The 1st Americans may have arrived by a sea ice ‘highway’

During the last ice age, sea ice may have provided an ancient “highway” for the first humans to reach the Americas, researchers say.

The finding — that humans may have trekked upon this highway in addition to boating alongside the coast — provides another puzzle piece for how humans managed to cross Beringia, the landmass that once linked Asia with North America. The research was published in 2023 in the journal PNAS and originally focused on when sea currents along Beringia were passable by watercraft; during a new presentation of their findings on Dec. 15 at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, the team highlighted the sea ice’s importance.

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