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White Sands New Mexico

23 September 2021

William sent in the link to this story – www.yahoo.com/news/oldest-human-footprints-north-america-225106590.html … according to a report published in the journal Science [23rd September 2021] footprints found in New Mexico are the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas – dating back to 23,000 years ago. This is not only deep into the Late Glacial Maximum but it means humans were living in North America during the last Ice Age. They were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park, back in 2009, and brought to the attention of the wider world. Scientists of the US Geological Survey have recently analysed seeds stuck in some of the footprints to ascertain an approximate age. It is thought humans arrived in the Americas by means of a now submerged land bridge connecting Siberia with Alaska. This is the theory but with increasing evidence that NE Asia and Alaska were warm enough for mammoth, horse, and bison to graze, the route is open to question. They could have arrived by boat, for example. Archaeologists may eventually have to sift through the Alaskan muck deposit to find the stone tools found over a century ago and dismissed out of hand. Up until a few years ago, Clovis First ruled the roost any suggestion humans were in the Americas earlier than 13 or 14,000 years ago was ridiculed – and the evidence suppressed. Times have changed it seems. More recently dates as long ago as 26,000 years ago have been offered.

The footprints are said to have been made in soft mud on the margins of a shallow lake that now forms part of a large playa at White Sands. The research was done by scientists from Cornell University and Bournemouth University, as well as the National Park Service, the US Geological Survey and the University of Arizona. See also https://phys.org/news/2021-09-earliest-evidence-human-americas.html … and https://doi.org/10.1126/science.abg7586

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