Most archaeological evidence in the Americas dates no further back than 10,000 years ago, although there is evidence that the Clovis people populated much of North America from 13,200 to 12,900 years ago.
The oldest human site found in the continents thus far is far south at Monte Verde in Chile, dating to 14,500 years ago.
There are various theories about how the first people arrived in the Americas, the main two being crossing from Siberia to Alaska or from Europe.
Once in the Americas, the trek south was complicated by ice sheets.
The next-oldest fossils of Homo sapiens, the scientific name for humans, are about 200,000 years old.
The authors of this study had difficulty even finding North American elk fossils that were thought to be older than 15,000 years.Hublin’s team returned to the site in 2004 hoping to clarify that date — and instead stumbled upon more fossils.They also applied new dating methods, which pushed back the age of all the fossils to a stunning 300,000 years.The site where Naia lies is now 130 feet below sea level and sea level rise would have raised the groundwater level in the cave system and submerged everything between 9,700 and 10,200 years ago.So initial estimates of the latest that animals and humans could have walked into the cave system was 9,700 years ago.