Humans Reached America Earlier Than Believed

Archaeologists find 'oldest credible site' in North America
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2011 2:09 PM CDT
Archeological Find at Buttermilk Creek, Texas, All but Disproves Clovis Theory of Migration
Clovis points from the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist collection are seen in this file photo.   (Bill Whittaker)

(Newser) – Archaeologists have found new evidence that pretty much proves humans were in the Americas as early as 15,500 years ago—around 1,500 years earlier than previously believed. Researchers have long believed that the first North Americans, referred to as the “Clovis” people, crossed the Bering Strait to reach North America during the last ice age 13,000 years ago. Now, they may need to rethink how people got here, the New York Times reports.

In a report published today in Science, the scientists reveal they’ve found more than 50 well-formed artifacts in central Texas that drastically predate the Clovis culture. “This is the oldest credible archaeological site in North America,” says the team leader. When these artifacts were discovered, glaciers would have rendered many of the interior corridors early people were believed to have migrated along impassible; instead, some theorize, they must have traveled along the coast, either on the shore or on boats hewing close to it. (Read more Clovis people stories.)

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