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Native Americans Spent 10,000 Years In Bering Strait, Study Claims

Update Date: Mar 01, 2014 03:44 PM EST

After leaving Asia, Native Americans spent approximately 10,000 years in the shrubby lowlands of Bering land bridge, according to a new research. Although there is no support of any archaeological evidence, researchers believed because it drowned beneath the Bering Sea when the sea levels rose about 18,000 years ago. 

Researchers presented their arguments that aims at reconciling the existing genetic and paleoenvironmental evidence for human habitation on the Bering land bridge called Beringia. 

The team is extending the understanding of the theory called "Beringia Standstill" which was first proposed in 1997 by two Latin American geneticists and was later redefined by a team of researchers led by the University of Tartu in Estonia, seven years ago. 

"Nobody disputes that the ancestors of Native American peoples came from Asia over the coast and interior of the land bridge during an ice age called the "last glacial maximum," which lasted from 28,000 to at least 18,000 years ago," said Dennis O'Rourke, a University of Utah anthropologist, according to RedOrbit.

Dennis added that the archaeologists have not given much evidence to the idea of existing population residing on the Bering land bridge thousands of years. 

"We're putting it together with the archaeology and genetics that speak to American origins and saying, look, there was an environment with trees and shrubs that was very different than the open, grassy steppe. It was an area where people could have had resources, lived and persisted through the last glacial maximum in Beringia," O'Rourke added, according to RedOrbit. "That may have been critical for the people to subsist because they would have had wood for construction and for fires. Otherwise, they would have had to use bone, which is difficult to burn."

The development of the study is published in Science Perspectives. 

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