova, Vladimir Pitulko & John F. Hoffecker (2021)
Peopling the Americas: Not “Out of Japan”
PaleoAmerica
DOI: 10.1080/20555563.2021.1940440

SOURCE / FULL REPORT: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20555563.2021.1940440
 
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