Humans might have first settled North America around 16,000 years ago, setting off on boats from northeast Asia and traveling along the Pacific Coast, new findings suggest. That's the earliest evidence yet of settlement in this region.
The mystery of how the first settlers arrived in North America remains hotly debated. For years, the dominant theory has been that the first people to arrive in North America walked across the Bering Land Bridge, which connected Asia and North America, when sea levels dropped at the end of the last ice age. From there, the theory holds, they followed an ice-free corridor which opened around 14,800 years ago, down to North America.
But growing evidence suggests that the first settlers didn't trudge through a flat, grassy plain following large prey, but rather set off along the Pacific Coast in ancient boats.