Sponsored by: The AIA-Orange County Society
The Cerruti Mastodon Site, circa 130,000, in San Diego County, documents an early movement of humans into North America. Rapid climate warming and attendant floral and faunal changes during the last interglacial resulted in mega-fauna moving far north of their previous ranges. This includes the spread of mastodons and sloths from the USA to north to the Yukon and Alaska. It seams reasonable that humans would have also increased their range far to the north in Asia in a similar response to climate change.
Rapid sea level rises inundated Beringia early during this period cutting off the land route, indicating that if early humans arrived in North America via the land bridge they entered before 130,000 years ago. These early groups, adapted to hunting bison likely expanded their range following their prey.
A coastal route of entry by watercraft is also a possibility. Early humans developed watercraft capable of crossing short distances of open water by at least circa 130,000 years ago.
Very recent discoveries of human occupation dating to 30,000 to 40,000 years ago in South America support the argument for early human arrivals into the Americas.
The presentations by Steven and Kathleen Holen will discuss evidence for these considerations.