Most archaeologists think the first Americans arrived by boat. Now, they’re beginning to prove it | Science | AAAS

[ mexika.org ]

ON CEDROS ISLAND IN MEXICO—Matthew Des Lauriers got the first inkling that he had stumbled on something special when he pulled over on a dirt road here, seeking a place for his team to use the bathroom. While waiting for everyone to return to the car, Des Lauriers, then a graduate student at the University of California, Riverside, meandered across the landscape, scanning for stone tools and shell fragments left by the people who had lived on the island in the past 1500 years.

As he explored, his feet crunched over shells of large Pismo clams—bivalves that he hadn’t seen before on the mountainous island, 100 kilometers off the Pacific coast of Baja California. The stone tools littering the ground didn’t fit, either. Unlike the finely made arrow points and razor-sharp obsidian that Des Lauriers had previously found on the island, these jagged flakes had been crudely knocked off of…

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