A new research report from the University of Utah states that the ancestors of Native Americans most likely lived on or around the Bering Strait for around 10,000 years before they made it to the land region of what is now considered the United States. The researchers collected existing information to give support to what is now called the Beringia hypothesis.
In the midst of the evidence was genetic data that showed establishing populations of Native American parted from their ancestors nearly 26,000 years ago, stated the press release. They spent the majority of their time living along lowlands on the natural bridge. It once joined Siberia to Alaska, but has long since been covered with water because sea levels went up.
An anthropologist from the University of Utah, Dennis O’Rourke, and two associates, John Hoffecker, who worked of the University of Colorado and Scott Elias, who worked at the University of London as a paleoecologist, were able to conclude such information by looking at evidence which showed the ancestors did not start out in the direction of the Americas until around 15,000 years ago. This was about the time that ice sheets were beginning to melt and migration routes were opening.
O’Rourke explained that there was not anyone that disputed that the ancestors of Native Americans had come from Asia over the inside of the land bridge during the last glacial thaw. But because there was absence of archaeological places and the inhospitable nature of the treeless open landscape called the tundra plain meant that most archaeologists had not given a lot of belief to the idea there was ever an inhabitants of people who lived on the Bering Strait land bridge for many thousands of years.
However, there have been sediment remains found from the Bering Sea and Alaskan swamps have plant, and insect fossils and also pollen. This suggests that the Bering land bridge had various retreats where there were shrubs and trees such as willow, alder, spruce and birch. The discovery also helped explained the secret of how the Native American heredity became separated from its Asian ancestor.
The researchers decided to look at genetics and archeology that were more American in foundation and they found an environment that had trees and shrubs which was extremely different than the open, grassy prairie. It was a region where people would have had many resources and been able to live and get through the last ice age. Both the environmental and genetic evidence they found was overwhelming,
They have worked hard at examining the existing information of the Native American ancestors and feel they have put together an argument that is feasible and also true.
The new research report from the University of Utah has stated that the ancestors of Native Americans most likely lived on or around the Bering Strait for around 10,000 years before they made it to the land region of what is now considered the United States. The researchers collected existing information to give support to what is now called the Beringia hypothesis.
The research was printed up in the journal Science.
By Kimberly Ruble
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