Neanderthals may have lived in California — 130,000 years ago

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A startling new report asserts that the first known Americans arrived much, much earlier than scientists thought — more than 100,000 years ago — and maybe they were Neanderthals.

If true, the finding would far surpass the widely accepted date of about 15,000 years ago.

Researchers say a site in Southern California shows evidence of humanlike behavior from about 130,000 years ago, when bones and teeth of an elephantlike mastodon were evidently smashed with rocks.

Whoever they were, they could have arrived by land or sea. They might have come from Asia via the Beringea land bridge that used to connect Siberia to Alaska, or maybe come across by watercraft along the Beringea coast or across open water to North America, before turning southward to California…

Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, said he doesn’t reject the paper’s claims outright, but he finds the evidence “not yet solid.” For one thing, the dig turned up no basic stone cutting tools or evidence of butchery or the use of fire, as one might expect from Homo sapiens or our close evolutionary relatives.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Neanderthals in California? Maybe so, provocative study says

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  • Brian McInnis

    The first known Americans arrived where?

  • Brian McInnis

    The widely accepted date is twenty-three to twenty-five millennia ago, and this wouldn’t surpass it; it would simply mean that neanderthalensis got there before sapiens did.

  • Brian McInnis

    An ‘elephantlike mastodon’? Were there mastodons who *weren’t* elephantlike?

  • Brian McInnis

    Teeth *are* bones, dumb-ass.