Saturday, April 05, 2008

When Did Humans First Walk the Americas?

How long have human beings walked North America? Previously, evidence discovered in Clovis, New Mexico put the first humans in the region about 13,300 to 12,000 years ago. But new evidence found in an Oregon cave helps push the official arrival of human beings in North America to 14,000 years ago, reports the NY Times.

The evidence, fossilized human feces (otherwise known as "coprolite"), contain DNA which connect the (latest) "first Americans" to American Indians.

Little else has been discovered in the Oregon cave, suggesting it was a waypoint, not a permanent residence (unless looters have already raided the site and sold the artifacts on eBay).

Another recent find at Monte Verde, Chile suggest humans roamed "deep into South America" 14,600 years ago. If they were there 14,600 years ago, they must have been as far north as Oregon well before that.

Pound360 wonders how long it took humans to make it from Alaska to Panama, Panama to Chile? One thing we're sure of, it was probably one of the greatest journeys in history, full of unfathomable struggle, surprises (both pleasant and terrifying), sacrifice and joy.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.