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The First Americans South of the Continental Ice Sheets–Correlating the Late Pleistocene Archaeological and Genetic Records

Author(s): Michael Waters

Year: 2016

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Summary

There is strong empirical evidence showing that North and South America were occupied before Clovis. This comes from sites such as Monte Verde, Chile, Paisley Caves, Oregon, Schaefer and Hebior, Wisconsin, Page-Ladson, Florida, Debra L. Friedkin, Texas, Wally’s Beach, Canada, and a few others. This evidence places the initial occupation of the Americas at about 15,000 cal yr B.P. Quality chronological data for Clovis still place this complex between 13,000 and 12,600 cal yr B.P. Genetic studies show that the First Americans hailed from northeast Asia. Genetic studies also show that a single migration occurred into the Americas (south of the ice sheets) from this genetic source population after a brief isolation in Beringia. This migration gave rise to all prehistoric and historic Native groups. This clearly means that there is continuity between pre-Clovis and Clovis sites, with these being the same people with changing technologies. Given the Ice-Free corridor would have been closed until ca. 14,000 cal yr B.P., it seems logical to think that people migrated along the Pacific coast and studies show that this corridor was viable by ca. 16,000 cal yr B.P. Agreement between the genetic models and the empirical archaeological record is emerging.


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The First Americans South of the Continental Ice Sheets–Correlating the Late Pleistocene Archaeological and Genetic Records. Michael Waters. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404136)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America