New data indicates humans arrived in N. America about 15,000 years ago

Artifacts recovered from the 15,000 year-old campsite at the Friedkin site near Austin, Texas. These artifacts include bifaces, blades, choppers and other tools used for many different tasks

Image: Texas A&M University

The ancestors of all Native Americas arrived in North America approximately 15,000 years ago (and no more than 23,000 years ago) in a single migration from Asia, according to an international research team that includes two archaeologists from Texas A&M University.

The team examined genomic data from current Native Americans and Siberian populations, and also sequenced ancient skeletal remains to trace the genetic structure over time.

Mike Waters and Ted Goebel of Texas A&M’s Center for the Study of First Americans are among the researchers who published the results of their study in the current issue of Science magazine.

Waters says, “The genetic evidence shows that the first Native Americans came from one population that arrived around 15,000 to 16,000 years ago and then split into two different branches around 13,000 years ago. In other words, the genetic evidence is confirming the archaeological evidence we have been working on for the past 10-15 years here at Texas A&M, and confirms that there were people here before Clovis, which has long been considered to be the first North American culture.”

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