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'If you emptied Lake Baikal, it would take every river in the world flowing into it a year to fill.'
Mike Carter, The Observer, 2009

Siberians beaten by Iberians as first to settle in America

09 March 2012

A new book claims that Ibereans from Europe beat Siberians to be the first American settlers.

Entitled Across Atlantic Ice, by Bruce Bradley of the University of Exeter, in the UK, and Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, US, it suggests that early Europeans known as Solutreans made the crossing over a frozen and glacial ocean.

New Scientist journal labels it a 'controversial theory', suggesting that most authorities believe the first settlers came from Siberia across the Bering land bridge.

The two authors point to the discovery in the eastern United States of tools with a distinct Solutrean appearance which archeologists date as being 18,000-26,000 years old.

'We're using an analogy with Inuit, who expanded all across the Arctic with technologies no more sophisticated than those we know the Solutreans had', said Bradley.

In other words, the Solutreans had the know-how to cross the ice-covered north Atlantic.

But New Scientist demurs, stressing: 'Other archaeologists are deeply sceptical of the theory'.

The journal cites Lawrence Straus of the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque who argues that the first Americans — originating from Siberia — developed 'Solutrean' tools independently.

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