17,000-year-old route to North America could redefine human migration history

| | June 7, 2018

The first people to cross into North America from Eurasia did so by traveling through the Bering Strait, or so the theory goes. A new theory has emerged proposing a coastal route into the continent, but evidence has been lacking. A recent analysis of boulders, bedrock, and fossils in Alaska is now providing a clearer picture, pointing to the emergence of a coastal route some 17,000 years ago.

New research published...in Science Advances is offering some of the first geological evidence of an Alaskan coastal migration route that would have made it possible for humans to cross over from Eurasia into North America when the Ice Age was still going strong. Importantly, the paper also includes evidence of aquatic and terrestrial life in the region during the same time period, which means venturing humans would have had access to food.

This paper addresses a major gap in our knowledge about how, and potentially when, humans colonized the Americas.

“We now know that the glaciers may have blocked the coastal route for a few thousand years. However, these glaciers retreated around 17,000 years ago, which opened the door for human migration along the coast,” said [researcher Alia] Lesnek. “The timing of glacier retreat lines up very well with the genetic and archaeological evidence for the peopling of the Americas.”

Read full, original post: New Evidence Reveals a 17,000-Year-Old Coastal Route Into North America

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

 

News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.

Send this to a friend