Who were the first humans in the Americas?



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    It has been widely held that the first settlers of the Americas crossed a bridge of frozen ice that linked the tips of Alaska and Russia during the last Ice Age some 12,000 years ago. Most believed migrants from Asia moved over the bridge and quickly spread down the Pacific Coast, into the warmer climates of Central and South America. However, recent challenges to these claims in the forms of archeological evidence and possible genetic testing suggests that the first inhabitants of the Americas may have come from the islands of southeast-Asia and the Pacific. Researchers in Baja, California have found skulls that may suggest that Asian descendants who colonized Australia may have reached the New World as early as 13,500 B.C., prior to the believed time of the land bridge and long before any nomadic tribe had the time to wander all the way down to the southern United States. This discovery forces us to think differently about the cultures and heritages of Native peoples and how they came to be today.

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