Walking with Ancients

New archaeological discoveries are challenging our understanding of when the first people arrived in North America, rewriting the human story
Available on CBC Gem

Walking with Ancients

Nature of Things

The recent discovery of ancient fossilized footprints in a New Mexico desert challenges everything we thought we knew about humans populating North America.

Traditional archaeology tells us humans arrived 13,000 years ago, toward the end of the last ice age; this discovery, along with several others, pushes that date back. While the footprints date back to between 23,000 and 21,000 years ago, tools discovered at another site in Mexico are thought to date back to 30,000 years ago, and possibly even earlier.

Walking with Ancients documents a scientific paradigm shift in real time. It follows renowned archaeologist Ciprian Ardelean and other renegade scientists over several years as they uncover evidence that humans arrived in the Americas far earlier than previously thought.

It’s an epic roller-coaster ride that features moments of emotional discovery and crushing disappointment, all captured on camera.

New evidence is unearthed across North America, from the pristine Canadian Arctic to the mountains of central Mexico, including the astounding discovery of ancient footprints in White Sands National Park, N.M., that clearly show adults and children walking alongside mammoths and other megafauna of the last ice age.

These new discoveries send shockwaves through the global archaeological world. Who were these ancient people? And when and how did they arrive in the Americas?