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Mammoth Bones and ‘Ghost’ Footprints Stir Debate about Timing of Human Arrival in North America

Mammoth Bones and ‘Ghost’ Footprints Stir Debate about Timing of Human Arrival in North America

Bones of mammoth and her calf found at an ancient butchering site in New Mexico show they were killed by people 37,000 years ago.

It has been “settled science” among anthropology researchers and historians that humans first settled in North America 16,000 years ago.

However, recent finds may push the proposed time back by nearly 20,000 years.

In 2013, a tusk was found in New Mexico, as well as a bashed-in mammoth skull and other bones that looked “deliberately broken” and had blunt-force fractures. Carbon dating analysis suggests the pieces are roughly 37,000 years old, a discovery that could have significant implications in tracing humans’ earliest existence in the Americas.

The area where the remains were found is an ancient butchering site where humans appeared to process their kills, although it’s hard to determine what was done by humans and what was done naturally, said researchers at the University of Texas at Austin. Researchers also found rodent teeth and the remains of birds, fish, snails and a a lizard at the site.

Earlier research led scientists to believe the first humans that settled in North America belonged to the Clovis culture, who left behind stone-wrought tools 16,000 years ago.

But carbon dating analysis on collagen extracted from the mammoth bones date the butchering site at 36,250 to 38,900 years old. That means it’s the oldest known site left behind by ancient humans in North America.

Additionally, “ghost” footprints were found a few weeks ago on an Air Force missile range in a desert in Utah and are adding to the debate about the timing of human arrival in North America.

Scientists think they’re about 12,000 years old, but this is only the second time that such footprints have been found, and they support the discovery last year of ghost footprints in New Mexico thought to be at least 21,000 years old — although that finding, too, is disputed.

The discovery adds to the growing evidence that there were societies before people crossed the Bering Strait land bridge between Siberia and Alaska some 20,000 years ago.

Timothy Rowe, lead author of the study, told that the ancient humans likely came from Asia, but whether they took a coastal or overland route to the America’s remains an open question. A separate study in 2021 found some of the first Americans crossed the Bering Sea in paddle boats, stopping along chain of islands that were above the surface during the last Ice Age.

Previous studies have produced remains of ancient humans dating back 20,000 years ago and other artifact that suggest there were people in the area before Clovis – those who crossed the land bridge. However, the mammoth bones are the earliest evidence found to date.

Rowe said in a statement: ‘It’s not a charismatic site with a beautiful skeleton laid out on its side. It’s all busted up. But that’s what the story is.’

…Once most of the dirt was removed, the open-air butchering site was revealed that includes different areas separated by walls made of stone and clay.

The discoveries clearly show few things are as fragile as “settled science.”


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UnCivilServant | August 8, 2022 at 11:08 am

Earlier research led scientists to believe the first humans that settled in North America belonged to the Clovis culture, who left behind stone-wrought tools 16,000 years ago.

The existance of pre-Clovis north american habitation has been fairly widely acknowledged for some time now. Do we still have some Clovis-first adherents holding out against the evidence?

Actually, I think the real victim of the artifacts found in the past few decades is the single migration theory implicit in the older migration models. People came in multiple waves from both directions over tens of thousands of years. The biggest hindrance to dating the waves is that the sea coast of the time is now below sea level, so anyone who moved by boat hunting the edges of the sea ice pack has very little evidence where we can get at it until they move inland.

taurus the judge | August 8, 2022 at 11:17 am

The simple fact is this

All of archeology is a “best guess” based on anecdotal information.

Its the nature of the field.

    And a lot of assumptions. Never forget the assumptions.

      SeiteiSouther in reply to GWB. | August 8, 2022 at 11:58 am

      Yep. Godzilla walking dinosaurs as opposed to body parallel to the ground.

      My dinos will ALWAYS have scales, despite evidence indicating they had feathers. BOO FEATHERS!

      taurus the judge in reply to GWB. | August 8, 2022 at 12:58 pm

      Yeah and as a scientist myself (design engineering), I have to make tables of assumptions for all sorts of things. ( cant design a machine against an idea or ideal- only against hard deliverables)

      The trick is to make those assumptions to be founded in as much hard science/physics as possible. ( much easier said than done at times)

JackinSilverSpring | August 8, 2022 at 11:41 am

There is no such thing as “settled science.” Science is always contingent, with the next experiment potentially falsifying very beautiful theories hitherto accepted by most.

    There is, indeed, “settled science.” “Settled science” is composed of those theories that have been falsified, that is, disproved. Einstein’s 100+ year old theory of relativity is still being tested, because testing doesn’t prove anything, it merely fails to disprove. (If testing once were adequate to prove the theory, scientist wouldn’t still be testing it. They’re testing it trying to break it. Disproving relativity would be a breakthrough. “Proving” it again is not.) Disprove a theory once and it is falsified, and becomes “settled science.”

