Until recent research most anthropologists and other scientists assumed humans arrived in North America from Russia 14,000 years ago, but following a new study, they now push that date back to 24,000 years ago.
The research, published in the journal PLOS One, used new radiocarbon dating technology from a site in Bluefish Caves in Canada, to discover that human life has been in North America for at least 24,000 years.
However, since charcoal and human bones have not yet been found in the caves, some scientists are still not convinced that these new findings actually push the date of arrival to 24,000 years ago.
Yet, there are definitive signs of charcoal and human bones, as well as tools, that date back to 10,000 years ago.
“There are still going to be a lot of archeologists who look at it with raised eyebrows. Is it the final chapter? I don’t think so. But it’s good, solid work and I’m excited they’ve been able to revisit it and come up with those dates.”
30 years ago, another scientist made a similar claim.
Jacques Cinq-Mars based his new theory, that humans arrived 30,000 years ago, on animal bone fragments found inside of the Bluefish Caves and markings made within them.
But it seemed Cinq-Mars was woefully ahead of his time.
It wasn’t until Lauriane Bourgeon, a PhD student at the Université de Montréal’s department of anthropology in Canada, and her advisor examined 36,000 bone fragments found inside of the caves.
Together, they came to the conclusion that at least 15 of them were from 24,000 years ago or were perhaps even older.
This would make the Bluefish Caves the oldest archeological site in North America.
“Series of straight, V-shaped lines on the surface of the bones were made by stone tools used to skin animals. These are indisputable cut-marks created by humans. Our discovery confirms previous analyses and demonstrates that this is the earliest known site of human settlement in Canada. It shows that Eastern Beringia was inhabited during the last ice age.”
Scientists still believe that humans made their way from Russia to North America by crossing the Bering Strait before it plunged under water.