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On the Trail of the First Americans [Interactive]

New discoveries have focused researchers on two possible migration routes

In the traditional view of human colonization of the Americas, big-game hunters from Asia —the so-called Clovis people —swept quickly across a now submerged landmass called Beringia into North America around 13,000 years ago and hastened south into warmer climes. Over the past decade, however, evidence against this "Clovis First" scenario has mounted, as this article in the November issue describes. The latest geologic and archaeological research indicates that humans entered the New World thousands of years before the Clovis people left behind their distinctive stone tools and suggests two possible migration paths: a coastal route and an early ice-free corridor.

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