Human footprints found in White Sands National Park, New Mexico, were associated with astonishingly ancient age dates in 2021. New research published in the October 5, 2023 issue of Science reports on two independent age dating techniques that corroborate the third technique. The data show that the footprints are between 23,000 and 21,000 years old. This will require fundamental changes in rewriting our history.
Forests of bull kelp, with thick floating masses of brownish-green fronds, have been swaying in ocean waves along the Pacific coasts of the Americas for eons. This marine ecosystem, rich in fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds and seaweed, made it feasible for the earliest people to migrate by boat southward from Eurasia to South America. We know their route as the Kelp Highway.
The Andes Mountains influence the modern world in many ways, and recognizing these is a fascinating aspect of my journey in writing about this region. One connection that might be a surprise: St Patrick’s Day celebrations–and potatoes. Potatoes have had profound effects on human societies that are matched by few other plants.