Humans inhabited North America in the depths of the last Ice Age, but didn’t thrive until the climate warmed

Chiquihuite Cave in Mexico. Devlin A. Gandy, Author provided

Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, UNSW

Humans lived in what is now Mexico up to 33,000 years ago and may have settled the Americas by travelling along the Pacific coast, according to two studies by myself and colleagues published today.

It has been commonly believed that the first people to enter the Americas were big-game hunters from Asia, who arrived after the last Ice Age around 13,000 years ago. This narrative is known as the “Clovis first” theory, based on distinctive stone tools produced by a people archaeologists call the Clovis culture.

For most of the 20th century, this theory was widely accepted. However, more recent archaeological evidence has shown humans were present in the Americas before the Clovis people.

Just how much earlier, however, is unclear and a topic of intense academic debate.

Read more: Ancient DNA in lake mud sheds light on the mystery of how humans first reached America

What we found in Chiquihuite Cave

Chiquihuite Cave is an archaeological site more than 2,740 metres above sea level in Zacatecas, Mexico. Ciprian Ardelean of the University of Zacatecas has been leading excavations of the site for more than seven years. Nearly 2,000 stone tools and pieces created through their manufacture have been found.

The tools belongs to a type of material culture never before seen in the Americas, with no evident similarities to any other cultural complexes. Importantly, more than 200 specimens were found below an archaeological layer that corresponds to the peak of the last Ice Age. (Archaeologists call this peak the Last Glacial Maximum.)

During this time, between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago, ice sheets were at their greatest extent. Evidence from Chiquihuite Cave, therefore, strongly suggests that humans were present in North America well before Clovis.

A hand holding a small stone tool.
A stone tool found below the Last Glacial Maximum layer. Ciprian Ardelean, Author provided

Given the significance of the discovery, myself and a team of international researchers joined in the interdisciplinary study of Chiquihuite Cave. Some of us had the opportunity to visit the site following a four-hour long journey by foot, and see the evidence at first hand. Our aims were to reconstruct the environment humans lived in and define exactly when they occupied the site.

My own research at Chiquihuite Cave focused on the latter. I helped to build a chronology of more than 50 radiocarbon and optical dates.

Combined with the archaeological evidence, the results showed humans inhabited Chiquihuite as early as 33,000 years ago, until the cave was sealed off at the end of the Pleistocene period (around 12,000 years ago).

A woman walking into a cave
Lorena Becerra-Valdivia inside Chiquihuite Cave in 2019, walking towards the archaeological excavations. Thomas L.C. Gibson, Author provided

The pattern of settlement

In a second paper, I explore the wider pattern of human occupation across North America and Beringia (the ancient land bridge connecting America to Asia). This involved analysing hundreds of dates obtained from 42 archaeological sites in North America and Beringia, including Chiquihuite Cave, using a statistical tool called Bayesian age modelling.

The analysis showed there were humans in North America before, during and immediately after the peak of the last Ice Age. However, it was not until much later that populations expanded significantly across the continent.

This occurred during a period of climate warming at the end of the Ice Age called Greenland Interstadial 1. The warming began suddenly with a pulse of increased global temperature around 14,700 years ago.

We also observed that the three major stone tool traditions in the wider region started around the same time. This coincides with an increase in archaeological sites and radiocarbon dates from those sites, as well as genetic data pointing to marked population growth.

This significant expansion of humans during a warmer period seems to have played a role in the dramatic demise of large megafauna, including types of camels, horses and mammoths. We plotted the dates of the last appearance of the megafauna and found they largely disappeared within this, and a following, colder period.

However, the contribution of climate change in faunal extinctions, represented by abrupt warming and cooling, cannot be fully excluded.

Read more: New evidence that an extraterrestrial collision 12,800 years ago triggered an abrupt climate change for Earth

The first human arrivals came from eastern Eurasia, yet it looks as though there was a surprisingly early movement of people into the continent.

We think the path of earlier arrivals to these new lands was probably along the coast. Inland travel would have been blocked, either because Beringia was partly underwater or because modern-day Canada was covered by impenetrable ice sheets.

Together, the two studies and their results depart from previously accepted models, and allow us to uncover a new story of the initial peopling of the Americas. This journey, marking one of the major expansions of modern humans across the planet, will continue to mystify and spark debate.

Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, UNSW

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

HT/Matt E

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
July 25, 2020 10:22 am

It’s interesting to follow, that just many American scientists won’t accept an earlier arrival of humans to “their” continent despite the findings of earlier settlements.
There are several scientsts beeing cvonvinced, thatan early settlement started from Iberia following the frozen Atlantic border, because of the resemblance of stone tools with Magdalénien‘, ‚Moustérien‘ und ‚Solutréen‘ stone tools in western Europe.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 10:31 am

Science progresses one generation at a time (if we’re very lucky).

Reply to  Philip Mulholland
July 25, 2020 1:43 pm

I thought it was one funeral at a time … meaning when the old-guarde dies off, then the advante-guarde can progress beyond the old limits.

Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 25, 2020 2:01 pm

You’re an optimist 😉

Reply to  Lil-Mike
July 26, 2020 6:53 am

Sadly it takes more than one funeral.

This significant expansion of humans during a warmer period seems to have played a role in the dramatic demise of large megafauna, including types of camels, horses and mammoths. We plotted the dates of the last appearance of the megafauna and found they largely disappeared within this, and a following, colder period.

However, the contribution of climate change in faunal extinctions, represented by abrupt warming and cooling, cannot be fully excluded.

So in yet more inversion of the null hypothesis, it seems the default assumption is that man caused everything that ever changed in the last 100,000 years : unless there is irrefutable evidence to the contrary !

We are presumably also responsible , proactively, for all the mass extinctions which happened before we had evolved as a species.

So full marks for the Clovis denialism but 1/10 for logic and science.

Justin Burch
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 10:38 am

We visited the remains of a stone settlement in a northern Georgia state park that predated the arrival of the Cherokee. In fact according to Cherokee legend as told at the park the people who made these stone walls were “moon people” so called because of their blond hair and fair skin. The Cherokee legend has it that on arrival to the area the Cherokee killed them all off and took their land which I found fascinating. However, admitting there were Europeans before is just a plan by Whites to invalidate the claims of indigenous people to their ancestral lands, don’t cha know. Can’t have that. It changes the narrative.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Justin Burch
July 25, 2020 10:58 am

We visited Vietnam 15 years ago and one day toured some Cham ruins. During this tour we were subjected to a spiel about American colonialism, and so I asked where were the Cham today and the guide responded that they were wiped out.
No embarrassment or even awareness that he was complaining about invasion by the USA standing on land where his people had wiped out the previous owners.

Self awareness would help

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 25, 2020 2:21 pm


I also find it interesting that there are megalithic sites all over the world that point to the ability of ancient peoples to cut, move and manipulate them. Many date to several thousands of years ago.

Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 8:52 pm


Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 6:47 am

“Ten ancient reclics you’ve probably never heard of …. number ten ….”

Any Utube vid of that genre I cut off before finding out what no. 10 is. Total click bait BS.

Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 8:26 am

Why do all these young women end every sentence with a vocal upTURN? Like, it doesn’t make any sense, like totally, you KNOW?

Reply to  Scissor
July 27, 2020 3:36 am


Are you referring to the high rising tone interrogative at the end of what should be a statement of fact & not a question? To my English ears, it sounds as if the speaker is acknowledging that they are unsure of themselves. At such a point in any conversation, I tend to conclude further discussion with a request that the speaker gather more facts in order for them to be more precise in their assurances. It’s either that, or me just saying ” I’m right; you’re wrong” & walking away.

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
July 25, 2020 8:34 pm

Awareness of the unreliability of tour guides would help, as would a better grasp of world cultures and Southeast Asian history, and colonial history, too.

Vietnam has a Cham community, still.

Here’s a video from 2013 from a Cham village:

Also not a good comparison–Americans against Vietnam vs. Vietnamese against Cham.

The intra-Vietnam conflict was between indigenous groups. Americans are not indigenous to Vietnam.

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 2:56 am

There is no such thing as “indigenous.” The term is loaded. It is an attempt to establish moral superiority of one group over another. People have been displacing each other since there were people.

Reply to  Matthew Ackroyd
July 26, 2020 6:28 am

Thanks, Matt.

Not sure what you think indigenous means, but it does have a meaning. The only question about the term is at what point does a culture become indigenous–100 years? 500 years? 1000 years? 3,000 years?

It’s safe to call Vietnamese culture on the Indochinese peninsula indigenous. As is the Cham culture–which is still there–the original point.

Inter-group conflict has been the norm since the beginning of humanity.

Many populations/cultures have been in their current location for a long, long, long time. Tenure matters. It’s pretty much what humanity’s longing for belonging is all about. Ties to homeplace. Roots.

My point was the ignorance of the original snarky comparison of two group conflicts. An indigenous ethnic Vietnamese culture overpowered an indigenous Cham culture over the course of centuries. American culture flew in over the Pacific Ocean and failed to impose our will on the Vietnamese. Internal, inter-ethnic power struggles are very different from a colonial, or proxy-colonial invasion.

John Tillman
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 10:48 am

US was on the side of numerous indigenous groups against another, ie the northern people of Tonkin (Western name for lands of the Trinh lords), from the Red, Ma and Ca River deltas. The Nguyen lords dominated Cochinchina (South Vietnam), where lived a variety of indigenous peoples and immigrants from before the French. The latter colonists referred to the two regions together as Annam, within larger Indochina, including Cambodia and Laos. Lao is mutually intelligible with Thai.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:13 am

Thanks, John. Very well acquainted with the history and anthropology of the area. The US was not really on the side of any ethnic group in our involvement in the anti-communist struggle. We made use of a few tribal groupings in the mountains–the Montagnards. We manipulated the Catholics, until JFK/RFK and the CIA assassinated the Catholic Prime Minister and his brother. But no, we were not really “on their side.”

The original poster’s smug superiority, imagining that his observation that the Cham were “wiped out” by a competing internal group negated his Vietnamese guide’s criticism of American colonial actions, is misplaced and ignorant.

I guess in the broader context of the topic under discussion here, every region is constantly washed over, in the long-run and the short-run, by newcomers, intruders, inter-regional and intra-regional conflicts and struggles for power. To the winner go the spoils. Naive and ignorant outsiders, attempting to impose our values on an internal conflict are doomed to failure–viz: Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc., etc.

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 11:10 am

You’re right, Kent. The only meaningful part of the definition of “indigenous” is: When does a culture becomes “indigenous”? What metric measures it? The only answer that exists is entirely political, hence my distaste for the term and my refusal to use it.

You do have a point about *outsiders* coming and doing things with *insiders*. It *can be* a problem. Not always, though.

Reply to  Matthew Ackroyd
July 26, 2020 11:35 am

Indigenous probably has a large component of relativity in its meaning. It’s all about who was here first, compared to another group.

England is a great example.

What is the indigenous population of England?

The Picts? Where are they? Who are they? Where’d they come from?

The Celts? Where’d they come from?

Angles? Saxons? Normans? Romans? Welsh? Scots? Irish?

All of them, all mixed together into a new race, the English? Who is indigenous?

Exact same situation, pretty much everywhere on earth. A few places have less mixtures–at least in the memory of current humans. Who knows what happened during the Neanderthal days? Were the Neanderthals indigenous?

