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Native American History: The Bering Land Bridge Theory

Perhaps you are familiar with the Bering Land Bridge theory of how humans first migrated from Asia to the Americas. Until a few short years ago, when paleontologists discovered new artifacts, it was commonly believed and taught that humans first made their way to North America by following and hunting big game animals across a span of land that once existed between Alaska and Siberia. The previous evidence suggested that this happened about 13,000-14,000 years ago, where the Bering Strait exists today. 

It was believed in this theory that as the ice receded after the Ice Age, a group of humans who had been inhabiting eastern Asia were able to cross a land bridge that became accessible for migration by foot. Although anthropologists widely accepted the Bering Land Bridge theory for many years, there always remained questions about whether it was possible given the age of the artifacts and the dates of the ice receding. It seemed that the evidence of humans in America was older than the time when the Bering Land Bridge would have been clear of ice. For that reason, scientists had been left seeking more information on when and how Indigenous People made their way to North America. 

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