Humans in North America Earlier than Thought! – #365papers – 2017 – 17

#365papers for January 17, 2016

Bourgeon, Burke, and Higham, 2017, Earliest Human Presence in North America Dated to the Last Glacial Maximum: New Radiocarbon Dates from Bluefish Caves, Canada: PLOS one.

What’s it about?

This paper discusses evidence of human working of fossils found in caves in north western Canada. These fossils were also dated at about 24,000 years old.

Why does it matter?

Most hypotheses are that humans were not on the North American continent until about 10 or 11 thousand years ago. This supports humans being on this continent much earlier. However, because this site is in the northern Yukon Territory, it does not prove that humans were in southern parts of North America, or in South America at that time.

Why did I read this?

There has been growing evidence, through genomic study and some through dating methods, to show that humans were in the New World much earlier than the end of the last glaciation, about 10,000 years ago. I read this anticipating more evidence to support this hypothesis.

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