According to a study published in the journal Nature, human remains were found in a 130-thousand-year-old mastodon at an excavation site in San Diego, California, USA, which suggests that humans may have arrived in North before the time that scientists believed. This study also reveals that the traces found in this animal appear to have been processed at least 130,000 years ago by an unidentified hominid. To be confirmed, there is still this information, that the human being could have arrived in the American continent, much earlier than the scientists thought. This is, so far, the oldest record of human footprints in North America (the earliest 15,000 years ago).
These vestiges, found in a mastodon that inhabited the Earth during the Late Pleistocene period, had already been discovered in the 1990s by paleontologists who studied precursors (prehistoric instruments that were used to produce splinters) and stone anvils near the remains of the animal. Still, the team led by Thomas Deméré, managed to discover the concrete date of these materials and traces. This dating has been achieved through a process known as radiocarbon dating, which uses the carbon-14 radioisotope to determine the age of carbon-containing materials.
According to the press release sent by Nature, the fragments of the animal’s bones had spiral fractures, which suggests that they were broken shortly after the animal was captured. Also fragments of molar teeth have been found, whose marks prove to have been broken by rigid objects, produced by human beings.
These observations coincide with those observed in materials that had been collected in the 1990s, since anvil and pincers “show signs of use and impact that could not have been caused by geological processes”.
Judy Gradwohl, president of the San Diego Museum of Natural History, said, “This finding is rewriting our understanding of when humans came to the New World”. The next step will be to find out what kind it was and how it came to the Americas.