The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, August 6, 2020


Humans in America 30,000 years ago, far earlier than thought
"That happens every time that anybody finds sites older than 16,000 years -- the first reaction is denial or hard acceptance," said Ardelean, who first excavated the cave in 2012 but did not discover the oldest items until 2017. Photo: Ciprian Ardelean.

by Marlowe Hood



PARIS (AFP).- Tools excavated from a cave in central Mexico are strong evidence that humans were living in North America at least 30,000 years ago, some 15,000 years earlier than previously thought, scientists said Wednesday.

Artefacts, including 1,900 stone tools, showed human occupation of the high-altitude Chiquihuite Cave over a roughly 20,000 year period, they reported in two studies, published in Nature.

"Our results provide new evidence for the antiquity of humans in the Americas," Ciprian Ardelean, an archeologist at the Universidad Autonoma de Zacatecas and lead author of one of the studies, told AFP.

"There are only a few artefacts and a couple of dates from that range," he said, referring radiocarbon dating results putting the oldest samples at 33,000 to 31,000 years ago.

"However, the presence is there."

No traces of human bones or DNA were found at the site.

"It is likely that humans used this site on a relatively constant basis, perhaps in recurrent seasonal episodes part of larger migratory cycles," the study concluded.

The stone tools -- unique in the Americas -- revealed a "mature technology" which the authors speculate was brought in from elsewhere.

The saga of how and when Homo sapiens arrived in the Americas -- the last major land mass to be populated by our species -- is fiercly debated among experts, and the new findings will likely be contested.

'Clovis-first' debunked
"That happens every time that anybody finds sites older than 16,000 years -- the first reaction is denial or hard acceptance," said Ardelean, who first excavated the cave in 2012 but did not discover the oldest items until 2017.

Until recently, the widely accepted storyline was that the first humans to set foot in the Americas crossed a land bridge from present-day Russia to Alaska some 13,500 years ago and moved south through a corridor between two massive ice sheets.

Archeological evidence -- including uniquely crafted spear points used to slay mammoths and other prehistoric megafauna -- suggested this founding population, known as Clovis Culture, spread across North America, giving rise to distinct native American populations.




But the so-called Clovis-first model has fallen apart over the last two decades with the discovery of several ancient human settlements dating back two or three thousand years before earlier.

Moreover, the tool and weapon remnants at these sites were not the same, showing distinct origins.

"Clearly, people were in the Americas long before the development of Clovis technology in North America," said Gruhn, an anthropology professor emerita at the University of Alberta, in commenting on the new findings.

In a second study, Lorena Becerra-Valdivia and Thomas Higham, researchers at the University of Oxford's Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit, used radiocarbon -- backed up by another technique based on luminescence -- to date samples from 42 sites across North America.

Using a statistical model, they showed widespread human presence "before, during and immediately after the Last Glacial Maximum" (LGM), which lasted from 27,000 to 19,000 years ago.

Megafauna wiped out
The timing of this deep chill is crucial because it is widely agreed that humans migrating from Asia could not have penetrated the massive icesheets that covered much of the continent during this period.

"So if humans were here DURING the Last Glacial Maximum, that's because they had already arrived BEFORE it," Ardelean noted in an email.

Human populations scattered across the continent during an earlier period also coincide with the disappearance of once abundant megafauna, including mammoths and extinct species of camels and horses.

"Our analysis suggests that the widespread expansion of humans through North America was a key factor in the extinction of large terrestrial mammals," the second study concluded.

Many key questions remain unanswered, including whether the first of our species to wander across the frozen tundra of Beringia made their way south via an interior route or -- as recent research suggests -- by moving along the coast, either on foot or in boats of some kind.

It is also a mystery as to "why no archaeological site of equivalent age to Chiquihuite Cave has been recognised in the continental United States," said Gruhn.

"With a Bering Straits entry point, the earliest people expanding south must have passed through that area."


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

July 23, 2020

Humans in America 30,000 years ago, far earlier than thought

Montreal museum firing turns messy

Andrew Jones Auctions announces highlights included in the Design for the Home and Garden Auction

Paul Fusco, photographer on a funeral train, dies at 89

Demolition of historic Vietnam cathedral is underway

Janet Borden, Inc. reopens with a group exhibition: "Open"

German arts advocate kidnapped in Baghdad

House votes to remove Confederate statues From U.S. Capitol

Over 600 lots of antiques and artworks to go under the hammer at major Cheffins fine sale

Warning over UK theatre closures due to virus lockdown

Rutgers announces Interim Director for Zimmerli Art Museum

Donation of three paintings worth $12.1 million transform Ackland Art Museum's permanent collection

Postmasters Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Serena Stevens

They're used to tapping. Now they're talking.

Lichtundfire reopens with an exhibition featuring 10 artists from across the U.S. and Brazil

Dix Noonan Webb to sell the late Jeffrey Gardiner's collection of British tokens

Masters from Southern Africa explained by Strauss & Co art experts, ahead of Virtual Live auction

Two alabaster stone sculptures by Anish Kapoor on view at the Sainsbury Centre

1950s Frontier Gasoline porcelain sign brings $5,375 at Holabird auction

National Museum of Women in the Arts reopens August 1

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston launches a participatory public art project

Constance Curry, 86, Civil Rights ally and author, dies

Australia's leading glass artists to shine at Venice Glass Week 2020 and Milan Design Week

Why people choose mirrea LED vanity lights?

The Reasons Why You Should Consider Netherland for Your Next Holiday Trip

Blinding and Binding the Ultra Violet through Kitchen Window

AWS Certification: is it worth it

Road To Achieving Victory In Gaming

What is financial literacy? Key components of financial literacy

How CBD is helpful?

The definition and history of the swimming pool




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful