An icy road may have given ancient travelers a clear path from Siberia to North America 24,000 years ago, more than 10,000 years before the arrival of the first inhabitants of today’s United States, according to prevailing theories.
According to data based on studies of sediments and fossilized marine life analyzed by researchers from the United States Geological Survey, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Oregon State University, a group of ancient humans would have arrived in North America 24,000 years ago from Siberia, crossing a previously unknown frozen path.
Paths of frozen seas
The path along which this early migration would have taken place was a frozen sea ice track: These conditions allowed the arrival of humans to the American continent more than 10,000 years earlier than indicated until today by the predominant scientific views, according to specialists.
According to the new study, presented December 16 at the American Geophysical Union (AGU23) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, the data suggest that flat expanses of winter ice may have played a critical role in facilitate the tripat a time when the transfer by boat would have been too complex.
For decades, archaeologists considered a culture known as clovis as the original pioneers and first settlers of North America. Attracted by new and fertile hunting grounds, families would have traversed dirt roads created by the retreat of the ice between Siberia and Alaska, about 13,000 years ago.
A great road of sea ice
However, the discovery of previous human settlements and other evidence have cast doubt on these theories. According to the new research, an analysis of the climate models confirms that strong winds and lower sea levels would have helped make the ocean currents of 20,000 years ago twice as strong as today, making transportation by boat impossible.
Despite this, according to an article published in Science Alert, the records also suggest that extensive sea ice expanses winter until about 15,000 years ago, during which migrants could have walked, or even traveled on sleds.
The scientists concluded that a time frame between 24,500 and 22,000 years ago would have been the precise moment of the first migrations along these frozen roads. Early migration along the Alaska coast would have been aided by movement and subsistence in a great sea ice highway.
Considering that there are indications that ancient humans may have ventured as far south as New Mexico more than 20,000 years ago, it can be assumed that there was a relatively safe and open path that their ancestors took to give birth. the first leap towards the New World.