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 12:39 pm

Exactly, Kent. It’s almost entirely unknown. Especially once you realize, as Graham Hancock says, “we are a species with amnesia.” We don’t remember anything, really. Sumer? Göbekli Tepe? If I were obscenely rich, I would fund all kinds of underwater archaeology expeditions. It would be groundbreaking, I’m sure.

John Tillman
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 4:36 pm


More than a few tribal groupings. Basically, all of them. Not just Montagnards, but Hmong, Nung, Khmer, Cham, Chinese, etc.

Even without the different religious and ethnic mix, southern Vietnam had long been culturally and politically distinct, even between its Viet-speaking majority and the aggressive, expansionist Tonkinese, whose leaders embraced Communism.

Did you acquire your knowledge of the history and anthropology of SE Asia on the ground, or from books?

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 6:15 pm

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

I was a Vietnamese linguist in the military–studied Vietnamese language at DLI in Monterey, CA. Later I got my undergrad degree in Southeast Asian studies. I’ve lived and worked in Southeast Asia, off and on, for 30+ years. I worked with Southeast Asian refugees in the US. I worked in the Bataan Refugee Processing Center in the Philippines, where I hung around with Cham refugees, on their way to the USA. I ran counter-terrorism operations in Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia after 9/11. I have been immersed in many of the cultures of the region, including marrying into one of them, living in and among them, and having my children born there. I can survive in several of the regional languages.


John Tillman
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 26, 2020 8:19 pm

Far less SE Asian experience.

SW, South and East Asian direct experience. SE Asian friends, colleagues, fellow students, GFs and book learning.

Thanks for verifying my suspicion of field experience, but you never know with a lot of schooling.


Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 27, 2020 4:03 am

“England is a great example.”
So who were the Angles?
In the description of Britannia made at the time of the invasions by Julius Caesar –
“The island is triangular in its form, and one of its sides is opposite to Gaul. One angle of this side, which is in Kent,”
“Insula natura triquetra, cuius unum latus est contra Galliam. Huius lateris alter angulus, qui est ad Cantium,”
So it is a small step to suggest that East Anglia is the region of the inhabitants in the eastern angle of Britain.

John Tillman
Reply to  Kent Clizbe
July 28, 2020 7:37 pm


No, that’s not reasonable.

The Angles came from southern Denmark and northern Germany, ie Schleswig-Holstein. East Anglia is named for the Angle tribe from the continent. It doesn’t get its name from that part of what became England, but the reverse.

Bede states that the Anglii, before coming to Great Britain, lived in the land of Angulus, “which lies between the province of the Jutes (Jutland) and the Saxons, and remains unpopulated to this day”. The whole population of Angulus moved to Britain, where the climate was better.

In the Historia Brittonum. West Saxon King Alfred the Great and the chronicler Æthelweard similarly identified the Angles’ place of origin as Anglia, in Schleswig (Slesvig), which agrees with Bede.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 29, 2020 1:01 am


My Roman source predates your Saxon sources.
You have to admit that the phonological similarity is at least intriguing.
Old names often persist particularly when the incomers have a different language and do not know the meaning of the older term.
How many examples of River Avon are there? Seven in England, three in Scotland and of course there is no Afon Avon in Wales. 😉

old construction worker
Reply to  Justin Burch
July 26, 2020 5:36 am

I offend wonder why “canoes” constructed by West coast “Native American” differed from East coast “Native American”. West coast “Native American” hollowed out canoes from large trees similar to “canoes” constructed in Asia but East coast “Native American” “canoes” were constructed from wood frame covered with tree bark similar to construction of small inland water ways “boats” from the Nordic regent of Europe.

John Tillman
Reply to  old construction worker
July 26, 2020 10:51 am

Very different forests and navigation needs. Pacific NW coastal peoples were seafaring, and had access to giant trees.

NE Woodland peoples also hunted whales, but close to shore.

Ron Long
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 10:44 am

Krishna Gans, try to google “dna studies show american indians ancestry” and try to reconcile the result with your comments about Iberian origins. All american indians dna originates in eastern Siberia.

Reply to  Ron Long
July 25, 2020 12:25 pm

Including the Lumbee?

Reply to  Phil
July 25, 2020 1:19 pm

The Lumbee Tribe can’t Google. They still have dial up internet.

Reply to  Ron Long
July 25, 2020 12:40 pm

Yes, because Google is science. And of course people inherit DNA from stone tools even after the toolmakers makers have been eaten. At least try.

Ron Long
Reply to  d
July 25, 2020 3:00 pm

I utilize google to present options to examine supposed scientific articles, then I actually examine each article that seems to relate to the issue, then I decide if it is actually scientific or not, and then admit its data into my thoughts. For the dna issue I selected and read five articles and all of them said the same thing, that all native Americans had dna originating, at the farthest regression possible, from eastern Siberia. I actually google things ten to twenty times per day, because if you take anything in print at face value you are letting a lot of fake news into your thoughts. I wonder how many articles the dna naysayers read?

Reply to  Ron Long
July 25, 2020 12:58 pm

All american indians dna originates in eastern Siberia.

Ron Long, you need to better educate yourself, such as, to wit:

The root source of the DNA of the eastern US Cherokee Indians has never been determined, even though it closely resembles ancient Jewish DNA.

And then there is this:

The DNA of a baby boy who was buried in Montana 12,600 years ago has been recovered, and it provides new indications of the ancient roots of today’s American Indians and other native peoples of the Americas.

It’s the oldest genome ever recovered from the New World. Artifacts found with the body show the boy was part of the Clovis culture, which existed in North America from about 13,000 years ago to about 12,600 years ago and is named for an archaeological site near Clovis, N.M.

The boy’s genome showed his people were direct ancestors of many of today’s native peoples in the Americas, researchers said. He was more closely related to those in Central and South America than to those in Canada. The reason for that difference isn’t clear, scientists said.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 25, 2020 5:25 pm

“Samuel C Cogar July 25, 2020 at 12:58 pm

The root source of the DNA of the eastern US Cherokee Indians has never been determined, even though it closely resembles ancient Jewish DNA.”

My Mother’s haplotype is C1b.
Which the alleged DNA experts attribute to Apache and South American tribes… maybe.

We have several identified Native American ancestors in our family tree.
The most recent Native American on Mother’s maternal side is Cherokee.
A woman who married and moved West with her husband to Indian Territory, which was Kentucky/Oklahoma at that time.
She just missed Andrew Jackson’s forced Cherokee Indian evacuation orders by a few years.

A major problem with “experts” making DNA and ancestry claims regarding Native Americans is that most, if not all tribes practise ‘wife stealing’.

Wife stealing and arranged marriages are traits common to many human tribal groups around the globe as a means to avoid inbreeding.
Nor were most Native American tribes averse to people joining their tribe.

That is, there is no such thing as a pure blood Native American tribe.

Nor has the DNA test companies suggested that my DNA might be or resembles known Jewish or Mediterranean DNA. I find that claim far fetched.

Keeping in mind that most Native American tribes view the act of harvesting ancient DNA from human burials to be acts of desecration. The alleged DNA experts do not have large sample sizes upon which they use their statistics.

Reply to  ATheoK
July 26, 2020 1:31 pm

Monday, May 28, 2018

Reply to  ATheoK
July 27, 2020 4:31 am

Excerpted comment:

Evidence from Chiquihuite Cave, therefore, strongly suggests that humans were present in North America well before Clovis.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 26, 2020 9:38 am

“The root source of the DNA of the eastern US Cherokee Indians has never been determined, even though it closely resembles ancient Jewish DNA.” This sounds like a Mormon theory. Care to cite any studies documenting that similarity?

Reply to  mcswell
July 27, 2020 4:28 am

Genetic analyses of Cherokee mtDNA or female lineages thus continue to point to Egypt, Israel/Phoenicia and Greece, as first proposed on historical grounds by Yates in OLD WORLD ROOTS OF THE CHEROKEE: HOW DNA, ANCIENT ALPHABETS AND RELIGION EXPLAIN THE ORIGINS OF AMERICA’S LARGEST INDIAN NATION (2012).

The Adkinses appear to be part of a little-studied phenomenon of Welsh or British Jews. Their surname means “kin of Arthur (or Adam).” In 2012, Donald Yates wrote about the pioneer family in his book OLD WORLD ROOTS OF THE CHEROKEE (pp. 144-45):

Reply to  Ron Long
July 25, 2020 3:26 pm

People living in South America in Amazonas region had different DNA, near to people from Australia, New Guinea, Bengal Bay. (David Reich, Harvard Medical School, Boston )

In Brasilia (Serra da Capivara, Pedra Furada), they found 30.000 year old traces of settlement and about 50.000 paintings, dated by thermoluminescence. German source and video

Ron Long
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 6:24 am

Again, try a more robust research mixed with a little thought. The Australasian dna signal in some Amazon Indigenous peoples is most likely due to a second wave of immigration into the Americas, with dna from the second wave (or is it third or fourth wave?) shared with Indonesian ancestry. Try to imagine canoes crossing the Pacific, landing alive in South America, and then crossing the Andes, which are always snow-capped) and then settling in the Amazon jungle. No way.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 11:13 am

Thirty years ago, I argued in favor of the Solutrean hypothesis, but no longer do so. It’s still IMO plausible, but the evidence once supporting it has weakened.

The fact remains that during the coldest intervals of the Last Glacial Maximum, ie Heinrich events, the North Atlantic did freeze over, akin to the Arctic today. Although winter weather would have been terrible, a skin boat trip from Ireland to Newfoundland was theoretically possible along the seasonal ice edge. In summer, a longer trip from Scotland to the Faeroes (or Rockall Ridge, then much larger) to Iceland to Greenland to Labrador via permanent ice was also feasible.

The winter distance was perhaps surprisingly short, thanks to lower sea level. Not only was the Celtic Sea floor exposed on the European continental shelf, but the Grand Banks and Flemish Cap on the American shore. Permanent sea ice further extended “landfall” into both sides of the Atlantic.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 11:48 am

Check out ‘America BC’ by Barry Fells, 1976. He gives evidence of exploration in America from the east. Mostly rock inscriptions, from New England to Colorado.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Keohane
July 25, 2020 12:06 pm

I read Barry Fell’s books when they came out. I was, to put it mildly, unconvinced, as were all but 1.4% of archaeologists. That’s not like the bogus 97% of scientists backing CACA. It’s based upon unanswerable objections by those who had dedicated their lives to archaeology.

Fell was good on fossil sea urchins. On human migrations, not so much.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 1:38 pm

John Tillman – July 25, 2020 at 11:13 am

Although winter weather would have been terrible, a skin boat trip from Ireland to Newfoundland was theoretically possible along the seasonal ice edge.

John T, ….. what proof do you have that those early NA immigrants were limited to “animal skin” covered boats (which couldn’t hold very many passengers and provisions) for crossing the North Atlantic to the shores of NA?

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:04 pm

Trees did not exist in NW Europe during the LGM, and were sparse and small even in the Iberian Peninsula:

The environment of the LGM Refugium in southern France, home of the Solutrean Culture, resembled today’s Arctic, so it’s reasonable to infer technology similar to those of historical Eskimos, Siberians and Sami. We know that they relied upon reindeer and marine resources.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:21 pm

PS: Science doesn’t do “proof”. It tests predictions made upon hypotheses to see whether they can be confirmed or shown false.

