Previous evidence has led most researchers to conclude that the continent of North American held a timeline of the earliest humans arriving in the Americas about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. However, new discoveries continue to shatter preconceived notions of the history of North America. The discoveries are continuing at an outstanding pace, leaving many awestruck with little explanation other than the history of the North Americas as we know it, must be revisited. Not only is evidence accumulating to propose humans may have arrived thousands of years earlier, but evidence also is beginning to arrive which suggest Vikings, and perhaps even Romans may have arrived far earlier than as is considered the standard European timeline.

Researchers in Southern California working a construction site in San Diego County propose they’ve uncovered evidence that humans lived there 130,000 years ago, including a partial skeleton of a mastodon, an elephant-like animal now extinct. Mastodon skeletons aren’t so unusual, but there was other strange stuff with it. In the surrounding area there contained rocks which showed marks of having been used as hammers and an anvil with some of the mastodon bones showing marks typical of having been modified by use of human tools.

The site contained the bones being constructed in roughly two piles, each with two or three large rocks measuring 10 to 30cm across. Many scientists believe the stones would have been too heavy to be carried there by a stream, with the most probable explanation being humans moving them as use for hammerstones and anvils to break the bones apart. “What is truly remarkable about this site is that you can identify particular hammers that were smacked on particular anvils,” said Richard Fullagar, who is a remaining stone tool expert on the research team from the University of Wollongong in New South Wales.

This site, in particular, begs the question of just who were these people. Current genetic research says the first common ancestor of Native Americans lived about 20,000 years ago. So if there were indeed earlier settlers where lies the genetic evidence. While research is still underway to shed light on these new mysteries, some of the new evidence has astounded many as nearly one-third of the native American genetic makeup comes from West Eurasia rather than solely East Asian as previously thought given the standard notion of Native American migration. This new evidence raises questions such as where and when the mixing of West Eurasian and the East Asian populations occurred, in addition to the new timelines of human populations in North America.

This is not the only evidence which raises many questions, evidence has accumulated making it quite clear Vikings had reached North America far earlier than Europeans. Its currently understood as a widely held acceptance Scandinavians (mainly Norwegians) colonized Iceland, and by the late 10th century, Icelandaccording to the Viking sagas, some of the early Viking settlers landed in Greenland (supposedly led by the Norwegian Viking hero Leif Eriksson, son of Erik the Red). Additionally, these sagas clearly state that Leif Erikson led an expedition to the east coast of North America. The sagas describe amongst other things, an abundance of natural resources. Given the established trajectory of the Vikings, this is not an unreasonable stretch of exploration.

These finds, amongst many others that are arising, have the potential to change history as we know it. The obvious answer remains that these are isolated incidences, however, the sheer number of these isolated incidences globally must be taken into account. Given the potential timeline of human settlement in North America to have been thousands of years earlier than previously thought causes a provocation of many questions. This in addition to knowledge of other civilizations having reached North America, and potentially explored, causes many to wonder what other mysteries might be on the edge of discovery.