Stunning footprints push back human arrival in Americas by thousands of years
The tracks at New Mexico’s White Sands National Park are upending past assumptions on when humans first ventured into North and South America.
The footprints look like they were left behind just moments ago by a barefoot visitor to New Mexico's White Sands National Park, the amblings of a slightly flat-footed teen, each toe and heel impression crisply defined by a fine ridge of sand.
But this is no tourist track. These prints are among the oldest evidence of humans in the Americas, marking the latest addition to a growing body of evidence that challenges when and how people first ventured into this unexplored land.
According to a paper published today in the journal Science, the footprints were pressed into the mud near an ancient lake at White Sands between 21,000 and 23,000 years ago, a time when many scientists think that massive