Ghost footprints? They are all over inside of the White House. Nobody knows who the hell the president is or who is in charge—but prints are all over the place and they don’t belong to Biden.

Microsoft will have to revise its land acknowledgments before meetings.

“settled science” a term used only by propaganda artists of the marxist persuasion.

I’ve always taken archaeological and anthropological data with a very large grain of salt. It’s always getting revised.

I have also always figured there were people in North and South America much earlier than the findings have previously suggested. First) not having found something that is very difficult to find is not proof of absence, and second) given the historical proclivity of humans to roam and explore it’s hard to imagine this side of the world got left out until the most recent of times.

SO much evidence been coming out recently that points to “humanity” being on earth much longer than our history books told us. Cyclical catastrophes that occur roughly every 12,000 years (think Atlantis), with a minor disaster every 6000 years for good measure, each time nearly wiping out humanity, throwing us back to clusters of survivors left to rebuild and relearn what was lost. It still unknown what actually causes these catastrophes – our sun’s solar flare, comet impact, earth’s weakening magnetic field and pole shit, a change in rotation, or all these things combined.

But we can be safe in knowing that we are all descendants of survivors, Survivors that sheltered underground, or in the few places above ground still capable of sustaining life. There’s now little doubt this has happened, and many are starting to think we’ll be around to see at least the “start” of the next great catastrophe, based on what people see happening on other planets and what the see happening with our planet’s magnet field and quickening polar shift. WOOHOO!

As a child I watched some documentary about Otze with my father. Some archeologist was going on and on about the “religious artifact of some type” that was plainly a tool for knapping flint. Maybe it is unfair of me, but I have always assumed archeologists were a little too certain on their conclusions.

    MisterSadFaceMcGee in reply to Dathurtz. | August 8, 2022 at 3:58 pm

    If you are not an archeologist than you are apparently in the wrong profession.

      I am not, just happened to have a bit of knowledge that an “expert” didn’t have. That happens in every field.

        pst314 in reply to Dathurtz. | August 8, 2022 at 9:19 pm

        Your anecdote recounts something that seems to happen often.
        I sometimes have the impression that archaeologists assume everything is a “religious artifact” unless it is obviously something else.
        Have you ever seen the satire “Motel of the Mysteries”?

          Dathurtz in reply to pst314. | August 9, 2022 at 1:53 pm

          I have not seen it. I have, however, the same impression. “Religious item of unknown significance/meaning” is their version of “I don’t know.”

I wonder if instead of saying “settled science” we ought to be saying “science is unsettling”?

Science presents a great number of challenges to creationism. Instead of derail my faith, it’s forced me to look deeper into scripture. For example the creation story. I take the view that the entire creation story is told in Genesis 1:1 “In the BEGINNING, God created heaven and earth”. Period. End of creation story. Genesis 1:2 brings us to this present version of creation “The earth was without form and void”. Some versions say “NOW the earth was without form and void”. So the earth that was created in 1:1 experienced an SHTF event and 1:2 finds it without form and void (dead of life). So God goes about recreating it – v2.0 or v6.0 for all we know.

Such would account for a lot of ancient artifacts, eras, skeletal and communal remains, etc. Over the years I’ve read a little about what’s called OOPArts (Out Of Place Artifacts) – intricate artifacts found embedded in coal seams for example – which would seem to prove advanced generations of mankind predating this civilization by millions (?) of years. I was also fascinated by the Kennewick man saga and the legal wrangling that went on here for nearly 15 years before his remains were determined to be distantly related to the Colville (?) tribe in NE WA state and his remains turned over to them for reburial. His skeleton is said to be about 9000 years old. Smithsonian has a good write up about that and discusses in detail that I can understand about migration from the Asian continent to N. America via the “kelp route” – following the coast – when the oceans were lower.

The legal battle was eye opening – at the time I remember reading the rationale for the fierce tribal opposition to studying Kennewick man had to do with preserving tribal / treaty rights – for if it had ever been proven the native american indians were not indeed the first settlers in N. America, their tribal claims / treaties could be invalidated. Politics influencing science – or at least trying to prevent the exercise of unbiased science.

Nothing new under the sun, right Mr. Science?!?

    CommoChief in reply to MrE. | August 8, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    Far closer genetically to the Ainu people of the N Islands of Japan and Europeans than ‘first nations’. That is why they went ballistic, it completely undercut their arguments.

      In one of the articles I scanned this morning, the test results were not available for examination nor were they peer reviewed. So I’m convinced. :^/

        CommoChief in reply to MrE. | August 8, 2022 at 9:40 pm

        As I recall the first genetic test was heavily disputed not due to any testing issues but because it seemed to confirm multiple prior archeological finds along the Pacific Coast of N and S America that predated the land bridge from carbon dating. Academic careers, reputations and future grant funding would be upended.

