New conclusion says humans were in America 130,000 years ago


EXCERPT: [...] “If the authors are correct, it would completely rewrite our best understanding of the peopling of the Americas,” says Jon Erlandson from the University of Oregon. “As scientists we're supposed to keep an open mind, but I doubt that many archaeologists will be convinced by this case. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I didn't find it here.” David Meltzer from Southern Methodist University concurs. “If you are going to push human antiquity in the New World back more than 100,000 years in one fell swoop, you’ll have to do so with a far better archaeological case than this one,” he says.

Most of the experts I spoke to weren’t convinced by the presented evidence, and some were downright disdainful. “I was astonished, not because it is so good but because it is so bad,” says Donald Grayson from the University of Washington.

But not everyone is ready to dismiss the study yet. “This paper is a fantastic hypothesis,” says Zeray Alemseged from the University of Chicago. If the team is right, the perpetrators who broke the mastodon couldn’t possibly have been Homo sapiens, since our species hadn’t left Africa 130,000 years ago. But at the time, the planet was full of other hominids....

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