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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pre Clovis Florida site did not depend on ice free corridor


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/underwater-finds-reveal-humans-long-presence-north-america-180959103/?no-ist 

A handful of prehistoric stone tools and the remains of an extinct animal 
found in a Florida river reveal a glimpse of an ancient scene: About 14,550 
years ago, hunter-gatherers likely butchered or scavenged a mastodon near a 
small pond. The age of these objects suggests that humans reached the 
southeastern United States as much as 1,500 years earlier than scientists 
had thought. 
... 
The early dating of pre-Clovis sites has also shed doubt on the mainstream 
narrative of how people arrived in the Americas. This holds that humans 
first arrived in North America from northeast Asia across a land bridge 
that spanned what is now the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska. These 
people then supposedly spread to the interior through the so-called 
ice-free corridor-an area of land between two giant ice sheets that once 
covered most of Canada and the northern United States. 

The problem with this theory is that the ice-free corridor did not open 
until 14,000 years ago or later, but the new research shows that 400 to 500 
years before that people were already in Florida, says Halligan. "So the 
ice-free corridor is not our answer for how the Americas were initially 
colonized," she says. 

"There has been a lot of resistance to the idea that people could enter 
North America from anywhere other than the Bering Strait," says Linda Scott 
Cummings, an archaeobotanist at the PaleoResearch Institute in Golden, 
Colorado, who was not involved in the new study. 
... 
One idea, for example, suggests that the first people may have come to the 
Americas in boats, following coastlines from northeast Asia, down the Pacific 
Coast. But even if that had been the case, Halligan notes that Florida is a 
really long way from the Pacific. "How did people get here? When did people 
get here?" she says. "To me, all of the original questions we have been 
asking about the peopling of the Americas—those questions are open to 
research again." 

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