It had been thought, up until now that humans move in North America across the Bering Strait around 14,000 years ago. New indication has shown beyond a doubt that it was in detailed 10,000 years earlier than that.
Scientists from North America and the UK have re-examined this and the radiocarbon-dated bones dug from the Bluefish Caves in the Yukon region (Northwest Canada), near the Alaska border, and established indubitable traces of human activity that date back 24,000 years ago. Their research has always been published in PLOS One.
Archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars was the first one to excavate the site. This was done between 1977 and 1987. Cinq-Mars revealed a treasure of animal bones, and based on the radiocarbon dating, anticipated that humans first established the homes in North America towards the end of the last ice age, around 30,000 years ago.
Nevertheless, with the nonexistence of any other archeological sites of a similar age, as well as a absence of evidence that the animal bones found – which included horse, mammoth, bison, and caribou – were there due to human activity such as hunting, Cinq-Mars’ theory proved controversial.
Doctoral student Lauriane Bourgeon and her supervisor Professor Ariane Burke from the University of Montreal spent two years investigating the 36,000 bone remains from the Bluefish Caves that had been well-preserved at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau.
They established undeniable traces of human activity in 15 bones, with a further 20 fragments also showing likely traces of the same type of activity.
They also sent the bones off to the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit at Oxford University in the UK to be radiocarbon-dated again. They dated the oldest bone, a horse jawbone with stone marks from a tool used to take out its tongue, back to between 23,000 and 24,000 years ago.
Burke said in a statement that there were evidences that a series of straight, V-shaped lines on the surface of the bones were as a result of the stone tools used to skin the animals. He also added that these were indisputable cut-marks which were created by human beings who lived during those ages.