New Research Sinks Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory

AP. The Page-Ladson site was found in a bedrock sinkhole more than 26 feet underwater and has been excavated extensively over the past 35 years. It provides evidence that the established scientific dogma regarding the peopling of the Americas is deeply flawed.

New Research Sinks Bering Strait Land Bridge Theory.

A new study published in Science Advances Journal on May 13, provides more evidence that the established scientific dogma regarding the peopling of the Americas is deeply flawed. The study, entitled “Pre-Clovis occupation 14,550 years ago at the Page-Ladson site, Florida,” found stone tools and mastodon bones together underwater in the Aucilla River near Tallahassee, and proved conclusively that “people butchered or scavenged a mastodon… at least 1,500 years earlier than previously suspected.” This discovery places ancient Indians in Florida before passage to the Americas from Asia through the Bering Land Bridge was ice-free.

The Page-Ladson site, in a bedrock sinkhole more than 26 feet underwater, had been extensively excavated over the past 35 years. S. David Webb, a paleontologist then at the University of Florida and James Dunbar from Aucilla Research Institute, co-author of the new study, investigated the site and retrieved several stone tools and a mastodon tusk with unusual cuts marks—because they were on the part of the tusk that would have been inside the skull of a mastodon, thus suggesting that it was extracted by humans—in a layer more than 14,000 years old. However, the findings received little attention because they were believed to be so old that they contradicted the prevailing scientific consensus. Between 2012 and 2014, Dunbar and other researchers excavated the bones of extinct animals and stone tools, including a biface, a knife with sharp edges on both sides that is used for cutting and butchering animals.

The evidence was largely dismissed until the age of the site was finally confirmed by the radiocarbon dating of plant material found in the dung of the mastodons, plus the discovery that the layer containing the tools was sealed off by another layer on top that was also older than 14,000 years. Daniel C. Fisher, a paleontologist at the University of Michigan, joined the investigation to reanalyze the tusk. He confirmed that the marks were made exactly where people would have had to cut through a tough ligament to remove the tusk from a carcass and could not have been made any other way.

“These grooves are clearly the result of human activity and, together with new radiocarbon dates, they indicate that humans were processing a mastodon carcass in what is now the southeastern U.S. much earlier than was generally accepted,” Dr. Fisher said. “In addition, our work provides strong evidence that early human hunters did not hunt mastodons to extinction as quickly as supporters of the so-called ‘Blitzkrieg’ hypothesis have argued. Instead, the evidence from this site shows that humans and megafauna coexisted for at least 2,000 years.”

The site was preserved because it was underwater for thousands of years, according to Jessi Halligan, one of the researchers from Florida State University, who said the sea levels 14,000 years ago were 300 feet lower than they are today because of the extensive glaciers in North America. Halligan believes much of the earliest record of human habitation of the American Southeast is likely buried and underwater. An example of this is the recent discovery, just announced on May 12th, of an excellent collection of bones of the extinct Bison Antiquus, an ancient relative of the modern bison, at the Old Vero Man site, also in Florida. According to the investigator of that site, Dr. James Adovasio, “bones like this have never been found on land as part of a calculated archaeological effort,” but have almost always been found in sinkholes and underwater. The Monte Verde site in Southern Chile, considered to be the oldest site with a human presence in the Americas, was also preserved because it was flooded by water and then became a bog.

The new research makes the Page-Ladson site the oldest generally accepted archaeological site in North America, although the Buttermilk Creek complex north of Austin, Texas, which is believed to be 15,500 years old or 1,000 years older than Page-Ladson, is accepted by some archaeologists as authentic. There are many other sites in North America that are believed to be even older, but there is widespread controversy among archaeologists as to their validity.

Even so, new evidence from the Monte Verde site in Southern Chile, which is now believed to be “between at least ~18,500 and 14,500” years old, as reported in the study “New Archaeological Evidence for an Early Human Presence at Monte Verde, Chile” in the journal PLOS, on November 18, 2015, and the new dates from the Page-Ladson site in Florida present a difficult challenge to the current Bering Strait Theory, which believes that the ancestors of American Indians crossed into the Americas less than 15,000 years ago. The latest variation of the Bering Strait Theory, that ancient Indians quickly sailed or paddled their boats down the Pacific Coast to Southern Chile, does not provide an explanation to how these ancient Indians ended up in Florida. As Dr. Adovasio, a long-time critic of the standard scientific consensus surrounding the Bering Strait Theory, notes: “Florida is about as far from the Bering Strait as you can get in North America. If you’ve got people in Florida 14,500 years ago, at the same time they are in so many parts of the Americas, the simplistic notion of a colonization by rapidly moving, late-arriving population is simply false.”