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Composite image of earliest humans and wooly mammoths
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas
New techniques have shown that people reached the New World far earlier than the long-standing estimate of 13,000 years ago, but scientists still debate exactly when humans arrived on the continent—and how.
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas
New Evidence Complicates the Story of the Peopling of the Americas

New techniques have shown that people reached the New World far earlier than the long-standing estimate of 13,000 years ago, but scientists still debate exactly when humans arrived on the continent—and how.

New techniques have shown that people reached the New World far earlier than the long-standing estimate of 13,000 years ago, but scientists still debate exactly when humans arrived on the continent—and how.

human migration
Illustrated map showing where evidence was found of the earliest humans
Infographic: Mixed Evidence on Human Occupation of the Americas
Emma Yasinski | May 2, 2022 | 3 min read
Diverse lines of evidence point to humans’ presence in the New World long before the dawn of Clovis culture. But rewriting this chapter of human history raises many questions about how these early people came to inhabit these continents.
rock formation rising out of a plain
Ancient DNA Sheds New Light on Africa’s Stone Age
Sophie Fessl, PhD | Feb 23, 2022 | 6 min read
The oldest DNA yet isolated from humans in Africa reveals long-range migrations around 50,000 years ago, which likely played a role in the Middle to Later Stone Age transition.
Dog Ancestry Provides Clues to Ancient Human Activities
Dog Ancestry Provides Clues to Ancient Human Activities
Niki Spahich, PhD | 3 min read
Researchers combined evidence found in dog genomes with physical materials recovered from archeological sites to discover factors behind major societal changes.
a trench with footprints tagged
Ancient Human Footprints in New Mexico Dated to Ice Age
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Sep 23, 2021 | 4 min read
Researchers excavated human footprints out of a small bluff next to a dried-up playa lake and radiocarbon-dated embedded seeds to around 23,000 years ago. Their results suggest that people entered the Americas thousands of years earlier than the accepted estimate.
Opening of Leang Panninge cave in Indonesia
7,200-Year-Old Skeleton Offers Clues to Early Human Migration
Catherine Offord | Aug 29, 2021 | 2 min read
Analysis of DNA from remains found in an Indonesian cave provides new insight into human movements among the islands between East Asia and Australia.
DNA Evidence Shows Ancient Humans and Dogs Migrated Together
Lisa Winter | Oct 31, 2020 | 3 min read
The study is the first to show a genomic relationship between dogs and humans on the move.
The Peopling of South America
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2020 | 10+ min read
While questions still outnumber answers, new findings from archaeology, genetics, and other disciplines are revealing surprising insights into the early cultures of the most recently populated continent.
Infographic: South America’s Early Prehistory
Shawna Williams | Sep 1, 2020 | 4 min read
Genetics and archaeology yield clues as to when humans first arrived on the continent and how these early settlers lived.
Native Americans Crossed the Pacific Long Before Europeans
Abby Olena, PhD | Jul 8, 2020 | 4 min read
Genetic evidence points to individuals from South America having possibly floated on a raft to Polynesian islands about 500 years before Europeans navigated there.
artifacts homo sapiens ancient hominin neanderthal bulgaria cave
45,000-Year-Old Human Remains Found in Bulgarian Cave
Jef Akst | May 12, 2020 | 2 min read
A tooth and six bone fragments are the oldest confirmed Homo sapiens fossils in Europe.
ixchel chan hol cenote cave skulls skeletons human remains ancient north american settlers mexico speleology
Skulls from the Yucatán Peninsula a Clue to Early American Settlers
Alejandra Manjarrez, PhD | Apr 7, 2020 | 8 min read
The crania of individuals who lived in the Yucatán Peninsula during the late Pleistocene show a high degree of anatomical diversity among them, and their skull shapes differ from that of other North American populations of the time.
Ancient Wheat Genome Reveals Clues to the Agricultural Past
Jef Akst | Mar 1, 2020 | 5 min read
A museum sample of a 3,000-year-old Egyptian crop plant yields genomic information that helps researchers track the plant’s domestication and migration.
cooper's ferry excavation site humans migration from Asia oldest artifacts charcoal animal bones carbon dated
Artifacts Found in North America Suggest Humans Came By Sea
Chia-Yi Hou | Aug 29, 2019 | 2 min read
Dating back to 16,000 years, items from a dig site in Idaho point to the first settlers arriving by a Pacific coastal route rather than by an ice-free land bridge from Siberia.
Ancient Genomes Reveal Clues About Native Americans’ Past
Jef Akst | Jun 6, 2019 | 2 min read
Sequences from dozens of ancient remains from Siberia reveal the closest ancient relative of Native Americans found outside of North America.
Hominins Left Africa for Asia Much Earlier Than Thought
Shawna Williams | Jul 11, 2018 | 1 min read
The dating of stone tools in China puts members of the Homo genus there more than 2 million years ago.
Original North American Dogs Descended From Siberian Populations
Catherine Offord | Jul 5, 2018 | 2 min read
European settlers likely wiped out these ancient dogs, but the animals seem to have left a lasting legacy in a transmissible canine cancer.
New Study Contradicts Previous Idea About Origins of South Americans
Sukanya Charuchandra | Jun 1, 2018 | 2 min read
Divergent human lineages of North America intermingled before setting off to establish populations of Central and South America.  
Homo Sapiens Fossil Pushes Back Date of Human Migration from Africa
Jim Daley | Apr 9, 2018 | 2 min read
An 88,000-year-old finger bone places human ancestors in Arabia earlier than previously believed.
Homo Sapiens Interbred With Denisovans From Two Different Populations
Shawna Williams | Mar 16, 2018 | 2 min read
Researchers find that modern human populations carry distinct sets of genes from the extinct hominin species.
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