Monday, August 27, 2007

Archaeology and the Peopling of the Americas: New Evidence from Texas Pushes the Entry Date Back to
eople have always been interested in the question of when American Indians first arrived in the Americas. Was it 10,000 years ago across a frozen bridge of land, or perhaps via small boats from Japan, eastern Asia, and Siberia 20,000 to 35,000 years ago. Answers to these questions have always tended towards the frozen land bridge theory, which postulated that people first arrived in the Americas at the beginning of the Holocene epoch (12,500-9,000 calendar years before present). In the last twenty years or so, new archaeological and genetic evidence has challenged this long held theory, completely revolutionizing our understanding of when people first arrived in the Americas. The genetic evidence has been fairly compelling, pushing back the entry of American Indians into the Americas approximately 15-20 thousand years to the late Pleistocene. The archaeological evidence, on the other hand, has been slower at revealing a human presence older than the early Holocene in either North or South America. Newly emerging information from Texas, however, is providing compelling archaeological evidence for a late Pleistocene (25,000-12,500 calendar years before present) peopling of the Americas, bringing the archaeological evidence in line with the genetic evidence.

Nothing really new here.