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Ice Age Traces: Footprints indicate early colonization of America

Ice Age traces : Proof of footprints early settlement of America

For centuries people have walked along a river in North America. Their footprints prove that they lived on the continent long ago during the Ice Age. by Jan Osterkamp Footprints for Americans and around © National Park Service/USGS/Bournemouth University (excerpt)

Researchers have been investigating for a long time when modern humans settled the American continent & nbsp; – and since then they have been pushing the point back into the past. Recent finds have indicated that people lived in Central America 30 & nbsp; 000 & nbsp; years ago.

With that, a limit had actually fallen that was considered insurmountable a few years ago: The Bering Sea had not yet become a land bridge because the climax of the last Ice Age, the Last Glacial Maximum & nbsp; (LGM), was only around 26 & nbsp; 000 & nbsp; Years began, after which the sea level between Alaska and Siberia began to drop. According to various theories, the first American settlers from Asia either worked their way south along the coast of Alaska by boat or perhaps came inland via a temporarily ice-free corridor.

Now the early settlement is underlined by another, even more precisely datable find: In the US state of New Mexico, a team of researchers found footprints of people who walked over American soil between 21 & nbsp; 000 to 23 & nbsp; 000 & nbsp; years ago & nbsp; – i.e. during the last ice age. Unlike a footprint in Mexico that emerged in 2004 and is controversial in the research community, the footprints that have now been found leave little room for doubt. They were also made much earlier than a 13 & nbsp; 000 & nbsp; year old imprint from the Canadian Pacific coast.

The team describes the footprints in the specialist magazine “Science”: They appeared in excavations in the White Sands National Park in at least seven superimposed layers, which, according to radiocarbon dating about 23 & nbsp; 000 to 21 & nbsp; 000 & nbsp; years ago, were deposited in a river dune landscape and were preserved like gypsum. At that time people lived on site for two millennia: in a time period in which the Ice Age megafauna dominated. Accordingly, humans could have played a role in the extinction of large animals & nbsp; – although animals and humans have existed side by side for many centuries.

The footprints now found are definitely from humans & nbsp; – and them The authors write that they often come from children or teenagers. Perhaps this is due to the fact that younger members of the community are mainly entrusted with transport tasks, while adults have taken on more complex tasks, speculates Matthew Bennett's team from Bournemouth University in England. With the find, it remains unclear when and how people first colonized America. However, the theory is growing that the Ice Age was probably not the decisive barrier for the American pioneers.

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