“It is a bold claim,” Deméré acknowledged, “an order of magnitude older age than has been suggested.”

Archaeology shocker: Study claims humans reached the Americas 130,000 years ago – The Washington Post – This is the bold claim put forward by paleontologist Thomas Deméré and his colleagues in a paper published Wednesday in the journal Nature. The researchers say that the scratched-up mastodon fossils and large, chipped stones uncovered during excavation for a San Diego highway more than 20 years ago are evidence of an unknown hominin species, perhaps Homo erectus, Neanderthals, maybe even Homo sapiens.

If Deméré’s analysis is accurate, it would set back the arrival date for hominins in the Americas and suggest that modern humans might not have been the first species to arrive. But the paper has raised skepticism among many researchers who study American prehistory. Several said this is a classic case of an extraordinary claim requiring extraordinary evidence — which they argue the Nature paper doesn’t provide.

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