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Human dispersal across North America

9 November 2013

This story can be seen at http://bionews-tx.com/news/2013/11/01/texas-prof-says-discovery-alaska-s… … basically, do the dates of Clovis points in Alaska and Canada suggest a migration across the Bering Straits from Siberia or do they suggest they were a cultural innovation imported northwards from southern North America.

The answer, according to Ted Goebel and team in The Journal of Archaeological Science is the latter. The research focussed at one site, Serpentine Hot Springs on the Seward Peninsular of Alaska, where fluted points were found. They were discovered in association with charcoal and bone and subsequently dated 12,000 years ago. Fluted points have been found at 20 sites in Alaska – but they are undated (until now). The implication is that migration took place from the high plains of central Canada in a northerly direction – see also http://csfa.tamu.edu/index.php

No fluted points have been found in Siberia, so far, so the evidence suggests the idea of an internal migration within North America (in what was the Younger Dryas period). Why people might have moved such long distances is not adequately discussed – and the subject might well be a tad sensitive, considering the debate surrounding the Younger Dryas Boundary event. The assumption is made that they were a mobile culture that followed herds of animals – such as caribou.

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