origin of humans; migration to the Americas (Origins)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 10, 2024, 21:32 (102 days ago) @ David Turell

Much earlier than previously known:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/thirteen-discoveries-made-about-...

"...tool use doesn’t have to be confined to purely practical purposes. Modern human cultural expression is characterized by the production and aesthetic significance of jewelry, clothing and other items. Two stories from this year use jewelry and personal adornments specifically to better unravel the story of human migration and existence.

"First, a study published in July by Thais Pansani and colleagues investigates the remains of giant sloths from Santa Elina in central Brazil. At this site, abundant stone tools are intermixed with the fossils of the extinct ground sloth Glossotherium phoenesis, which grew to be 10 to 13 feet long and weighed 1.1 to 1.6 tons. These fossils include thousands of osteoderms, bony plates in the sloth’s skin similar to the armor on an armadillo, to whom sloths are closely related.

"Strikingly, three of these osteoderms had holes drilled into them by humans, which, according to the authors, means they were fashioned into pendants to be worn. These drill holes were also made prior to the bones becoming fossilized, meaning that humans must have existed alongside these megafauna to have access to their fresh bones.

"The dating of the oldest human activity at this site, including these giant sloth bone pendants, to around 27,000 years ago means that modern humans reached central Brazil prior to the last glacial maximum around 20,000 years ago. This study contributes to the growing body of evidence demonstrating that modern human migration into the Americas is much older than previously accepted."

Comment: migration was certainly Eastward. The date of 20,000 year ago for the last glaciation means a so-called ice-bridge existed, but recognizing how humans sailed around the Pacific, my bet is they sailed to South America at these much earlier times.


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