I suppose that trees from the US Atlantic seaboard could have floated on the paleo-Gulf Stream to Iberia, but the Bay of Biscay or farther north, not so much.

comment image

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 4:59 am

Trees did not exist in NW Europe during the LGM, and were sparse and small even in the Iberian Peninsula:

PS: Science doesn’t do “proof”. It tests predictions made upon hypotheses to see whether they can be confirmed or shown false.

John Tillman, apparently in your anxious zest to prove your brilliance and to critique my commentary ……. you failed the comprehend the contents of your cited reference for proving me to be a “dumbass science wannnabe”.

LGM physical setting in the south-western Palaearctic. The LGM physical setting [32,69,70] serves as a model system for one of the extreme cold climatic stages that embraced the period 50–12 kya. Whereas ice sheets, continuous permafrost, loess sandy deposits and tundra-like vegetation covered high-latitude and high-elevation regions, and the Sahara desert expanded northwards, steppic environments with sparse trees patched with heliophytic woodlands and savannahs prevailed in the Mediterranean Basin. Thus, temperate tree populations survived in North Africa, the Near East and up to 46 8 N, reaching even further north in western Europe. Populations of conifers and angiosperms ( Pinus, Picea, Larix, Betula, Taxus, Salix and Juniperus spp.) occurred throughout the Mediterranean peninsulas,

I don’t know who the ell you think you are …….. but you best be very careful when criticizing my commentary.

Cheers, …… Sam C, AB Degrees in the Biological and Physical Sciences, GSC 63’

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 7:41 am

@John Tillmann
It’s assumed, that on the Atlantic border between England and France and Spain trees were not extinct.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 7:45 am

@John Tillmann
It’s assumed, that on the Atlantic border between England and France and Spain trees were not extinct.

Climate “refugees”

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 4:13 pm

It’s called the Lusitanian flora numbering 15 species endemic in southwest Ireland of which the Strawberry Tree (Arbutus unedo) is the best known member. This species, present in Portugal, is not present in Cornwall or Brittany.

The Scots Pine in the northwest of Scotland has a growth habit similar in phenotype to the coastal pines of Monterey in California.
The suggestion has been made that the Scots Pine in this area derive from coastal refuges on the western edge of the former glacial icecap and that their branching shape is an adaptation to coastal salt-laden winds.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 10:37 am

What would you say if one presents you the idea, that Neanderthals used boats ? 😀
Evidence suggests Neanderthals took to boats before modern humans

Neanderthals, considered either a sub-species of modern humans or a separate species altogether, lived from approximately 300,000 years ago to somewhere near 24,000 years ago, when they inexplicably disappeared, leaving behind traces of their DNA in some Middle Eastern people and artifacts strewn all across the southern part of Europe and extending into western Asia. Some of those artifacts, stone tools that are uniquely associated with them, have been found on islands in the Mediterranean Sea, suggesting, according to a paper published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, by George Ferentinos and colleagues, that Neanderthals had figured out how to travel by boat. And if they did, it appears they did so before modern humans

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:01 am


It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Neanderthals had boats or rafts of some sort.

But during glacial intervals a lot of Mediterranean islands are connected to the continents.

Neanderthals however would not have had craft capable of crossing even from Gibraltar to Africa.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:08 am


The exposed floor of the English Channel during the LGM was tundra. Southern France and interior Spain was steppe tundra. There were a few scraggly trees in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Mountains.

Any boats built by Solutreans would have resembled Eskimo kayaks and umiaks or Irish curraghs, ie bone, baleen or wickerwork frames covered with skin. Inuit and other Eskimo peoples favored split walrus hide. You can stitch into it rather than through it, to maintain watertightness.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 2:43 pm


The stone “mousterian” tools are unique to Neanderthals and have been found on the islands of Zakynthos, Lefkada and Kefalonia, which range from five to twelve kilometers from mainland Greece. Some, such as Paul Pettitt from the University of Sheffield, suggest they could have swum that far. But that doesn’t explain how similar tools found on the island of Crete got there. That would have meant swimming forty kilometers, which seems extremely unlikely, especially since such swimmers wouldn’t have known beforehand that Crete was there to find.
Ferentinos et al suggest the evidence shows that Neanderthals not only figured out how to build boats and sail but did so quite extensively well before modern humans ever got the idea. They say because the tools found on the islands are believed to date back 100,000 years (and the islands have been shown to have been islands back then as well) Neanderthal people were sailing around that long ago

This paper summarises the current development in the southern Ionian Islands (Kefallinia and Zakynthos) prehistory and places it within the context of seafaring. Archaeological data from the southern Ionian Islands show human habitation since Middle Palaeolithic going back to 110 ka BP yet bathymetry, bsea-level changes and the Late Quaternary geology, show that Kefallinia and Zakynthos were insular at that time. Hence, human presence in these islands indicates inter island-mainland seafaring. Seafaring most likely started some time between 110 and 35 ka BP and the seafarers were the Neanderthals. Seafaring was encouraged by the coastal configuration, which offered the right conditions for developing seafaring skills according to the “voyaging nurseries” and “autocatalysis” concepts.

North of the Pyrenees and in northern Spain/Portugal were places for trees surviving the icy time as you may see in the picture I linked in the other comment, proven by fossil findings in these places.
You may have an other opinion, but that’s yours, not more.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 5:36 pm


There were no trees in Britain during the LGM. As the ice sheet melted, there may well have been colonizing scrub trees there and in Ireland, as there were in England, after the LGM. In any case, there were no people in Britain during the LGM, except possible summer visitors on the Channel floor who have left no trace.

The LGM in NW Europe was brutal. Only a refugium in SW France remained a safe harbor for Solutreans.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 7:40 pm

The Lusitanian Flora are a maritime ecotype. The suggestion is that the refuge would have been to the southwest of Ireland.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 5:42 pm


Again, I have no problem with Neanderthals (not H. erectus as you incorrectly stated) bringing their Mousterian (not Acheulean) culture to Crete 130 Ka. But island hopping in the Agaean Sea isn’t navigating the LGM North Atlantic.

Please look again at the paleobotanical record of NW Europe. The pollen and fossil record clearly shows no seaworthy trees on the Bay of Biscay. There were isolated groves of spindly evergreens and even deciduous in favorable spots in the mountains. This would not have supported a seafaring industry, any more than much more extensive boreal forests on the other side of the tree line allowed Eskimos to build dugout tree trunk canoes in historical North America.

John Tillman
Reply to  Steve Keohane
July 26, 2020 5:49 pm

Clearly, you’ve never looked at LGM coastlines in the Aegean:

Again, please study before commenting out of ignorance.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:17 pm

Does it nor strike you as odd that the Solutreans should have crossed the North Atlantic against wind and current, but they never crossed the Gibraltar Straits or reached the Balearics or Corsica (which is even visible from southern France).

And they never left any trace in Great Britain, Ireland or the Faeroes either.

John Tillman
Reply to  tty
July 25, 2020 2:46 pm

It is odd. Currents going counterclockwise around the North Atlantic in summer work better than against the Gulf Stream in winter. A lot of a winter trip could have been made walking and camping on ice, dragging boats as sleds, however, with paddling between floes without much current.

People of Solutrean culture living at Gibraltar might well have known that the natives across the water were hostile.

The Solutrean hypothesis still has defenders on genetic grounds:

But I now find it not well supported, however think it can’t be ruled impossible.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 3:28 pm

If it was frozen, a boat wasn’t necessary.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 5:33 pm

Sea ice doesn’t form an unbroken expanse of thousands of miles. It has shifting leads, polynyas and other openings and gaps. This would be even more the case in the North Atlantic than Arctic.

Besides which, unless you’re lucky enough to catch a seal on an ice floe, boats would be required to catch food.

Boats would be an absolute necessity for crossing the LGM Atlantic.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 5:43 pm

NOAA’s standard for sea ice grids is 15% coverage. Less than that is rated as open water. More than 15% ice cover counts as icy.

Open water can exist even at the North Pole. It would have predominated in the North Atlantic even in the coldest winter spells of the LGM.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 7:15 pm

What sea ice looks like, even with winter snow atop it:

comment image

Elsewhere it piles up into impassable ridges, which require a boat to get around.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 12:47 am

And you think, people wasn’t able to have boats ?

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 10:56 am

Of course they could have had and probably did have boats, as I said in the comment to which you replied

I used to think the Solutrean hypothesis was plausible. It’s still possible, but again as I said, it has weakened.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 1:21 pm

Krishna Gans – July 25, 2020 at 10:22 am

There are several scientsts beeing cvonvinced, thatan early settlement started from Iberia following the frozen Atlantic border, because of the resemblance of stone tools with Magdalénien‘, ‚Moustérien‘ und ‚Solutréen‘ stone tools in western Europe.

Right you are, Krishna Gans.

Iberia is a highly likely “point of origin”.

Excerpted comment:

It has been commonly believed that the first people to enter the Americas were big-game hunters from Asia, who arrived after the last Ice Age around 13,000 years ago. This narrative is known as the “Clovis first” theory, based on distinctive stone tools produced by a people archaeologists call the Clovis culture.

Clovis sites discovered in North America are far mor abundant east of the Mississippi River which infers they arrived from Europe, ….. not Asia.

“Clovis Point Sites Map”.

And it is also obvious that those western European immigrants developed (invented) the Clovis Point long after they arrived in NA.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 5:02 pm

How many archaeologists were given the Peter Ridd treatment in the late 20th century for carbon dating the wrong piece of stone? I know of at least one.

Reply to  Pittzer
July 25, 2020 5:42 pm

“Pittzer July 25, 2020 at 5:02 pm
How many archaeologists were given the Peter Ridd treatment in the late 20th century for carbon dating the wrong piece of stone? I know of at least one.”

Carbon dating stone?
• Coal? Younger that 50,000 years coal?
• Carbonates? Again, younger than 50,000 years?

Frankly, “carbon dating” stone would raise many eyebrows.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Pittzer
July 25, 2020 6:05 pm

Any archaeologist who can carbon date stone deserves to be either sacked for
incompetence or given a nobel prize for discovering a new law of physics.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
July 26, 2020 8:01 am

“HA”, …. I hafta assume that Pittzer erred in his choice of words when he stated “carbon dating the wrong piece of stone”, ….. which maybe should have read …. “carbon dating the biomass underneath the wrong piece of stone”,

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 8:53 am

Before leaving the USA, I lived near the Nottaway River in Virginia, where Clovis-type points were found pre-dating the ones out west. This is still a battleground for anthropologists. I am of the opinion that it would have been as easy for western Europeans to follow the ice to the west and land up on North America as for Asians to follow the ice to the east and end up similarly in the Americas.

John Tillman
Reply to  Pameladragon
July 26, 2020 11:12 am

From Asia there is the coast of a continental land mass the whole way, not thousands of miles of the roughest open ocean on the planet, except between Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.

July 25, 2020 10:29 am

“Humans inhabited North America in the depths of the last Ice Age, but didn’t thrive until the climate warmed”

Now we know why environmentalists hate warmth.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2020 10:53 am

Yes, if the climate had stayed cold the earth would at best still only hold a few million Stone Age hunter gatherers living on the edge with a 30 year life expectancy.
The “good old days”.

