The evidence found of earlier human activity with footprints found in New Mexico was older than assumed and older than previous estimates. Researchers discovering more about the past is key to adding to the history of humankind in the stone age and how they spread to corners of the globe.
Proofs discovered on Americas inhabited past
No one knows what transpired in the prehistoric past, but archeologists shed light by finding out more in the quest to look for proof on how America came to be inhabited in the distant past and how early it started.
Researchers initially thought that the Americas were visited by humans as early as 10,000 years back, but that is about to change with discovering more ancient footprints in southern New Mexico, reported the Daily Mail.
Found by UK and US archeologists were foot imprints embedded in the Alkali Flat's soft mud, a dried lake bed located in the White Sands National Park.
They used radiocarbon dating of the top and lower layers of the tracks to get their age. The US Geological Survey got the period as close to 2,000 years, noted by Nature.
The age of the footprints found in New Mexico is from 23,000 years ago that occurred in the Last Glacial Maximum when the ice sheets covered North America with sea levels about 400 feet lower.
Sally Reynolds, the study's co-author, remarked it was in 13,000 to 16,000 years when the first people came to North America. Due to the melting of ice sheets that exposed land bridges. Not much evidence existed until the discovery, pre-dating 16,000 years ago.
Early settlers were mobile due to access to land bridges
Earlier dates from the radiocarbons like animal remain, sediment, charcoal have increased the discrepancy to 33,000 years old! Bur some question some evidence of the study.
But, Dan Odess, connected to the National Park Service as science adviser, says the ancient White Sands footprints are the real deal. Humans did come over in the last Ice Age.
Fossilized footprints discovered in New Mexico indicate that early humans were walking across North America around 23,000 years ago. The footprints were found in a dry lake bed in White Sands National Park. https://t.co/stkcm9uz4J— The Associated Press (@AP) September 23, 2021
One of the routes is a land bridge that connected the Americas to Asia is the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Russia. It was 33,000 years back when the latest Ice Age began. When it ended 16,000 years ago, it was a path blocked by glaciers.
The newly discovered foot impression shows the humans had no shoes. It is a peek into what life was in the Upper Paleolithic Era around 40,000 years ago.
Analysis of the evidence points to teens, younger children, with few adults, including animals like mammoths, ground sloths, and dire wolves that passed over.
Matthew Bennet, a geographer and one of the scientists at Bournemouth University, remarked the footprints indicate different age groups were on the move then, cited Cornell.
He added the early people had a functional mindset, they hunted and survived in a harsh world, but it was a chance to see the play and a form of leisure. Evidence of interaction other than hunting and foraging is a look into the past.
Bennet stressed how early humans made the ancient footprints in New Mexico. Still, the evidence is piling up that North America was settled in the accepted period as more studies will follow to prove it.