Skip to comments.Etched in sands of time: ‘We knew they were old’ (Human footprints - oldest known humans in America 23,000 years ago)
Posted on 09/24/2021 11:13:26 AM PDT by CedarDave
About 23,000 years ago, a group of children and teenagers left footprints along Lake Otero in what is now southern New Mexico – perhaps they were fetching water for adults hunting a mammoth or the massive ground sloth that roamed the area in those days.
This week, a team of researchers from White Sands National Park, the National Parks Service and others published an article in the journal Science, which concludes that those children’s footprints were the oldest known human tracks ever found in North America. Imprints of the tiny toes were found along outcrops of the since-dried-up lake, which is in White Sands, and they indicate the earliest humans arrived on the continent thousands of years before previously thought, according to a park service news release.
The question of when humans first set foot on North America has long flummoxed scientists. The article’s authors said it remains uncertain exactly when people arrived in the Western Hemisphere and when their continuous occupation started.
White Sands is home to the world’s largest-known collection of fossilized footprints from the ice age. It’s been recognized as a “megatracksite” since 2014, according to an NPS news release.
In addition to humans, mammoth, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and the tracks of other ice age animals have been discovered there.
The findings also further confirm that humans lived in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum – the most recent ice age – and that they lived alongside those massive beasts.
David Bustos, resource program director at White Sands and one of the study’s authors, said the team used carbon dating on multiple sets of footprints to determine they were 23,000 years old. He said previous scientific estimates had put humans in North America about 13,000 years ago.
(Excerpt) Read more at abqjournal.com ...
“We knew they were old”. Thanks for that in depth report. Must have her PHD.
3 words,.....Glenn Rose Texas.
This border crossing thing has been going on too long!! LOL
Could be childhood prints of Keith Richards!
This is topic #3, see the keyword for the others.
“Could be childhood prints of Keith Richards!”
Lakes come and go. It’s not there anymore.
And to think when I was in college 3 decades ago my anthropology professor insisted there was absolutely no possibilty that humans could have been in the Americas prior to the end of the ice age (10,000 years ago).
So much for the opinions of career academics and eggheads.
The article says “the team used carbon dating on multiple sets of footprints to determine they were 23,000 years old.” We’re assuming the carbon dating methods are accurate. In the past (and I don’t know how long in the past) there was some controversy on accuracy.
Yes, love that spot.
They know they were children and teenagers due to the skateboard tracks.
trivia - and, have they checked ‘north and south’ for more footprints maybe ??:
“.,,,Radiocarbon dates indicate that these basal nearshore lake deposits accumulated from about 45,000–28,000 14C yrs b.p. A widespread erosional episode removed at least 2 m of lake-margin deposits between 28,000 and 25,000 14C yrs b.p. Lakebeds overlying the erosional unconformity contain a relative abundance of siliciclastic sediment and aquatic fossil organisms suggesting repeated episodes of increased precipitation, surface runoff, and freshening of the lake system. These inferred episodes of increased precipitation and enhanced fluvial activity in the basin began ca. 24,500 14C yrs b.p. and lasted for at least 9 millennia. Highstands of the lake during this period appear to have reached an elevation of ~1,204 m. Details of the history of Lake Otero after 15,500 14C yrs b.p. remain sketchy due to wind deflation of the basin floor and wholesale removal of lacustrine deposits during the Holocene. The evidence from Lake Otero for the onset of maximum pluvial conditions during the late Pleistocene appears to be in good temporal agreement with lacustrine reconstructions from neighboring lake basins to the north and south....
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