Quirks & Quarks

Into the cold heart of North America

New research on how the first human settlers arrived in North America
The ice-free corridor in B.C. and Alberta was the first place that the ice sheets melted at the end of the last ice age. This is what it looks like today. (Mikkel Winther Pedersen)

About fifteen thousand years ago, people from Siberia travelled to the Americas across the Bering Strait. Then, they traveled south through the interior of the continent when retreating ice sheets created a corridor.Questions have been raised before about whether this route would actually have been viable, but a new piece of research raises the possibility that we might finally need to re-write those textbooks.

Dr. Alywnne Beaudoin is Head Curator of the Earth Sciences section of the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton, Alberta. She was part of a large, international team that believes the settlers of the Americas couldn't have used the ice-free corridor.

Related Links: 

CBC story on debunking the ice-free corridor theory

Royal Alberta Museum