October 23, 2021

Beyond Going Long

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Paleontological research shows that humans were in North America much earlier than scientists thought

Researchers have uncovered new evidence showing that humans in America existed thousands of years earlier than originally thought. good report Published Thursday in the academic journal Science.

“This study demonstrates the process of science — new evidence may change previous models,” said Alison Shipp, director of the Rocky Mountains. advertisement Thursday.

Ancient fossil artifacts found in White Sands National Park in New Mexico have provided evidence that humans lived in North America during the last glacial peak, which was roughly 21,000 to 23,000 years ago. Researchers have debated when the first humans lived in America, and some have suggested evidence for life 15,000 years ago. Smithsonian Magazine.

Researchers at White Sands National Park, the National Park Services, the US Geological Survey, the University of Arizona, Bournemouth University, and Cornell University analyzed several surface footprints buried among layers of gypsum soil on a dry lake in the park, which includes the largest national park. . he is. Gypsum dune field.

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According to the study, archaeologists used radiocarbon dating – a method of determining the age of organic materials – to analyze the microscopic seeds found in the fossils. The footprints have been described as having “good anatomical definition” with cracks on the heel and toe guards.

Scientists studied the animals and bodies of water in the areas where the fossils were found, which also helped to estimate the dates. The researchers said the findings also led to the theory that early humans originally practiced sustainable ways of caring for megafauna.

“Unlike cultural artifacts, modified bones or other traditional fossils, relics have an essential reference function and are fixed to the engraved surface,” the report said.

Scholars note that the exact dating of the first people to come and live in the Western Hemisphere remains “uncertain and conflicting.” “What we’re saying here is evidence of a specific time and place where people were in North America,” the report said.

The Associated Press noted that previous excavations in White Sands National Park revealed fossil footprints left by a sword-toothed cat, a fearsome wolf, a Columbian mammoth, and other Ice Age animals.

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