July 25, 2020 10:50 am

As Climate Science, Americas Settlment and the human evolutions are settled sciences – not at all 😀

July 25, 2020 10:56 am

In an earlier article I read, that analyzing the American language mix, the settlement would have started before 60.000 years. Considering a second wave of settlement, it would be reduced to about 30.000 years, here we are :d

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 11:20 am

Sixty Ka isn’t possible, based upon present evidence, nor even plausible from climate. The languages eventually carried by tribes into North America might have diverged 60 Ka in Asia, but not in the New World or even Siberia. Oldest evidence of even summer excursions into northern Siberia by modern humans dates from 45 Ka.

Archaic human Denisovans lived at latitude 51 degrees N some 40 Ka.

Bear in mind that moderns didn’t enter Europe until around 43 Ka.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:27 pm

60 KA is unlikely high even for Asia. It is just possible that sapients were in southern Asia at that time.

And if there were humans in North America during the mid-Wisconsinan, they might even have been Denisovans. Or the mysterious “Population Y” that has left traces in parts of Amazonia. They seem to have been related to the first humans in Southeast Asia.

John Tillman
Reply to  tty
July 25, 2020 2:49 pm

Good point. Who knows how long Denisovans might have survived in a habitable belt east from the eponymous cave to Russian Far Eastern coasts.

At 60 Ka, Moderns were probably in Arabia, India and SE Asia, en route to New Guinea and Oz by 45-55 Ka, IMO.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:32 pm

But, but, but …… John T, …… bear in mind that since the last glacial maximum (22K ago), sea levels have risen 130 meters (427 feet), …… so “tracking” the movement of modern humans of 43Ka would be next to impossible ……. because they didn’t venture very far from from the shores of rivers, lakes, etc.

John Tillman
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 25, 2020 2:52 pm

Sea level was higher during the interstadial 43 Ka than during the LGM, however lower than during our present interglacial.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 7:48 am

John Tillman – July 25, 2020 at 2:52 pm

Sea level was higher during the interstadial 43 Ka than during the LGM, however lower than during our present interglacial.

John T, iffen you want to know “when” (date wise) and the exact height of “sea levels” during the past 43 Ka interstadial and/or during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), …. then get yourself pencils n’ paper, …… a serious “thinking cap” to wear ……. and a topographical reference and sonar readings of The Hudson Canyon.

And don’t be fergettin, John T, ……The Hudson Canyon was eroded out by the Hudson River “outflow” when sea levels were at their lowest, ……like lowest all over the world and providing millions of acres of new surface for biomass growth.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 3:42 pm

You got it wrong.
From linguistic point of view, for the existing mix of language 60.000 years were necessary under the assumption of only one wave of settlement, but when /if there were at least two waves, than 30,000 years are to consider.
So we can conclude, the origins of settlement was before about 30.000 years.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 25, 2020 5:55 pm

Genetics show a single early wave, followed by a NaDene wave and an Eskimo wave after the ice sheets melted. Linguistics confirm this general picture. Which is not to say that stragglers might not have arrived at various times.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 9:32 am

It’s not said, both waves came at the same time, in so far, I see n o disproof.

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 3:53 am
Reply to  Matthew Ackroyd
July 26, 2020 9:55 am

Well, that liable to put a bee in some peoples’ bonnets here.

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  beng135
July 26, 2020 11:11 am

Good. That’s why I posted it. 🙂

The idea that *anyone* still thinks Clovis-first is a reasonable hypothesis boggles my mind.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  Matthew Ackroyd
July 26, 2020 11:58 am

I also find it odd that this hemisphere would only be discovered in the Holocene.

Matthew Ackroyd
Reply to  Matthew Ackroyd
July 26, 2020 12:44 pm

Steve, I agree. People have been sailing since there were people. Neanderthals sailed. Just because there is no record means not a whole lot. Are we digging in the right places? To the right depth? (Particularly a problem in North America.) Did the people leave behind anything of note? We know little. Assuming otherwise is hubris.

John Tillman
July 25, 2020 10:57 am

Humans could have made it to North America ,or just Beringia, as long ago as 42-45 Ka, but probably didn’t. Since the 1960s, I’ve been of the then heretical opinion that Siberian immigrants first came here by boat during the last glaciation, given the wonderful marine resources of interstadial North America.

However, the limestone chip from the Mexican cave is probably not man-made. At least there is at present insufficient evidence to justify that conclusion. The authors say that it’s a type of limestone not yet found in the limestone cave, so must have come from outside, rather than frost-breaking off within it. I don’t know how thoroughly the cave’s geology has been explored, but other agencies besides humans could have carried it inside, such as flood, ice or even animals.

More study is required before the authors’ hypothesis can be confirmed.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 11:25 am

We are entitled to our opinions, but not to our own facts.
Think about that and try commenting again.

John Tillman
Reply to  tetris
July 25, 2020 11:52 am

I’m refering to the authors’ lack of facts.

My comment was based upon facts, not opinions.

Other archaeologists aren’t convinced, since the chip is most likely not man-made. The authors’ arguments for its human origin are weak. They claim to have found human DNA in the cave, near the level of the chip, but it hasn’t been analyzed or dated. It could be modern contamination or date from much more recently than 33 Ka.

Please read their actual article. It’s not persuasive, but the media uncritically pounced on it.

Or, if you don’t have access to Nature, then read this report in Nat Geo, citing prominent archaeologists, include Dillehay of Monte Verde, the formerly controversial, Pre-Clovis site in Chile.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 12:14 pm

It’s available on line:

Indeed linked in the post here.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 6:00 pm

If that alleged tool is limestone, it is not a tool.

Limestone with a MOHS hardness of 3 to 4 and is too soft for use, nor will edges hold any sharpness.
Besides ceremonial or jewelry purposes maybe it was used for drawing on stone.

One of the first lessons when hunting arrowheads is that just because a stone is arrowhead shaped doesn’t make it an arrowhead.

Reply to  ATheoK
July 26, 2020 9:34 am

I came here to say (or ask, really) the same thing: surely limestone is too soft. I’ve never heard of limestone cutting or scraping tools, nor did I find anything about that when I did a brief web search. But wouldn’t an anthropologist know that?

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 2:03 am

You should consider that our knowledge about these times of our history is totally incomplete, short, we know only some molecules of the complete puzzle.
In so far it is wrong to say we know…,

For me, the most interesting place of museum is, where the artefacts are stored, where age, origin, meaning are completely unknown.

As long as we have no real idea about basic knowledge who was able to invent amd construct gear mechanisms some k years before now, we know zero.

July 25, 2020 11:02 am

O.P. mentions is considering North America & how cave blocked 12,000 years ago meant populace was not out of Clovis culture. In contemporary Chile’s Monte Verde dig people were there over 14,500 years ago.

The common assertion the Americas were populated by wanderers using a NorthWest American route may need adjusting to account for another route. Which leaves open the possibility that the O.P. author’s cave populace were migrants northward (from people like those leaving traces in Monte Verde).

I recall there is a little bit of Australasian/Papuan DNA found in some Amazonian tribes. But I haven’t kept up with any theories how that might have come to be.

John Tillman
Reply to  gringojay
July 25, 2020 11:45 am

The putative SE Asian and Australian-New Guinea markers found at low level in some Amazonian peoples doesn’t imply settlement of North America from the South. The DNA entered the South American population at most 10,000 years ago, by which time humans had long inhabited North America.

Whether the supposed Australnesian sequences were actually inherited or are a coincidence remains un resolved. If inherited, then their ancient bearers somehow passed through North America without leaving a trace as yet found. If their journey were coastal, ie north along the Asian Ring of Fire, thence east along the North Pacific, then south along the Americas, it’s possible that rising sea level has inundated their sites and bodies. But then these wayfarers must cross the Andes.

What can be ruled out is trans-South Pacific travel 10,000 years ago. That probably never happened even during the Polynesian expansion, which brought boat people to Easter Island around 800 years ago.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 2:47 pm

John Tillman – July 25, 2020 at 11:45 am

doesn’t imply settlement of North America from the South.

But this factual evidence does, to wit:

The DNA of a baby boy who was buried in Montana 12,600 years ago has been recovered, and it provides new indications of the ancient roots of today’s American Indians and other native peoples of the Americas.

It’s the oldest genome ever recovered from the New World. Artifacts found with the body show the boy was part of the Clovis culture, which existed in North America from about 13,000 years ago to about 12,600 years ago and is named for an archaeological site near Clovis, N.M.

The boy’s genome showed his people were direct ancestors of many of today’s native peoples in the Americas, researchers said. He was more closely related to those in Central and South America than to those in Canada. The reason for that difference isn’t clear, scientists said.

John Tillman
Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 25, 2020 6:08 pm

That his DNA was closer to South Americans doesn’t mean that North America was settled from the South. It means that he belonged to the first wave, which continued on south, but still has lots of descendants in North America. In his part of Canada, the second wave replaced the first.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 1:27 pm

It means that he belonged to the first wave, which continued on south,

Continued on south, ……. are you delusional or what?

John T, …… Montana is 1,000+ miles due East of Vancouver, BC, across the top of the Rocky Mountains.

If they were in Montana, then they arrived from the south, …… Colorado, Utah, ….

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 2:56 pm

Paleoindians were in the US long enough before the MT boy to enjoy plenty of time to spread east from the PNW. However, his ancestors might have come through the land between the ice sheets, after the Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets had melted back enough to open a corridor of lakes and game.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 27, 2020 4:10 am

However, his ancestors might have come through the land between the ice sheets

“DUH”, could have, would have, …….. might have defecated in one hand and …. yada, yada.

John T, …… how about a few “might haves” to explain where those Wyoming bound Beringia immigrants acquired their “Clovis Point” napping technology from.

Did they invent that “napping” technique while chasing caribou between the Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets on their way toward Denver, Co?

Reply to  gringojay
July 25, 2020 11:58 am

I saw a show a couple of years back that made the claim that there was contact between the people’s of S. America and Polynesia around 1000 to 2000 years ago.
The most interesting “evidence” was that there were two animals (could have been chickens and pigs) that were being used by the natives when Europeans arrived, that did not appear to have evolved there. That is the animals have no ancestors in the fossil record. They claimed that genetically, both animals were more similar to varieties found in Polynesia than they were to the varieties found in Europe.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2020 1:25 pm

The Polynesian chickens in Chile hypothesis has been shown false. Chilean chickens came from Europe. There were none here before the arrival of the Spanish.

Genetic analysis has also shown that sweet potatoes floated or were carried by birds to Polynesia long before humans arrived in the islands:

Hawaiians and Rapa Nuians probably suspected that land lay to the east, from floating vegetation and bird flight, and may well have looked for it. But distance, currents and wind were against an eastward voyage.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 3:25 pm

Any unfortunates landing on the Baja California peninsula with limited water and vegetation and another “ocean” to cross would have been disheartening.
“Screw this, lets go back to Hawaii.”

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2020 5:26 pm

No kidding!

Where are those giant red trees that we found floating from the east on trips south into the westward flowing current?

And once ashore in Baja, good luck trying to head north against the California Current.

Now if the voyagers first went north in order to catch the Kuroshio, they might have hit the jackpot, but then would they know to ride the California Current south to Cabo in order to travel back west?

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 6:10 pm

[Pre-] Rapa Nuians and Hawaiians voyaged east to get to those islands.
Polynesians could, and probably did, have sailed to the Americas.
And could have spread sweet potato back west through Polynesia and Micronesia and possibly to Australia.

