NEW YORK (AP) — Researchers have found new evidence that the first Americans migrated south from Alaska via the Pacific coast, rather than a route hundreds of miles inland along the Rocky Mountains.
The colonization of the Americas began after people arrived from Siberia, crossing an ancient land bridge into Alaska. Huge ice sheets largely blocked the way south. But a gap in western Canada was long thought to provide an ice-free corridor for migration into the continent.
But other research suggested that pathway appeared too late to account for early settlements documented in the Americas. That left the Pacific coast route as an appealing alternative.
The new work found the corridor didn’t provide the plants and animals people would need for migration until much later.
Results were released Wednesday by the journal Nature.