According to some of the latest genetic and environmental evidence, the first Americans who crossed the Bering Land Bridge – which links Siberia to Alaska – spent more time in the shrubby tundra than first thought, 10,000 years more!
The first people to move across this landscape seemed to nestle down in an environment which was both flat and shrubby, but could have also been quite wooded, providing sufficient security and firewood to survive.
The lost genome washed away
This long time spent in the gap between two continents could possibly be the reason for the diminished genome separating Asians and Native Americans – we now know that Asians are the ancestors of Native Americans. The Bering Land Bridge, or Beringia, was approximately 3,000 miles from Siberia to Alaska and 1,000 miles in width, producing ample space for families to live in peace.
The unfortunate side to this discovery is that it’s difficult to prove due to the lack of archaeological evidence. After the last glacial period when sea levels were a lot lower, this area was all land, but sea levels began to rise and with it, all evidence and tundra-like terrain got washed away down.
Without facts, it’s just hypothesis
Sure they have genetic analysis, and certain environmental hints – like shrubs near the shore showing human occupation – but without hard evidence of these “Beringians,” the final conclusion is still up in the air.
The next step for researchers is to dive down into the Bering Strait and search for any kind of archaeological evidence, be it tools, bones, wood, anything that would suggest some kind of human occupation. And who knows, with technology and the resources we have today, I rate the likelihood of finding an itsy bitsy something could be promising.