And chickens ?
They originated in SE Asia and spread west and east. The birds from which they were bred still live in the jungles of SE Asia. Chickens could easily have been introduced to the western Americas by Polyhnesian seafarers while introduced to the eastern Americas by Europeans.
So while the Polynesians could have introduced chickens whether they actually did is still debatable.

John Tillman
Reply to  GregK
July 25, 2020 7:58 pm

As noted, the hypothesis that Chilean chickens came from Polynesia has already been shown false.

Also as noted, genetic analysis of sweet potatoes shows that those on Pacific islands have been there since long before humans arrived. Their ancestors came from South America before there were humans either on that continent or the islands.

Whether Polynesians could have reached the Americans can at present be only speculation. So far every attempt to show connections has come acropper, such as the suggestion that some coastal Pacific NW Indian tribes carried Polynesian DNA.

From Tahiti to Hawaii is a bit longer on an air line than from Hawaii to California, but with major differences. Between the Society Islands and Hawaii lie the Line Islands, Palmyra Atoll, Kingman Reef and Johnston Atoll. Between Hawaii and California, only islands off shore of North America. Hawaii lies in between the westward and eastward currents used by Spanish galleons to ply the Pacific from and to the Philippines and Mexico. Unless they kept the discovery secret, the Spanish followed these routes for 400 years without finding Hawaii.

Which is not to say that a trip to North America and back wasn’t possible. There is just no good evidence of such a feat by Polynesian voyagers.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 9:03 am

“Genetic analysis has also shown that sweet potatoes floated or were carried by birds to Polynesia long before humans arrived in the islands:”

Are you suggestin’ sweet potatoes migrate??

(I can’t believe no one else went there.)

John Tillman
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
July 26, 2020 11:17 am

They float or their seeds hitch rides in birds.

July 25, 2020 11:03 am

I would imagine a lot more evidence exists on shorelines during glacial times that is all underwater. Likely present on both coasts.

John Tillman
Reply to  IDNF
July 26, 2020 11:20 am

Look at any bathymetry chart. Find the 140 meter depth line. There you have LGM low stand, more or less. Much more land exposed on the Atlantic coast.

But, importantly Berinigia in the Bering and Chukchi Seas.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 1:25 pm

For the Atlantic Coast, you can see, FL doubled in size, Chesapeake Bay a valley, Georges and Grand Banks exposed:

Winter LGM sea ice reconstruction controversial.

As noted, not as much difference for the Pacific Coast, with its more abrupt continental shelf, but in Alaska and BC, many islands connected to the mainland.

Bathymetry alone of course doesn’t tell the whole story, since northern North America has rebounded since losing its massive ice sheets. Hudson Bay is unlikely to drain however before the next glacial advance, so heavy was the center of the LIS over it.

July 25, 2020 11:06 am

During the last glaciation sea levels were more than a hundred meters below where they are. There is underwater archaeology that suggests that the now underwater coast of British Columbia was populated then. link

If we look at the spread of humanity over the face of the globe, we have people arriving in Mongolia about 40,000 years ago.

Modern humans reached Mongolia approximately 40,000 years ago during the Upper Paleolithic. link

Given that the usual explanation for American settlement involves people from Mongolia, or near there, I am skeptical of dates earlier than 40,000 years without a real good explanation.

Reply to  commieBob
July 25, 2020 2:20 pm

A fishing weir dated to 13,800 yr ago is not “during the last glaciation”. LGM is commonly 18 Ky to 20 Ky ago. Over 4,000 years is a lot of time to disperse and set-up camp.

Not only were global sea levels already on the fast rise 13.8 Kya, over those 13,000 years the steady movement of plate-tectonics, with periodic large earthquakes rapidly dropping the edge of the uplifted North American plate would likely have dropped those Haida Gwaii areas dozens of meters. Just to the south of the Islands of Haida Gwaii is the explorer plate subducting underneath the south-eastward moving North American plate on which the islands rest.

At any rate 13,800 yr old coastal communities in the BC coastline is entirely consistent with the migration arrival as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was rapidly retreating at that time and forming paths which migrants could follow to the coast and to the south. Ultimately they arrived at Clovis, New Mexico within 1,000 to 800 years.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2020 3:04 pm

At any rate 13,800 yr old coastal communities in the BC coastline is entirely consistent with the migration arrival as the Cordilleran Ice Sheet was rapidly retreating at that time

Explain how 12.6 Ka Clovis DNA was found at a burial site in Montana.

Reply to  Samuel C Cogar
July 25, 2020 3:21 pm

Simple: 1,200 years of travel southward.
13,800 – 12,600 = 1,200 years, that’s a long time.
The same or similar related people. 1,200 years is a long time for people to move around following mega fauna as the grasslands expanded. The Younger-Dryas didn’t hit until 12,800 ya to 11,500 ya given with some +/-200 years uncertainty in any estimates makes it all entirely consistent.

Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 11:20 am

IMHO…just scratching the surface now as to the actual history of human habitation in both North and South America. Considerable evidence now that this began many tens of thousands of years ago.
One of the most remarkable books I’ve read on this subject is “Hidden History of the Human Race” by Michael Cremo, a somewhat shortened version of “Forbidden Archeology”. Highly recommend, but definitely requires an open mind…sadly, an all too rare commodity among “scientists” of the last 150 or so years. Whether it be archeology, paleontology, geology, Egyptology, climatology (!) whatever, the degree of resistance to theories and/or discoveries that run counter to the conventional wisdom of the day is, frankly, a blight on too many fields of science. It’s pretty tough to discover anything if one refuses in the first place to look past their own fixed beliefs. Too often the line between science and religion gets pretty thin.

John Tillman
Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 11:24 am

Science requires evidence.

Creatioinist Cremo offers none.

Al in Cranbrook
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 11:56 am

We can assume then that you’ve read the book?

John Tillman
Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 12:00 pm

I have read the only “evidence” which the raving loon offers.

It’s preposterous.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 1:38 am

As far as I remember, he presents all scientific sources in an appendix as other authors did too.

Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 11:48 am

There’s a thin line between keeping an open mind, and keeping it so open that your brain falls out.

The evidence that man evolved in Africa over the last couple of million years is solid. It takes a lot more than speculation and hidden evidence to over turn it.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2020 12:18 pm

Cremo is a Vedic creationist who believes that humans existed 2.8 billion years ago, ie before there were even any eukaryotes.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 1:36 am

Can you explain, how a creationist, believing earth age to be only 6k years old can accept a 2.8 bio years old human ??

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 11:23 am

He’s a Hindu creationist, as I noted, not a Jewish, Christian or Muslim creationist.

Given your name, I’m surprised that the religious distinction escaped you.

Not all creationists are of the Young Earth persuasion.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 2:50 pm

It’s only my name, not more, father & mother are Germans, don’t come with what religious background ever.
No idea what a Hindu creationist means or is.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 3:11 pm

Hindu creationists claim that species of plants and animals are material forms adopted by pure consciousness which live an endless cycle of births and rebirths.[102] Ronald Numbers says that: “Hindu Creationists have insisted on the antiquity of humans, who they believe appeared fully formed as long, perhaps, as trillions of years ago.”[103] Hindu creationism is a form of old Earth creationism, according to Hindu creationists the universe may even be older than billions of years. These views are based on the Vedas, the creation myths of which depict an extreme antiquity of the universe and history of the Earth.[104][105]

Reply to  MarkW
July 25, 2020 2:41 pm

“The evidence that man evolved in Africa over the last couple of million years is solid”

Not quite. The evidence is solid that all humans outside Africa are descended from a smallish group of people that left Africa about 50-60,000 years ago and then interbred to a small extent with neanderthalers and denisovans.

But we have no solid evidence for where human evolution occurred before c. 250 KA ago.

The most common scenario is known “out of Africa again and again and again”, but it has been pointed out that the fossil evidence is equally compatible with a simpler scenario: an early emigration from Africa about 2 million years ago, evolution in Eurasia and a back migration into Africa about 250 000 years ago.

This would also explain the simultaneous existence of early Homo sapiens and the very different Homo naledi in Africa about 200 KA ago.

Reply to  tty
July 25, 2020 3:14 pm

There is DNA evidence for a back migration into Africa of H sap , bearing neanderthal traces and interbreeding in Africa with a third species , so far unidentified physically. And human remains in India seem to predate the usual “70Kya- out- of- Africa” date . Very confusing.
Of interest in the climate alarmism debate is a recent report that the invention of the bow and arrow, which enabled H sap to kill prey at a distance , whilst H neanderthalensis needed to get up dangerously close, was first achieved in the subtropical Indian subcontinent . High temperature clearly not an impediment to cognitive powers and imagination.

John Tillman
Reply to  mikewaite
July 25, 2020 4:28 pm

Before the bow, the atlatl (spear or dart thrower) allowed our species to k!ll game at a distance. And other humans.

And before that the throwing spears or javelins made by H. heidelbergensis in Germany ~400 Ka.

Reply to  mikewaite
July 25, 2020 6:40 pm

John Tillman July 25, 2020 at 4:28 pm

If I recall correctly … Jordan Peterson has it that the ability to throw stones accurately dramatically changed human evolution.

In most mammals, the biggest baddest male gets all the females. Once we learned to throw stones accurately, a bunch of young males could concentrate force on the alpha male at the same time and overwhelm him. Brute force and ignorance gave way to cooperation. For example, Stalin, a brute if there ever was one, was only successful because of his leadership skills.

Reply to  mikewaite
July 25, 2020 6:44 pm

commieBob Your comment is awaiting moderation.

ski11s aargh!

John Tillman
Reply to  tty
July 25, 2020 3:35 pm

An hypothesis of out of and back into Africa would require repeated reentries. H. heidelbergensis is known from East and South Africa.

A ~300 Ka skull was recently found in NW Africa. Some assign it to Anatomically Modern Sapiens, but it retains archaic features:

While it seems improbable the H. naledi could have survived alongside H. heidelbergensis and other forms en route to Moderns, it’s not impossible.

There’s evidence that H. erectus and H. floresiensis coexisted at least for a while with Moderns invading then connected Indonesia.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 3:39 pm

It would also mean that the haplogroup shared by all ex-African Modern populations evovled a long time ago. It and three other stem haplogroups exist in Africa today, home to most human diversity. IMO, if there were only a single group leaving Africa long, long ago, instead of just tens of thousands of years ago, there would be a lot more out of African genetic diversity.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 7:20 pm

John Tillman July 25, 2020 at 3:39 pm

Contrary to what we used to think, even Africans have some Neanderthal DNA. link It seems that we humans like to move around a lot.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 3:55 am

John, There was a paper about 2 years ago that suggested that H floresesiensis was not an island -dwarfed H erectus, but a descendant of H habilis a smaller bodied, and of course earlier , hominid.
How does that sound to you?

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:27 am


I argued for years that there had to be some small Neanderthal admixture in Africa because Moderns and Neanderthals took turns occupying the Holy Land from at least 90 Ka, depending upon climate.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:31 am


Flores Man, aka the Hobbit, is still controversial. But the H. habilis hypothesis hasn’t garnered a lot of support. There are better explanations for observed differences with H. erectus, and precious little good Flores material.

paul courtney
July 25, 2020 11:27 am

Ice covered modern day Canada, but the lower ocean would have exposed vast offshore area as dry land, right? Under water for more than 8,000 years now? May be much evidence of migrations 20,000+ yrs ago is lost.

