Those “first Americans” made the trip from the eastern part of Eurasia before the last Ice Age. Their arrival, in addition, coincided with the “catastrophic decline” of now extinct large animals, as revealed by archaeologists from the Oxford University in an article published in the magazine Nature
BoatThose “first Americans” made the journey from Eurasia before the last Ice Age
Their conclusions are based on the finding of hundreds of tools in the Chiquihuite cave, a high-altitude site in north-central Mexico, which delay “the dates of human dispersal in the region, possibly between 33,000 and 31,000 years ago,” they write.
Although Mexico occupies a key geographical position, experts criticize that its archaeological record “is little known and little studied.” “Historically, the region has remained on the periphery of research focused on early American populations,” they indicate.
In Chiquihuite, some 1,900 stone artifacts have been found that predate those of the Clovis culture (dating from around 13,000 years ago), revealing a “previously unknown” lithic industry that hardly underwent changes for millennia despite the changing environments in which the occupants lived.
The team led by Professor Tom Higham showed that humans were present in America long before previous estimates, even before the “Last Glacial Maximum”, the time of the Ice Age when temperatures fell to their lowest level. for tens of thousands of years.
“These people must have come by boat, because North America was impenetrable and eastern Eurasia was also sealed by a massive layer of ice that lasted until 13,000 years ago,” they said in a statement.
When this new timeline was compared to the dates obtained for the extinct animals, the analysis showed that human expansion occurred at the same time as the catastrophic decline, to the point of disappearance, of megafauna.
“It seems likely to us that the people of Chiquihuite represent a failed colonization, an attempt that might not even have left genetically detectable inheritance in Americans today,” says Dr. Ciprian Ardelean, from the University of Zacatecas, who has also participated in this investigation.
The results are not only based on that cave in north-central Mexico, but that discovery has been combined with hundreds of dates obtained from 42 archaeological sites in North America and Beringia (the ancient land bridge that connects the continent with Asia) . The analysis estimates the beginning of human occupation at different sites, as well as the beginning of three different stone tool traditions in these regions.