The new discovery inside the Northern Florida sinkhole challenges what scientists know about humanity's existence.

The artifacts from a Florida sinkhole located 26 feet under the Aucilla River, which was first explored in 1983, point that there was human existence in the southeastern region of the U.S. 1,500 years earlier than what was previously known.

Rewriting History

For a long time, scientists believe that prehistoric Clovis were the first civilization to roam the lands of the Americas 13,000 years ago. However, recent analysis of the artifacts found in the Page-Ladson archeological site showed that someone else existed before the Clovis.

"That is a big deal, partially because it means we were wrong about Clovis being first, and we need to start figuring out what the real story is," said Jessi Halligan, an anthropologist from the Florida State University and among the study's researchers.

The idea that Clovis people are not the first ones to roam the region is nothing new. In fact, the notion of pre-Clovis sites has always been controversial.

Critics have always questioned how the Clovis people reached the Americas. It is said that they first came to North America by crossing a land bridge from the Northeast Asia. From there, they spread through the ice-free corridor between the ice sheets that previously spanned the Northern U.S. and majority of Canada.

However, the theory is faulty because the ice-free corridor did not exist until 14,000 years later. The new analysis reveals that people occupied the Florida about 500 years earlier than the corridor, which means the initial colonization of the Americas did not start through the ice-free corridor.

New Theories On Colonization

If they did not arrive through the ice-free corridor, how did these people reach the Americas?

One theory suggests that early people used boats from Northeast Asia, but Halligan contested that for this to be proven, a lot of questions must be answered. Particularly the fact that Florida is a long journey from the Pacific.

"How did people get here? When did people get here?" Halligan asked. "Those questions are open to research again."

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