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A controversial discovery in Mexico rewrites human history in America

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Ardelean’s research pushes the date of humans in North America nearly twice as far back in time.

The story you were taught of the original peopling of the Americas likely went like this: About 13,000 years ago, big-game hunters entered the continent through an ice-free corridor from Asia. They moved southward, spread across North America, and had their own distinct material culture.

The story of big-game hunters describes the ‘Clovis-first’ model, and today, most experts agree that it is wrong. Successive finds in North and South America indicate that humans migrated much earlier. One of the handful of questions that remains is how much earlier?

is an archeologist affiliated with the University of Zacatecas. He tells Inverse that most academics accept that people entered North America at least 16,000 to 18,000 years ago.

“The ‘older-than-18,000’ discoveries have to struggle for years to be accepted by the academic establishment, exactly how it used to be during the Clovis-first reign,” Ardelean says.

Ardelean’s research pushes the date of humans in North America nearly twice as far back in time.

For the past ten years, Ardelean has directed a project aimed at finding early human sites in the in North-Central Mexico. Now, based on evidence discovered in a location known as the , Ardelean and his colleagues believe that the initial entry date into the Americas could have been as far back as 33,000 years ago.

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