Archaeologists discovered a cave in a remote part of Mexico and found out that ancient humans from 30,000 years ago visited it.
The study shows that ancient humans were able to reach the Americas 15,000 years earlier that want was previously recorded.
The oldest hotel
The Chiquihuite Cave is located in northern Mexico. It is a mountainous area that is controlled by drug cartels. The painstaking excavations uncovered almost 2000 stone tools from a small area of the cave.
The analysis of the stone tools and the DNA analysis of the sediment retrieved in the cave presented a new story of the colonization of the Americas. It now traces evidence of the first Americans to set foot in the area 30,000 years ago.
The results of the discovery have been published in Nature and it challenges the most common theory that the Clovis people were the first ones to inhabit the Americas around 15,000 years ago.
Professor Eske Willerslev, a DNA scientist of the University of Cambridge led the study with Dr. Ciprian Ardelean, an archaeologist from the University of Zacatecas in Mexico. Professor Willerslev stated that for decades, experts have debated on when the first humans set foot in the Americas.
The Chiquihuite Cave has presented new evidence and will likely create more debates as the site shows that the arrival of people to the continent was around 30,000 years ago, which is 15,000 years earlier than what was previously thought.
According to Professor Willerslev, the visitors did not actually live in the cave, they spent part of the year there, usually during the winter season and summer season, then they relocated during hunting season. The cave is Americas "oldest hotel." ever recorded.
The research project lasted for 10 years, but it may raise more questions than answers about ancient humans who lived in the Americas thousands of years ago, as reported by National Geographic.
Dr. Ardelean said that they do not know who the ancient humans were, where they originally came from and where they went after they spent time in the cave.
Originally, experts believe that the indigenous people in the Americas today are the direct descendants from the earliest Americans, but now it may not be the case. The Chiquihuite Cave is 2750 meters above sea level and is considered as a high-altitude site.
Around 2000 stone tools and tool fragments were discovered. According to the DNA analysis retrieved from the animal remains and plant sediments packed around the tools found in the cave, it shows that it dates back to 30,000 years ago.
Human DNA was not found in the cave, which adds more to the theory that the ancient humans did not stay long in the cave and was only there for a couple of months, as reported by The Guardian.
A geneticist from the University of Copenhagen, Dr. Mikkel Winther Pedersen, said that they identified DNA from a range of animals including rodents, black bears, voles, bats, and kangaroo rats.
They think that the early people would have come back for a few months to exploit natural resources that are available and then they move on.
The Chiquihuite Cave site is very difficult to reach, and the ancient humans had a good advantage against the predators because they can defend themselves and they could see animals approaching miles without them being seen.