Research Article

Late Upper Paleolithic occupation at Cooper’s Ferry, Idaho, USA, ~16,000 years ago

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Science  30 Aug 2019:
Vol. 365, Issue 6456, pp. 891-897
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9830

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  • RE: Trans-Pacific migration to North America

    Trans-Pacific migration to North America

    The archeologic study by Davis et al.(1) complements the 2010 study by Rothschild and Rogers (2), which previously documented trans-Pacific migration. Davis et al. (1) provide archeologic evidence that North America had been occupied from the west at a time prior to opening of the ice-free corridor (3,4). The ice-free corridor is itself a quite intriguing and controversial pathway for migration. Wind-swept and depauperate of flora and fauna (4,5), it is difficult to conceive ancient peoples having the resources to make such a transit. The archeological findings further document an alternative to even that (the ice-free corridor transit) hypothesis.

    Rothschild and Rogers (2) in a study combining paleopathology and linguistics, observed a patterns both of disease and of language in North America, uniquely present in its Pacific-facing coastal region. Reactive bone disease was not only common, but was more widely distributed in the skeleton than that noted in any other region of North America (6). It was analogous to that synchronically present in Asia, interpreted as the treponemal disorder, bejel (2,6).
    Linguistic analysis similarly documents the segregation of costal traditions (5,7,8). Extreme linguistic diversity is noted in the costal region, in contrast to its paucity in the area represented by the ice-free corridor (5). Given the correlation of linguistic divergence with time, greater diversity indic...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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