EARTH Magazine: The First Americans: How and When Were the Americas Populated?

EARTH Magazine

From EARTH Magazine, January 4, 2017  --  The latest research suggests humans first arrived in the Americas as early as 16,000 years ago, but using which path — along the Pacific coast, through an inland ice-free corridor, or from the East along the Atlantic coast — remains controversial. Archaeologists and geologists are working to try to answer the question of how and when the first Americans arrived. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, their work is showcased, reexamining the origins of our shared geoheritage in light of new evidence.

As the world’s coastlines shifted after the end of the last ice age, the locations of artifacts left by the first Americans shifted with them. To retrieve these human relics, researchers are venturing onto beaches, into intertidal zones, and even underwater. Significant finds have been made in Alaska, British Columbia and California that support the favored Pacific pathway, but also in Florida, Maryland and Virginia, which point to the existence of a Gulf Coast corridor or a route across the North Atlantic. To learn more about the archaeological excavation methods, what has been found, and what the findings may mean, read the full article in EARTH Magazine:

The January issue of EARTH Magazine is now available online, giving you a closer look at Mercury’s surface geology — including evidence of recent tectonic activity — and a new interview with Professor Raymond S. Bradley, an internationally renowned paleoclimatologist. For these stories and more, subscribe to EARTH Magazine.