Arctic passage wouldn’t have provided enough food for the earliest Americans’ journey
M.W. Pedersen/University of Copenhagen
The first American pioneers could not have reached the New World the way most textbooks say they did, researchers conclude in a new study. An open corridor through the ice-covered North American Arctic was too barren to support human migrations before around 12,600 years ago, fossilized DNA evidence suggests.
“If you look at a textbook about the earliest people in the Americas, you’ll see an arrow going from Siberia, into Alaska and through this interior ice-free corridor,” says study coauthor Eske Willerslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen. “This whole schoolbook example of how the Americas were populated seems to fall apart.”