Steve Keohane
Reply to  paul courtney
July 25, 2020 11:53 am

I’ve read that the flow of moisture NE off the Pacific kept the coast of Alaska ice-free in providing the snow to become glaciation eastward over N. America.

Reply to  paul courtney
July 25, 2020 6:42 pm

Mastodon bones from the Old Crow Basin of the Yukon appear to show human tool marks, and radiocarbon dated back 25,000 to 40,000 years. Bluefish Caves has bones with 24,000 year old butcher marks. When these finding were published, they were derided by the archeological community who then and still accept Clovis….

John Tillman
Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 26, 2020 11:33 am

It’s likely that humans hunted in Beringia for a long time before reaching south of the ice sheets, even if by sea before land.

July 25, 2020 11:41 am

In three days in the south of Texas, up to 15 inches of rain can fall.

July 25, 2020 12:15 pm

Pitiful replies.
They mostly appeal to non-equivalent situations. As the saying goes: “its all relative”

I live in the National Capital Region (called “the swamp” for a climate-relevant reason #idiots)
Presently, for the year, we are 2.9F above the 1980-2010 mean. Can’t wait until 2021 so the baseline average is updated to 1990-2020 so we can be “somewhat warmer than average”.

I’m going to die before it becomes truly unlivable in Virginia. And I have enough money to afford to buy a summer place in the Catskills or Canada for my family. but I morn for my grandchildren who are likely to die before their time due to current politicians and ideologues who care only to demonstrate their Libertarian credentials.

Reply to  chris
July 25, 2020 1:27 pm

I doubt that Virginia will become “unlivable” (a meaningless term) in yours or your grandchildren’s time. If you were serious, you would not argue temps but presumed “solutions,”
which exist agreeable to anyone with half a brain (molten salt nuclear, or nuclear fusion, both of which will commercialize before you wear out your new car.

Reply to  ColMosby
July 25, 2020 2:44 pm

Boy, that’s encouraging.

Reply to  ColMosby
July 25, 2020 8:12 pm

If Virginia becomes unlivable, it will be because it’s been taken over by Communists.

John Tillman
Reply to  chris
July 25, 2020 1:30 pm

It’s summer weather. Much of the US broke cold records in May.

The US was hotter than now during the 1930s, and of course for decades to centuries during the Medieval, Roman, Minoan, Egyptian Warm Periods and Holocene Climate Optimum millenia ago. And during previous interglacials. Nothing is happening out of the ordinary in global climate, hence the null hypothesis can’t be rejected.

Reply to  chris
July 25, 2020 1:46 pm

You mean Virginia might have Northern Florida’s climate??? The horror.

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2020 3:54 pm

But without the summer rainstorms and lightning. Beyond endurance!

What are all those Yankees who move to Jacksonville and Orlando thinking?

John Tillman
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
July 25, 2020 4:01 pm

Let alone those mad fools who brave the hurricanes to move to southern FL in droves!

How could unliveable FL ever have surpassed NY in population, with its ideally chilly climate?

Reply to  chris
July 25, 2020 4:34 pm

In your pathetic world view, any politician who isn’t a communist is a libertarian?

I love how the alarmist assumes that if this years temperature is above average, that this proves CO2 is going to make life unlivable soon.

The region where DC was built is called the swamp for the simple reason that prior to building DC, it was a swamp. Nothing to do with climate whatsoever.

If it ever becomes unlivable in DC it will because the corrupt politicians have completely lost control of the criminal element. It will have nothing to do with climate.

July 25, 2020 1:36 pm

John Tillman
What are your thoughts on the Gault site along buttermilk creek near Salado TX. A lot of optical luminescence dating at the Baylor geology (now geoscience) takes it back 12,500 yrs or so.

John Tillman
Reply to  John VC
July 25, 2020 2:08 pm

I’m not of the Clovis First school. Few are these days.

Apparently valid sites a lot older than 12.5 Ka are now generally accepted.

That’s quite a different kettle of optical luminescence from 32.5 Ka. As noted, small numbers of people that long ago is possible. It’s just that there’s not a lot of good evidence for it.

July 25, 2020 1:44 pm

I remained staunchly in the Skeptical category on long-term human civilizations in HN before the end of LGM.
Ms. Lorena Becerra-Valdivia, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, at UNSW is after-all do her Post Doc under the supervision of Chris Turney, of the Antarctic Ship of Fools infamy.

July 25, 2020 1:53 pm

Human ingenuity, involving open-ocean navigation well before the British Empire ruled the waves is evident.
Open ocean navigation whether Pacific or Atlantic requires quite a level of intellectual development, beyond both “left” and “right” cancel culture beach-combers. Barry Fell, epigrapher, not archaeologist, really upset the establishment.
Open ocean navigation, involves astronomical heavens, careful observation, over generations. Much of this is embedded in ancient poems and stories, such as Odysseus, the Tilak observations about Hindu Origins (see Arctic Home of the Vedas). Everything is number, as Pythagoras said and astronomy is the queen.
The current violent effervescence of the cancel culture is just foam on the flat beer of the old British Empire racism that no other culture was capable of crossing the oceans.

It is ironic that the old “cancelers” are getting cancelled!

John Tillman
Reply to  bonbon
July 25, 2020 2:24 pm

Please state whom you imagine in the British Empire to have doubted the capability of Polynesians to navigate the Pacific, or Indonesians the Indian Ocean to Madagascar, for instance. Not CPT James Cook.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 3:35 am

On Capt. Cook see Georg Forster’s ” A Voyage Round the World in His Britannic Majesty’s Sloop Resolution, Commanded by Capt. James Cook, during the Years, 1772, 3, 4, and 5 (1777) ”

The London Henry Jackson Society, HJS, today, is the British Empire, that “special relationship” Pompeo so fondly repeats daily, toasted and prepped Pompeo at the private Naval and Military Club, the In and Out Club, one of the oldest, and headed by Prince Philip. Just wonder if Capt. Cook knew of the Club?

According to this HJS darling, China has no right to develop, no right to a Belt and Road Initiative, and Pres. Trump, his nominal boss, has no right to call a conference of USA, Russia, China, India to end the British Empire for once and for all.

John Tillman
Reply to  bonbon
July 26, 2020 11:43 am

So all you have is bloviating bombast as opposed to the incontrovertible fact that Cook knew that Hawaii had been settled from the Society Islands.

OT but of course China has a right to develop. The Communist Party of China however doesn’t have a right to infect the world, engage in unfair trade practices, lock poor nations in colonial debt slavery, sell the organs of religious minority members, run vast prison sweatshops with slave labor, especially by another ethnic and religious minority, rape the women of same, abort the babies of Uyghur men thrown into concentration camps, nor to violate its treaty obligation regarding freedom in Hong Kong. Not to mention industrial espionage and theft of intellectual property on the vastest scale ever known.

You think that Western nations don’t have right to protect their property rights?

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 3:41 pm

Just a hint in German, try to get it translated completely:
Homo erectus – the navigator
Prehistoric man crossed the open sea 800 000 years ago. An adventurous raft trip suggests that Homo erectus was already able to colonize Indonesia and Australia. This fits with stone tools found on the Indonesian islands of Flores and Timor.
German Source

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 6:37 pm

Utter garbage. I’ve read German since 1970.

H. erectus did not need to be a seafarer to colonize Indonesia. Why do you fall for this nonsense?

As repeatedly explained, when H. erectus entered Indonesia, the islands were connected by dry land, due to lower sea level. Have you really not looked at all the maps of Sundaland I’ve provided?

The perpetrator of this total rubbish is a complete ignoramus. You only fell for it because you’re even worse informed than he.

Reply to  bonbon
July 25, 2020 2:53 pm

Read “Vikings of the Sunrise” written 1938 by Sir Peter Henry Buck KCMG DSO (a k a Te Rangi Hiroa) if you think “imperialists” thought “that no other culture was capable of crossing the oceans”.

Available on line here:

Reply to  tty
July 26, 2020 2:12 am

Interesting book. However the Author conflates Vikings with Norsemen, a major error.

Noting the criticism of Heyerdahl over Kontiki and other boats and projects, he definitely upset some.

Barry Fell upended the chessboard, and Polynesian origins.

Imperialist narrative rages today, even more visible. And they say there is no British Empire.

Reply to  bonbon
July 26, 2020 1:44 am

At least 50K years ago Australias NE shows first settlement traces, navigation wasn’t unknown, it seems.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 2:00 pm

From Indonesian islands to New Guinea and Australia (then connected across the Arafura and Coral Seas) are short distances during glaciations.

That starts in the LGM (although after its depths), but the trips wouldn’t have been much longer 50 Ka. The NG-Oz continent would have been visible from Indonesia. At that time, the people were Moderns, so no surprise that they could navigate such narrow waters. That’s a far cry from the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, with or without sea ice along the way.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 2:07 pm

Another such map of Sundaland and Oz, showing -130m and -40m contours:

Easy island to island stages for the simplest of watercraft.

July 25, 2020 2:36 pm

There is archaeological evidence of human habitation in “Haida Guay” the Queen Charlotte Islands off the coast of B.C. 30,000 years ago.

John Tillman
Reply to  Karabar
July 25, 2020 3:02 pm

Please post archaeological evidence for 30 Ka. Thanks!

There is pretty good evidence for human occupation of Haida Gwaii from 13 Ka, possibly earlier, but I’ve missed any for 30 Ka.

Richard (the cynical one)
July 25, 2020 3:12 pm

“Myself and a team of researchers joined . . .”, not so much.
Better grammar to say, “I and a group . . . “
But the article content is fascinating.

Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 4:17 pm

I’ve been reading about these kinds of topics for about 50 years, since I was about 15. I always approach such topics with a couple basic rules in mind. a) I wasn’t there. b) Neither was anyone else alive today. c) The winners by and large write the history books. And d) ideology of one kind or another tends to underscore just about everything, including science…see, f’rinstance, “Climate Change”.

Cremo’s book is jammed with evidence, and quotations spanning the last 150 years from “scientists” who merely concluded that humans either weren’t capable, or weren’t around, at said time, therefore it is impossible. Period!

But then again, I read the book…several times…thus I would know this. As opposed to Googling up opinions until I came across a few that soothed my confirmation biases.

An interesting aside…back in the day coal was mined hands on with picks and shovels. And once in a while something totally out of place showed up in front of a miner’s eyes. Now coal is dug out and hauled away in massive haulers, both above and below ground level…and nobody has any idea of what might be mixed in with it, nor will anyone ever know. Think about that for a while…

John Tillman
Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 5:05 pm

Cremo has no evidence.

The ludicrous lies which the loon tries to peddle to gullible readers without any knowledge of relevant actual science aren’t evidence.

Please cite what you imagine to be “evidence”, so that all here can enjoy a good laugh. Some of us are still under ill-advised house arrest and would enjoy a guffaw.

Readers might enjoy a sampling of the goon’s supposed “evidence” of humanity tens, hundreds and thosands of millions of years ago. Take for instance, his baseless assertion in “Forbidden Archeology” that supposed “artifacts” allegedly found in Eocene auriferous gravels of Table Mountain, California support the existence of modern man on Earth 40 million years ago. The Eocene Epoch ended about 34 Ma.

But, wait! It gets even more hilarious.

