The reigning theory that the Clovis people were the first Americans has been challenged in recent years, but 29 human footprints could kick it off its pedestal. The footprints are dated to 13,317 to 12,633 years ago, but tools found in the same sediment are not Clovis in origin. It looks like someone else had a toe-hold on the continent.
From Science News:
Beach excavations on Calvert Island, off British Columbia’s coast, revealed 29 human footprints preserved in clay-based sediment, says a team led by archaeologist Duncan McLaren. About 60 centimeters below the sandy surface, the deposits contained the footprints of at least three individuals, the Canada-based researchers report March 28 in PLOS ONE.
“This discovery places Clovis-age people on the British Columbia coast, far from a so-called ‘ice-free corridor’ and where no Clovis technology has ever been found,” says archaeologist Jon Erlandson of the University of Oregon in Eugene. A long-standing idea that Clovis people were the first Americans, already challenged by recent finds, “is dead in the water,” he argues.
The site is rich with other potential finds. Twenty-eight other footprints were unearthed there in 2015 and 2016.