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Mankind arrived in North America more than 20,000 years ago and discovered a footprint that overturned the conventional theory = US research team

A research team in New Mexico recently announced that they have discovered the footprints of humankind 23,000 to 21,000 years ago in the interior of the North American continent. Until now, humankind reached the continent of North America 16,000 years ago, which means that it reached at least 7,000 years earlier. The results of this research were published in the American scientific journal "Science".


There has been decades of controversy over the time when humans migrated from Asia to the continent of North America.

Many researchers are skeptical of evidence that humans were in the interior of the North American continent much earlier than 16,000 years ago.

This discovery indicates the possibility of a major human migration that we do not know, and may significantly change our view of when humans settled on the North American continent. It is also possible that these early migrant populations have died.


According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) team, the footprints were in the soft mud on the shores of a shallow lake that is part of the White Sands Alkaline Flat, New Mexico.

The team conducted radiocarbon dating of seeds in the sedimentary layers above and below where the footprints were found. I was able to identify the age of the footprints themselves very accurately.

Due to the size of the footprints, it is thought to have been created mainly when teenagers and young children came and went.

These footprints provide interesting clues as to how early inhabitants lived in what is now the southwestern United States.

Scientists say it's unclear what the teenagers were doing, but they may have helped with some sort of hunting found in Native American culture. It's called a buffalo jump, an action that drives an animal into a cliff.

"All the animals that were killed had to be treated in a short amount of time," said Dr. Sally Reynolds, co-author of the study at Bournemouth University. It may have helped to collect it.


Debate over settlement of the North American continent

There are countless claims about the early human settlement on the North American continent, most of which are somehow controversial. This discovery is the key to solving it.

When stone tools that can be used as evidence of settlement are found in ancient ruins, it is often argued whether they were originally in such a shape or whether they were naturally broken stones such as falling off a cliff.

Unlike the 13,000-year-old elaborate spear tips found in North America, the stone tools found in early ruins may not be as clear in shape, and it can be questionable what they really are.

"One of the reasons for the constant debate is that we don't have any solid and clear data. We think that's probably what we have," said Matthew Bennett, lead author of the study. Professor Bennett told the BBC News.

"Footprints are different from stone tools. Footprints are footprints because they do not move up and down (in the formation)."


Legitimacy of research results

The journal pointed out the "reservoir effect" in the early stages of the review. This means that old carbon can affect the results of radiocarbon dating in an aquatic environment, making the site look older than it really is.

However, the research team says that this time the impact is not significant.

Professor Tom Higham, a radiocarbon dating expert at the University of Vienna, Austria, said, "The research team has dated material taken from near where the footprints were found, and a complete terrestrial sample (charcoal) is near the footprints. It was confirmed that it shows the same age as the aquatic species collected in. "

The researchers also say that the lake was thought to be shallow at the time, thus mitigating the effects of the reservoir effect of older carbon sources. Professor Hiam said that the consistency of the results and the support of the other dating methods used at the site both support the validity of the results.

"The combined results are considered to be 21,000 to 23,000 years old," Hyam told BBC News.


Emigration to the North American continent

The controversy in early American archeology has much to do with the historical development of human migration.

In the second half of the 20th century, it was consensus among North American archaeologists that people of Clovis culture first reached the North American continent.

The hunting group was thought to have crossed the land-based Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska during the last glacial period, when sea levels were much lower.

Once the idea that "Clovis came first" took hold, reports of older settlements were considered unreliable, and some archaeologists actually stopped looking for traces of earlier settlements. board.

But in the 1970s, this idea was questioned.

In the 1980s, in Monteverde, Chile, solid evidence of the existence of humankind 14,500 years ago was found.

In the 2000s, the 15,500-year-old Buttermilk Creek archaeological site in central Texas and the 16,000-year-old Cooper's Ferry archaeological site in Idaho became widely recognized.

And now, the footprints found in New Mexico suggest that humans had reached the interior of the North American continent during the Last Glacial Period.

"There are no mistakes in the work and interpretation of the team. This is an important and exciting paper," said Gary Haynes, an emeritus professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dr. Andrea Manika, a geneticist at the University of Cambridge, said it was an important discovery in the demographic history of the North American continent. He said he couldn't comment on the reliability of dating because he wasn't a specialist. It's inconsistent with genetic studies that clearly show that they have split up, "he told the BBC News.

He "suggests that the new settlers that rushed in during the Ice Age replaced the first settlers who had previously settled on the North American continent. We don't know if it happened. "