The crackpot maintains that grooved spheres from pyrophyllite mines of Ottosdal, South Africa, might be man-made artifacts as much as 2.8 billion years old. Never mind that there is no actual evidence even of eukaryotes that long ago, let alone the simplest of animals, which probably didn’t appear until around 800 Ma.

Al in Cranbrook
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 5:33 pm


Simple question: How do you know?

My book is on loan, but I recall the Table Mountain story. Gold miners dug a horizontal shaft about 150 into the base of the hill, underneath about 4 or 5 layers of volcanic lava built up millions of years ago. They were looking for an ancient stream bed, good place to find gold. What they found was quite remarkable…including, if I recall correctly, a beautifully crafted pestle.

Simple question: Why is that impossible?

How about the finely crafted gold chain, like one finds hanging on racks in jewelry stores, embedded in a hunk of coal hundreds of millions of years old?

I respect your scientific credentials. But I’m somewhat amused by your self certainty. When it gets right down to it, what do you, or anyone else, actually know for certain about this world 50,000,000 years ago? And regardless of what you say, the truth is, very damned little!

Look at how certain science was about the rise of civilization…and then one day, Gobekli Tepi rises out of the dirt. Oooops!!! I remember how certain science was about the rarity, if any at all, of planets existing around other stars. Oooops! Wrong again!

We’ve got a looooong way to go yet, partner, before we even close to some of these answers.

(Off for the rest of the day…)

John Tillman
Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 6:14 pm

His book is a pack of lies. No one actually found a pestle, let alone a gold chain.

No one can know with any degree of certainty what all aspects of life were like 50 million years ago, but we can know what the fossils we find in rocks of that age look like. Nothing remotely like modern humans has been found, and the only primates resemble lemurs.

As for 2.8 Ga, the only fossils are of prokaryotes.

The goofball’s lies are so preposterous that I doubt he even believes them. But they sell books to the gullible, and his goal is to recruit Hindu fundamentalist converts. Truth doesn’t matter.

John Tillman
Reply to  Al in Cranbrook
July 25, 2020 6:26 pm

Göbekli Tepe’s dates jibe perfectly well with those derived for Jericho and other Fertile Crescent sites.

When was “science” certain that there weren’t planets around other stars?

Al in Cranbrook
Reply to  John Tillman
July 25, 2020 10:21 pm

If your fallback position is that everything you don’t agree with is just lies anyway, well not much left to be said. Nevertheless…

Science has a long history of cherry picking “evidence”, and trashing everything else…not to mention careers as well. A subject well documented by Cremo.

In my early days books on astronomy universally agreed that the possibility of other solar systems were remote at best. Now we know that virtually every star in the heavens has planets.

The aspects of sophistication in form and art found at Gobekli Tepe predate Jericho by millennia. And the cities of Ur, etc., by at least 5000 years.

Another interesting aspect of archeology: The most impressive, both in size and form, monolithic structures around the world also happen to be the oldest…many with 2 and 3 layers added on top of them, each more crude than the layer upon which is rests. It has been suggested that this also applies to the Giza pyramids, i.e., those built around them are increasingly crude imitations. This is obviously true of the ruins at Baalbek. Funny how that works, eh?

Lastly, Darwin was a devout Christian throughout his life. I don’t recall that anyone particularly condemned him or his theory evolution for the sake of his religion…aside from other Christians, of course.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 2:16 am

We don’t know only pieces of a puzzle, no idea of origin, technic how these megaliths has been built, who built them and why.
I’ ll not say, John Tillmann, you know nothing but that you have to accept that your knowledge doesn’t explain the world, it’s a grain of sand.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 11:53 am

It’s not a fall back position. It’s a fact that his claims were blatant lies. There is no pestle and no gold chain. Just naturally occurring rocks and gold deposits, formed without any human intervention.

Darwin was not a devout Christian, but not a militant atheist either. His degree was in theology, but he was agnostic for much of his life, becoming atheist only after the death of his daughter.

His cousin-wife was more religious, but even she was a Unitarian, so not a conventional Christian.

The Wedgwood family, to which they both belonged, were liberal Anglicans, but the Darwins were free-thinkers.

July 25, 2020 4:59 pm

I read how surprising it is just how often anthropologists discover the very things which then confirm their previous theories. If the incentive is to find the earliest humans in the Americas, somebody will keep ‘finding’ earlier dates. The stone tools I read in some of these caves have not been conclusively shown not to be natural, something that pops us with vague pieces of rock. More work required I suspect.

John Tillman
Reply to  thingadonta
July 25, 2020 5:22 pm

The random limestone chip was not found with any evidence of stone toolworking. Limestone is not very suitable as a tool. Mexico is rich in obsidian, chert, chalcedony and flint, which are useful. Flint however is found inside chalk or marly limestone deposits.

July 25, 2020 5:45 pm

“It has been commonly believed that the first people to enter the Americas were big-game hunters from Asia, who arrived after the last Ice Age around 13,000”

This statement is false. What is commonly believed, on the weight of evidence, is that humans settled the americas DURING the last glaciation by crossing across Beringia which is dry land during glaciation and which is ocean during interglacials. Pls see

Mike Dubrasich
July 25, 2020 5:51 pm

The most widely accepted (so far) earliest date for human occupation of NA is (at least) 15.5 kya. This is pre-Clovis. See for instance:

Pre-Clovis projectile points at the Debra L. Friedkin site, Texas—Implications for the Late Pleistocene peopling of the Americas

by Michael R. Waters, Joshua L. Keene, Steven L. Forman, Elton R. Prewitt, David L. Carlson and James E. Wiederhold. Science Advances 24 Oct 2018: Vol. 4, no. 10

Abstract excerpts:

Archaeological studies over the last 25 years show that people successfully occupied the Americas ~14 to ~15 ka ago, in agreement with the genetic estimates. In South America, humans occupied Monte Verde, Chile, by ~14.2 ka ago (3), indicating that people must have been in North America ~14.2 ka ago. In North America, humans were present during the period ~14 to ~15 ka ago, as documented by archaeological evidence radiocarbon dated to ~14.6 ka ago at Page-Ladson, Florida (4); ~14.2 ka ago at Paisley Caves, Oregon (5); ~14.2 and ~14.8 ka ago at Schaefer and Hebior, Wisconsin (6, 7); and ~13.8 ka ago at Manis, Washington (8).

…Here, we report a robust lithic projectile point assemblage from the layers dated between ~13.5 and 15.5 ka ago at the Debra L. Friedkin site, Texas (11), which has implications for the origin of both the ~13-thousand-year-old lanceolate and stemmed point traditions of North America.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
July 25, 2020 6:31 pm

Sorry — I used an html strikeout code when I intended to bold the title. Feeble. But you can read it.

First occupation likely occurred during the Bølling-Allerød interstadial from 14,690 to 12,890 years BP between the Oldest Dryas (18,500-14,700 BP) and the Younger Dryas (12,900 to 11,700 BP). However, the 15.5 kya date places it well within the Older Dryas. The entire Americas were not glaciated even at the LGM. Three-quarters of the hemisphere was very livable.

Drifting rafts or boats across the Pacific is not impossible. Japanese fishing floats are often found on our West Coast beaches. In historic times Asian fishing boats experiencing engine breakdowns have also drifted to N and S America.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
July 25, 2020 7:32 pm

I collected floats at Cannon Beach, OR as a kid.

But the kind of craft available to Japanese 15 Ka would have been unlikely to survive a crossing straight across on the Kuroshio. But along the Beringian south coast from Siberia or possibly even the then larger Aleutians, despite horrific weather, might have been possible. Or walking across Beringia, then continuing east and south by boat.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
July 26, 2020 9:48 am

Even Homo erectus was able to use boats in the one or the other way.
On Kreta, they found over 2.000 Acheuléen stone artefacts, at least 130.000 years old. Kreta is at least an island since 5 mio years.
So the people was able and interested to use boats

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
July 26, 2020 12:04 pm

During glaciations, Crete isn’t far from other islands, which are close to the mainlands of Europe and Asia. That date however is long after H. erectus grade humans in Europe. If the age be correct, they’d be Mousterian, not Achuelian. Hence, Neanderthal, not H. erectus.

But yes, H. erectus could probably ride logs to land within sight. Just didn’t do so to Crete. Technically, H. erectus didn’t reach Europe, under current nomenclature. However, H. ergaster and antecesor can be considered late erectus-grade Homo.

Please study anthropology and archaeology before commenting upon them.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 3:31 pm


Over 2,000 stone artefacts were discovered by archaeologists near the village of Plakias on the south coast of Crete. This in itself is not so surprising, remarkable is the age of the finds, which were uncovered by the team around the Greek archaeologist Eleni Panagopoulou and her US colleague Thomas F. Strasser. Typologically, these finds discovered in the last two years – fist-wedges and scrapers – are counted among the so-called Acheuléen culture. The Acheuléen culture is a characteristic way of producing stone artefacts that were spread from Africa to Europe 150,000 to 1.5 million years ago and are attributed to Homo erectus. The finds from Crete are at least 130,000 years old, according to the geological dating of the find layer.

However, since Crete has been an island for five million years, the manufacturers of the objects must have been able and, above all, willing to cover greater distances by boat at sea. This circumstance now shakes the hitherto prevailing opinion in the scientific community, because this ability was/is only attributed to Homo sapiens. Probably these earliest settlers of Crete did not come directly from Libya (200 km) to the island. Rather, the route was probably via island-hopping from the Greek or Turkish mainland.

The history does not have to be rewritten by these new research results from Crete, but new possibilities for the settlement of Europe by Homo erectus arise. With the present knowledge, only the route via the Levant, Turkey, Greece or the Balkan region was possible, but now it is worth considering that Homo erectus took the Strait of Gibraltar and thus reached the Iberian Peninsula.

Translated with (free version)

German source

Try to be less snotty

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 5:44 pm

Please try to be more accurate.

Again, no surprise that Mousterian tools are on Crete. It’s easily accessible in glacial times by short sea excursions from Greece.

You’re not making any relevant point.

Reply to  John Tillman
July 27, 2020 3:43 am

Beside the fact that, if that what I wrote is BS in yozr opinion, it’s BS by scientists, not my BS.
But, of course, that you could be wrong is impossible, I know 😀

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 28, 2020 7:28 pm

That is not BS by scientists, but by evidence-free speculators. No seafaring capability was required for H. erectus to spread across Sundaland.

As for snottiness, please recall what you wrote before me.

Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 6:41 pm

I have always believed that mankind was in the “New World” far longer than formerly accepted. In my college days they had pushed it back to about 10,000-11,000 BC. I argued in a paper (second year Archaeology course) that man had to of been on the continent far longer then that and we should be looking to the coasts in nearby caves for evidence – and was dutifully verbally beaten by the instructor for suggesting such as thing. Clovis people were first – PERIOD.

It would not surprise me if they eventually push it back 40,000 years – we are so prone to underestimating mankind’s ability to migrate. I think 20,000 years is pretty much a given (yes, an opinion). What would be really cool is if they ever find evidence of Denisovan being here – now that would light some fires in the field!

John Tillman
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 7:28 pm

Denisovan pioneers is an intriguing hypothesis, but 45 Ka, Moderns were better placed:

The 45 Ka ‘Ust’-Ishim man (57.744°N 71.200°E) was found farther north than Denisova cave, but also farther west.

Most likely, however, human colonization of the Americas began after the depth of the LGM, rather than during the interstadial that carried Moderns to Europe and Siberia, at least temporarily in the latter case.

Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 7:28 pm

From the article: “Some of us had the opportunity to visit the site following a four-hour long journey by foot”

That’s what you call dedication! 🙂

July 26, 2020 6:27 am

The shift to a warmer climate was a large contributing factor to the demise of most extinct North-American mega-fauna.

Although warming occurred, seasonal temperature shifts, also became more dramatic. Thus, plains landscapes could experience 105 F summer days and -20 F winter nights. These temperature swings, and to a lesser degree increasing hunting pressure drove these animals to the brink.

The abruptness of the mass extinction, indemnifies humankind as the main culprit. The post-Ice Age population was simply too small to force extinction.

John Tillman
Reply to  RobR
July 26, 2020 12:11 pm

Nope. Climate changes after the last glaciación were no different from after previous ice sheet advances. Wherever humans encountered naive megafauna, we wiped them out. Australia, the Balaerics, North and South America, the Caribbean, Madagascar, Hawaii, New Zealand, Mauritius, Reunion, to ñame but a few. Even most of the megafauna of Pleistocene Eurasia. Coincidence? I think not.

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
July 26, 2020 12:12 pm

Sorry about glaciation. My auto fill is in Spanish.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  RobR
July 26, 2020 6:30 pm

It is likely that Pleistocene megafauna populations were maintained far below carrying capacity due to predator-prey interactions. That is, the populations of prey like mastodons were perpetually held at a fraction (10%) of the theoretical maximum capacity of the landscape because of predation by dire wolves and Smilodons (saber-toothed cats).

When humans arrived they rapidly became the keystone predators and were many times more effective at harvesting large grazing animals. It did not take a mass slaughter to upset the previous predator-prey relationships. A few seasons wherein a high percentage of existing prey were taken had devastating effects on both prey and predator populations.

After a few thousand years of human hunting, the large, slow-moving megafauna disappeared entirely as did their former predators. They were replaced by smaller, quicker, more elusive species such as deer, modern bisons, mountain lions, and coyotes. Some species including elk (wapiti) and grey wolves arrived contemporaneously with humans — over Beringia and down the ice-free corridor.

Neolithic hunters thus extirpated many species (30+) with relative ease and without hunting down every last member of the population.

The “climate change did it” theory is without foundation. Many Pleistocene megafauna occupied a range of climate zones and were very mobile. They could migrate vast distances. The climate warmed after the LGM, and that warming expanded habitats. Without human hunting, those species would have fared very well.

John Tillman
Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
July 26, 2020 8:15 pm

With selective hunting of females, as in the 19th century with bison, a vast population can soon be wiped out.

July 26, 2020 7:58 am

Oh boy, this will cause alot of posturing by various groups. We were first. NO, we were first! No, that’s wrong, WE were first!! Etc,etc,etc.

Just Jenn
July 26, 2020 8:38 am

Very interesting article and comments.

I began what I thought would be a simple task a few years ago for my book–how old is the spinning wheel? While some may just turn that out of hand and pass it off as unimportant, it really isn’t and here is why:

Origins to the original spinning wheel are lost. There is a picture of a spinning wheel in a Chinese carving dating to about 400BC, or is it? Is it? There are those that say yes, there are those that say no. Yet a relatively short time after that carving is dated (perhaps incorrectly) India starts big in the cotton and silk trade. But Sericulture (silk) was a secret in China at the time…so how did India get it? More over, how did they “spin” it (spin is in quotes as silk isn’t spun, it’s plied monofiliment to be base)…and better yet, what was India doing until then? Fast forward and the first picture of a spinning wheel in Germany is 1400. That’s 1000+ years later. Well how did it get there and looking so modern we would recognize it as a spinning wheel?

I use this as an example of something as vital to human society as a spinning wheel and we can’t even date it. We don’t know who invented it. We don’t know where it came from and we don’t know how it got to Europe. It just “appeared”. The more you dig, the more you realize we don’t know and push the boundaries into the unknown.

So…could humans have expanded their world knowledge as early as 35K years ago? Why not? What makes ancient human less inquisitive about their world than us? What makes them less observant or “scientific” as us? Or less curious? And why not earlier? Like the spinning wheel’s appearance in Europe, it didn’t just ‘happen’ one day that a monk decided to record it in a book that survived. There is a long, long history that represents it’s appearance for posterity. I’m still searching for that history–which may be lost under the ocean until it recedes and can be found again….or it may be buried in some accounting book left unlooked at after all these thousands of years. Some trade manifest still unstudied. The point is that we don’t know…until we do.

John Tillman
Reply to  Just Jenn
July 26, 2020 6:15 pm

Spinning wheel was most likely invented in India before AD 1000.

China in 400 BC is very unlikely. Probably a misinterpretation or misdating of the carving.

July 26, 2020 10:47 am

I think it is about time that science gets rid of the blinders and start to give at least some attention to a number of scientists who have been saying for well over fifty years, that a human presence in the Americas dates back to 200,000 to 250,000 BP. Virginia Steen McIntyre one of the main people at the Pleistocene Coalition website, has been convinced that very old artifacts have been unearthed at Valsequillo in Central Mexico, and the other at Calico in the southwest U.S. And the eminent archeologist, Richard Leakey, after examining some of the Calico artifacts conservatively admitted, as he believed the finds may well have been much older, that the artifacts were at least forty to fifty thousand years old. Why don’t reputable scientists like you Charles Rotter, give some credit to those brave souls before you that have already indicated that early man in some capacity was in the Americas for a very long time ago. And to even mention the Paul Martin’s hypothesis, pardon me but this theory should have been place in the trash bin where it belongs. It is a joke to even mnetion this outdated theory.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rod Chilton
July 26, 2020 1:33 pm

Re. Calico Hills, Mary Leakey ultimately left her husband over their disagreement on his loss of scientific respect.

The alleged “artifacts” were promptly recognized as geofacts. Papers by Duvall and Venner, Payen and others provided natural explanations for the putatively man-made stone objects.

Furthermore, the lack of other evidence of human activity, eg human or animal remains, or non-tool artifacts, showed the “site” to be geological, not archaeological. This concljusion was reinforced by the sheer number of ostensible “tools”, up to 60,000.

John Tillman
July 26, 2020 12:28 pm

There is not only no evidence of humans in North America 250,000 years ago (date suggested for Valsequillo tools), but none in northern Siberia (57 N) before 45 Ka, and that just east of the Urals. In Europe 200 Ka, there were sparse on the ground Neanderthals.

Sadly, Leakey did embarrass himself with a gross error.

The Valsequillo tools were far too sophisticated to have been made anywhere on Earth 250 Ka, even Africa. They were associated with animals which didn’t live there before the LGM. The dating was simply off by an order of magnitude.

It is however a possibly Pre-Clovis site.

July 26, 2020 6:26 pm

Everyone who is alive and has ever been alive is a result of events going back as far as there have been humans.
The truth about this has been limited by social correctness over science.

I will try to find the book Vikings of the Sunrise.

John Tillman
Reply to  Olen
July 26, 2020 8:13 pm
July 28, 2020 12:08 pm

Remember; while absence of evidence is not evidence for absence, it is still just that. Like yeti and alien visitors, there is a general absence of evidence for humans in the Americas prior to 40,000 ybp.
The presence of humans in the “new world” prior to 20,000 ybp is the subject of legitimate scientific debate. Debate over whether the evidence stands scrutiny, whether we’re looking hard enough, whether we’re looking in the right places and whether we are biased in our judgements.

July 28, 2020 1:37 pm

There have been some additional archeological finds from Southern California by other researchers that have been dated to about 130,000 BP, well before the date you cite (John Tillman) of 60,000 BP. I also suggest, why did the earliest people have to come from Siberia? There are many others theories including, yes, early arrivals from Europe, or even Polynesia. And what makes you think Mary Leakey was correct, she may have been wrong just as easily as her husband. And also, they were and are several experts besides, Virginia Steen McIntyre that have provided their evidence to the Pleistocene Coalition News.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rod Chilton
July 28, 2020 7:26 pm

Mary was correct and her husband wrong.

There is zero valid evidence of humans in the New World at 130 Ka. There were no modern humans then outside of Africa, so no possibility of trans-Pacific voyages from Asia.

Science requires evidence. Wild speculation doesn’t count.

July 29, 2020 11:01 am

John: I will give you the benefit of the doubt re: Mary, but I think if her husband was incorrect, then scientists at the Pleistocene Coalition should have indicated this and to my knowledge they have not. Why, like the original native people in the Americas continue to contend that they are from here? Don’t you think it possible that their arrival was a very long time ago? The i30,000 BP figure was from an independent study not far from San Diego. I will dig up (excuse the pun) the reference if you are interested? Also, the Neanderthals were present in Europe as long ago as 250,000 BP., and according to scientists Dimitra Papagianni and Michael Morse they present in their quite recent book (2015), information indicating that the Neanderthal were much more developed than given credit, just a few years prior to the mid 2010’s. Is it so difficult to believe that they not only arrive in Europe about 250,000 BP, but also made into the Americas by boats?

July 29, 2020 2:53 pm

All of the possibilities you can imagine founder for lack of evidence. The San Diego site is fanciful at best, you can draw no conclusion from that.

A pre-Clovis culture in the Americas appears to be certain, although even there, each site has issues in their pre-Clovis elements.

No credible evidence exists for pre-Columbian influence in the Americas from Europe, except a failed colonization attempt in the Northeast from Greenland during the MWP.

John T.,
Ancient documents, including those revered by world religions, can contain reflections of historic events. The legendary argonauts sailed from Crete into the very real eruption at Thera (Argonautica, Appolonius of Rhodes, Book 4). But they didn’t really spill the blood of the iron man who circled Crete protecting it from invasion on the way.

Genesis carries a record of a “world”-shattering flood, probably one of many that occurred as the oceans refilled. But if “Noachian” means with the Ark and the animals and all that, then you’re correct. Thats a no.

July 29, 2020 7:36 pm

Correction: χαλκειός is bronze, not iron.

Joseph Michael
July 29, 2020 10:50 pm

Congratulations on taking part in this incredible study. I have to admit that I don’t know very much about this subject. After a trip to Washington state 2 years ago, I heard about “Kennewick man”and I became interested. What would you suggest reading for most accurate/ up to date information and where does “Kennewick man” fit into all this ? TY. Great site, btw.

August 1, 2020 8:48 pm

“This significant expansion of humans during a warmer period seems to have played a role in the dramatic demise of large megafauna, including types of camels, horses and mammoths. We plotted the dates of the last appearance of the megafauna and found they largely disappeared within this, and a following, colder period”

This is close to an outright claim of causation. As such, it should have been accompanied by a chain of logic and facts. Absent those, and with a huge common-sense contra-indication, it is a credibility-destroying paragraph. You should have stopped short of that claim.

Here’s the common sense. There were millions and millions of huge beasts across The Americas. Homo sapiens numbers were small. Tiny. Just a few communities, at best. (large population came later). Homo had no horses to chase millions and millions of huge beasts. No metalcraft — nothing but stone and bone tools. Even evidence of atlatls, a spear-leverage weapon, is skimpy and full of speculation.

The small population of Homo in the North America 33,000-12,000 years ago did not drive the Mega Fauna into extinction.

August 3, 2020 7:34 am

I agree whole heartedly with you windlord-Sun

%d bloggers like this: