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130,000 Years Ago, Humans Lived in North America, Scientists Say

130,000 Years Ago, Humans Lived in North America, Scientists Say

A drawer full of Cerutti Mastodon site fossils in the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Paleontology Collection Room. (Kate Johnson/San Diego Natural History Museum)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 April 2017 06:00 PM EDT

Archeological studies show definitively that prehistoric humans inhabited California at least 130,000 years ago, say scientists at the San Diego Natural History Museum.

The bones studied were discovered in 1992, but the claims are so radical that it took 24 years until scientists were confident enough to publish their findings, according to The New York Times.

In a report in the journal Nature, scientists say prehistoric humans smashed mastodon bones with smooth rocks near San Diego 130,000 years ago. The humans may have been Neanderthals or other yet unknown prehistoric species.

The study claims the pattern of broken bones as well as chips of bone that were smashed off the larger pieces prove something human must have smashed them. The findings would be the first to show humans were present in North America so early in its history, Ars Technica noted.

Part of the study involved smashing fresh elephant bones to see if they would form the same shatter and breakage patterns as the mastodon bones found in 1992, and they did.

Many scientists are skeptical of the study, saying the findings don’t prove something else didn’t smash the bones, only that humans might have done it, the NYT reported.

Some in the scientific community also have pointed to recent freeway construction as disturbing the excavation site or said there is not enough evidence to prove human involvement.

The generally accepted timetable for human migration says homo sapiens did not come onto North America until 13,000 to 15,000 years ago, Ars Technica reported.

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TheWire
Archeological studies show definitively that prehistoric humans inhabited California at least 130,000 years ago, say scientists at the San Diego Natural History Museum.
humans, 130000, years, north america
255
2017-00-26
Wednesday, 26 April 2017 06:00 PM
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