37,000-year-old mammoth butchery site may be oldest evidence of humans in North America

Artist’s rendering of early human hunting of a woolly mammal (Mammuthus primigenius). (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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A massive 37,000-year-old butchery site discovered in New Mexico may be the earliest evidence of humans in North America, according to controversial research. Some of the bones at the site show signs of being handled by humans or even used as tools, making it “some of the most conclusive evidence” yet that humans settled North America much earlier than experts thought before, according to the new study.

If the team is correct about human activity on the site, it would be almost double the amount of time that people spent in North America. However, determining the exact date of the first appearance of humans in North America in the past few decades is controversial, and similar studies have not been possible. Some experts are similarly skeptical about the conclusions the team has drawn from the mammoth remains.

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