Friday, September 24, 2021

21,000-year old footprints in the Americas!


I never liked the "Clovis first" hypothesis that placed the first people in the Americas only 10-12,000 years ago.  The populating of two huge continents with three million people, as well as the extinction of the megafauna, always seemed likely to take longer than that.  Remains found in Alaska dated to 11,500 years pushed the envelope a bit.   The dates kept creeping backwards, to 14,000, then 14,500 (Chile) and then to 16,000, but all those remined somewhat in dispute. 

This nails it.  Who came over land bridges and who came down the coast by raft or boat., and exactly when, may never be completely determined. The Pacific coast has receded and the ocean has advanced, destroying much evidence and putting some sites forever out of reach. But we know - and it looks like independent researchers are almost, although not entirely, on board here - that a group of humans lived in New Mexico at least 21,000 years ago, and maybe earlier. 

Vie as of 2015, published by UC Berkley, marked by Google Images as free for use

First Americans, published by UC Berkley in 2015, marked by Google Images as free for use 

It's a triumph for science.  And, for my friends in cryptozoology, it's the death knell to the belief held by a fringe group that "science" hides evidence that would contradict established theories and maybe make older scientists look bad.  The textbooks need some rewriting.  

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