Monday, July 25, 2016

Story of Americas First Inhabitants May Have Started From a Land Bridge Between Siberia and Alaska

The name Beringia was originally used by Swedish botanist Erik Hultén to mean the land that lies beneath the shallow waters of the Bering Strait. In 1937, he pointed out that approximately 20,000 years ago, when global sea levels were hundreds of feet below today’s levels, Siberia and Alaska were joined by a land bridge dissected by meandering rivers. About 12,000 years ago, after the oceans rose as post–ice age temperatures warmed, the land bridge mostly vanished. Beringia in the strict sense ceased to exist.

A handful of scholars still believe that the first settlers crossed oceans to arrive in the Americas. Some theorize that late ice age hunter-gatherers from Western Europe traveled by canoe along northern coastlines and ice sheets to North America. Other outlying theories hold that the first Americans crossed from Japan or some other part of Asia, or even Polynesia. There is scant evidence, however, to support any transoceanic theory. Almost every scientist agrees that the primordial Native Americans arrived from Siberia. In recent years, both molecular biology and dental research have confirmed this Siberian ancestry.

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