New research has uncovered the traces of fossilized footprints on the shores of a lake in White Sands, New Mexico, dating back to between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago.
According to the journal “Science,” this potential discovery suggests the oldest direct evidence of human presence in the Americas, a historic finding that challenges the traditional idea of our ancestors’ arrival in the New World.
The estimated age of the footprints was first announced in the journal “Science” in 2021, but some researchers expressed doubts about the dates.
The new study relies on two entirely different materials found at the site, ancient pine pollen and quartz grains.
This discovery challenges the traditional idea that humans did not reach the Americas until just a few thousand years ago, before the rise in sea levels created the Bering Land Bridge between Russia and Alaska, possibly around 15,000 years ago.