        The local tribes got an injuction preventing a subsequent test claiming religious grounds as the ‘cultural inheritor’ of the remains despite the available evidence disputing that claim and then settled with no further testing. Been a while but that’s my recollection.

    xleatherneck in reply to MrE. | August 8, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2 are not separate creation events. The former is simply an introduction, or overview, that God created everything. Simple, concise and to the point.

    Genesis 1:2 begins the “chronology of creation,” which describes that creation in detail. There is no conflict between these two verses.

    That said, even if we entertain the notion that these are separate creation events, there is nothing in the text that suggests the heavens, as opposed to the earth, suffered a similar catastrophic event. Thus, this theory, or interpretation, would have God creating the universe twice for no apparent reason.

    I find this interpretation completely incoherent, especially, when trying to explain “ancient artifacts.”
    If such a cataclysmic event did happen which rendered the earth without form and without substance (which is what void means here) nothing from the pre-cataclysmic earth would remain.

    The Bible should not be bent to the will of science. It is either true or it is not. I believe it is true.

    Christ said we see through a glass darkly. I believe him

      I can appreciate your view, and once held it myself. However, if v1 is introductory only and it does not describe the whole of the original creation – then V2 picks up at some point after creation was already begun. Specifically, what caused the ‘chaotic mess’ described in v2? V2 speaks of “earth” as if it already existed albeit in chaotic form; water already existed for it says the Spirit brooded over the surface of the waters. Thus in V2 God began working with preexisting substance. If V2 is the staring point of original creation, then are we to believe that God who is light and in whom there is NO darkness (1 John 1:5) first created darkness, chaos, formlessness, disorder, and lifelessness?

      There are also things Jesus said that warrant pondering – like references to “this generation”. I can understand and appreciate human tendency to interpret from a finite perspective, but it was an eternal being that spoke those words and to Him, this generation of mankind could speak to everyone from Adam and Eve to the present.

      Where Christians commonly believe in a 6,000 year old creation (from Adam), how is Kennewick man (9,000 years old) explained? Dinosaurs? Homoerectus? I’ve heard some Christians claim they were ‘planted by the devil’ to discredit the Bible and the creation story. I’m just more inclined to think that a timeless God got started a long time ago and didn’t just wait until 6,000 years ago to make everything. Where the first characteristic attributed to God is “creative” and elsewhere it says “God changes not”, did He deny His creative nature until just recently? I’m no less a believer because I allow for God to be much bigger and powerful than I could ever imagine with my pea brain.

    DaveGinOly in reply to MrE. | August 10, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Kennewick Man threatened Native Americans’ claim to being the “First People.” Not that they weren’t rightful claimants to the land when Whites came to the New World, but it could have knocked them off their high-horse and would have revealed them to be genocidal usurpers, no better than the pale faces.

Subotai Bahadur | August 8, 2022 at 4:10 pm

For at least a decade, probably longer, I have known of the remains of a settlement in Chile that pre-dated Clovis. And back when I heard of it they posited coastal boat journeys over what was then a partially ice covered Bering Strait. This reinforces that. For good or ill, we are a species that explores, that tries to exploit their environment, and to be honest has people who probably have to get away from the ones who stayed behind for whatever reason. I rather expect that it is possible that we will find signs of various primitive [from our point of view] societies that existed where we least expected them.

Noting that the Mediterranean Sea was at least once cut off from the Atlantic and dried out [albeit WAY before there were humans] I would not be surprised if someday they found that a) the sea was at least partially cut off for a while after there were humans and had a lower water level, and b) that societies that are now lost existed on the then coast. Once again, primitive, but possibly the source of some folklore.

We humans are a tenacious lot.

Subotai Bahadur.

The principle objections come from the academic rot and govt backed concessions to establish the ‘first peoples’ narrative as the official story due to identity politics.

The amount of hand wringing when the existence of prior waves of humans to the specific genetic makeup of current ‘native tribes’ is astonishing. They really can’t allow it or admit it because it undercuts the basis of their modern grift. ‘Peaceful people, coexisting in nature, not interfering in natural environmental processes all undone by the evils of the cisgendered, white, settler, colonial capitalistic imperialism’.

Admitting to prior waves which overlap with later waves who then destroyed or eliminated them and their culture puts the ‘first nations’ folks into the same category as the later Europeans. They will fight this tooth and nail, just as they have for every other discovery casting doubt on the preferred official narrative.

So what happens when they find out that peaceful, white Europeans were the first settlers of the Americas, and they were driven out by violent colonizers from the Bering Strait 10,000 years after they first discovered the place?

Will they still be as strongly in favor of “indigenous” rights if they’re favored people aren’t indigenous? 🙂