okay, the clovis or llano culture was a group of paleo-indians who first settled in the americas roughly 13k years ago. they are identified by their very unique stone arrowheads that look more like a spade than a triangle. for a very long time, the anthropological community held firm to the “clovis-first” theory, because they were ubiquitous and until that time, the oldest finds that were accurately dated.
the clovis people are most likely from the same group that occupied japan, the northern russian coasts, the ryuku islands, kamchatka, etc. during the glacial retreat about 14k years ago, the open passage included the bering land bridge as you all know, and the clovis people migrated into the americas following the pacific coast on down and slowly disseminating into the east as well. one particular site in vancouver is interesting, it shows lengthy habitation during a period where sceintists figured that a steady migration south would be in the minds of these early people, as the ice age proper had not quite ended.
anyway, this model was the stock and accepted theory of human migration into the americas forever, until a few key sites were accurately dated. in The Great Shit Wastes(archivists note: texas?), a hand axe factory was discovered that predated the clovis peoples by 4k years. the site in the op by 5k. remains of habitation on the west coast from 18k years ago, fire pits, stone tools, bits of really simple bonework. undeniable evidence of human habitation before the clovis people were on this continent. there is a site in brazil that suggests humans were there 30k years ago, outdating the clovis people by nearly 20k years.
when the evidence was first brought to the attention of the scientific community, it was rejected out of hand as faulty dating or bad field work or whatever. then more sites came in. and more. and more.
anyway, the coastal theory of migration. because the land bridge between the bering straights would have been under miles and miles of ice at the time, there was no crossing there. they would have starved and frozen before getting much north of southern kamchatka, so the americas had to have been reached by watercraft.
the aborigines of australia reached their continent via boat. australia was not connected to any landmass at the time of initial human contact. 60-50k years ago, australia was as it is today. a big fuckin island. many of the islands of asia that were populated 40k years ago were also islands then. humans had command of the seas for a very long time.
there are two competing theories and one idiotic bullshit theory. migration via the pacific islands from a jumping off point of papua or the philippines, or a route from one of the seafaring peaople of japans islands up north following the coast of russia, the land bridge, and finally alasks and british columbia. the crazy one is a guy who thinks amerindians come from europe because of a slight similarity in hand axes between the inhabitants of 25k years ago germany and the tool making cultures of pre-clovis societies. no one listens to him.
the reason all this is significant, i mean other than spitting in the face of the entire established anthropological community, is that it means humans made long distance, not just island hopping, sea voyages before we could even plant food or domesticate cattle. human beings are incredible creatures. also, think about this: a group of seafaring nomadic people land on a brand new continent on a fertile western coast, then they trek it through the rockies (in the middle of an ice age, mind you) through the great plains which are little more than a vast grassy desert, through the dense forests of the eastern us, to the coast on the other side.
niel armstrong aint shit. those are the true pioneers.