New Publications: Holliday and Footprints in (White) Sand

Feb. 18, 2022

A new article came out yesterday (Thursday, September 23, 2021) in Science that includes Professor Vance Holliday as a coauthor. “Evidence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum” is a study of ancient human footprints preserved at White Sands National Park that confirm the existence of humans on the North American continent as many as 23 thousand years ago. UA News put out a press releaseThe New York Times and National Geographic have both picked up the story.

Abstract: Archaeologists and researchers in allied fields have long sought to understand human colonization of North America. Questions remain about when and how people migrated, where they originated, and how their arrival affected the established fauna and landscape. Here, we present evidence from excavated surfaces in White Sands National Park (New Mexico, United States), where multiple in situ human footprints are stratigraphically constrained and bracketed by seed layers that yield calibrated radiocarbon ages between ~23 and 21 thousand years ago. These findings confirm the presence of humans in North America during the Last Glacial Maximum, adding evidence to the antiquity of human colonization of the Americas and providing a temporal range extension for the coexistence of early inhabitants and Pleistocene megafauna.

(Anthro News Digest date: 09/24/2021)