Debate Rages Over Whether First Humans Arrived in the Americas 130,000 Years Ago

April 27, 2017 9:12 am

The discovery of what might be stone tools by the remains of a mastodon in California may mean that humans actually arrived in the Americas 130,000 years ago—more than 100,000 earlier than previously believed.

But that’s debatable.

Dr. Thomas Deméré, Dr. Steven Holen, and other colleagues found the remains at the Cerutti Mastodon site near San Diego. (It was first discovered in 1992 during highway work.) They believe mastodon bones show evidence of having had tools used on them, suggesting the presence of humans in the Americas over 130,000 years ago.

Other archaeologists are pushing back against this conclusion, however, feeling the research has not definitively proven the new timeline for the arrival beyond circumstantial evidence. Human remains have yet to be discovered confirming this earlier date, meaning it is currently a bold new theory, but an unproven one.

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