(ORDO NEWS) — A new, multidisciplinary, large-scale study has challenged a recent hypothesis about an earlier-than-thought arrival of humans in the Americas. Archaeologists have found no evidence that humans could have colonized this continent more than 13,000 to 14,000 years ago.
Previously, several independent studies at once showed that people could arrive in America 20 or even more than a thousand years ago. This is indicated by the dating of the remains and artifacts that have been discovered in recent years, for example, in Mexico and the southern states of the United States.
In a new study, a large team of archaeologists have re-analyzed archaeological sites in America, the results of which cast doubt on the sensational hypothesis of early settlement. In particular, new theories suggested that the earliest inhabitants of North America arrived there even before the beginning of the migration of people from Asia through the Bering Strait.
The analysis was carried out by a team led by University of Wyoming professor Todd Surowell. Her findings are based on analysis of archaeological deposits using a specially developed new statistic called the Apparent Stratigraphic Integrity Index.
The authors of the study explain that the stratigraphic integrity of archaeological sites in Alaska is high. This provides strong evidence in support of the generally accepted theory that the area was inhabited by humans approximately 13,000 years ago.
New hypotheses are based mainly on the results of excavations carried out in more southern regions. Archaeologists drew attention to the fact that artifacts in such finds often turned out to be mixed, that is, objects belonging to different periods of time were found in the same layers.
The proof of the same continuous settlement over a certain period of time are untouched layers that follow each other. This allows you to trace a clear continuity of generations.
“If humans had been able to break through continental ice sheets much earlier than 13,000 years ago, there should have been clear evidence of this in the form of at least some stratigraphically discrete archaeological components with a relatively large number of artifacts,” write the authors of the new study. But so far there is no such evidence.
The analysis only confirmed the well-known hypothesis that the first arrival of man in the New World occurred at least 14,200 years ago, and people then came precisely through the Bering Strait. And they reached the temperate latitudes of North America about 13 thousand years ago.
This is indicated by data from a comparative analysis of the stratigraphic integrity of three archaeological sites, which, according to the sensational hypothesis, contain evidence of an earlier human settlement of America.
Two such sites are in Texas and one in Idaho. In a new study, archaeologists compared their integrity with that of prehistoric sites in Alaska, Wyoming and Pennsylvania. As a result, the researchers failed to obtain evidence of human presence in the more southern territories earlier than 13 thousand years ago.
However, the new study does not completely rule out the possibility that humans colonized the Americas at an earlier time than is commonly believed. Perhaps convincing evidence of this can be found with new excavations and the corresponding stratigraphic analysis.
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