For decades students have been taught that the first people in America were a group called the Clovis who walked over the Bering land bridge about 13,500 years ago. North America and Asia are separated today by a narrow ocean channel called the Bering Straight. However, during the ice age, much of the earths water supply was frozen, creating a land bridge that connected the two continents. However, new evidence has been emerging since the 1980's, that suggests a much earlier date. According to ArsTechnica, sites ranging from Oregon to Chile have human habitation evidence that dates as far back as 18,000 years.
Scientists don't dispute the fact that the Clovis people came through Beringia, but they simply believe they would have been the second group of immigrants. Smithsonian anthropologist Torben C. Rick and his colleagues believe the earliest Americans followed Pacific Rim shorelines from northeast Asia to Beringia and the Americas. The "kelp highway hypotheses" states that people reached America when glaciers withdrew from the Pacific Northwest Coastline about 17,000 years ago. Humans would have been able to boat and hike to the Americas because coastal kelp forests would have provided a rich ecosystem with fish and crustaceans.