New Research On "Ice Free Corridor"

A forum for discussion about the fields of Archaeology and Anthropology - new finds, old finds, theories, etc. We have numerous archaelogists/Anthropologists
and/or students of archaeology/Anthro visiting PaleoPlanet...this is the place for them to intereact, and hopefully provide information to the arm-chair
enthusiasts out there!
Lee Olsen
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21 Jan 2017, 17:21 #11

NewbowPA wrote:
Lee: Perhaps I didn't express my "position" as well as I could have. What I should have said was, I have no 'entrenched' postion which I am compelled to defend.   
Key word...'entrenched'. Then I'm glad you concure with my first post on this topic, since the purpose of it was to show the author's (article that started this topic) entrenched position has a flaw in it, although I'm sure those who believe modern humans can't walk on ice will probably disagree.
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Lee Olsen
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21 Jan 2017, 17:41 #12

Forager wrote:
(and if the security of one's career doesn't depend upon it), it can be cool to sit on the curb and watch the parade. 
  
Are you suggesting the only people who should be discussing the merits of papers or the evidence are those who's career security depends on it? Then why this board and what is it for? For example, Bob Patten's polarity and career security doesn't depend on either the journals or Paleoplanet, yet he discusses the papers and evidence in both places....and that is cool also. 
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Forager
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21 Jan 2017, 18:15 #13

Not at all, Lee. Sorry if I failed to clarify my perspective. I enjoy open discussion and welcome a variety of viewpoints; it's valuable for enabling me to pick up on what I missed and helping me to see that much further than I could on my own. My underlying point was that it can be kind of fun to watch how the dynamics of scientific machinery operate with worthwhile ideas and new evidence - which refines the product of knowledge as it continues to evolve (suggesting an aversion to 'entrenchment'). The reference to 'career security' simply indicated that some researchers have much at stake when their efforts depart the main current... perhaps rendering the process somewhat less 'fun' for them and a bit stressful. Not the most comfortable way to watch a parade.
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Red Clay
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22 Jan 2017, 15:35 #14

spoons wrote:
are there any clovis style tools that have been found in eastern asia / it's a lot of ground and there was a long habitation period. old crow tools are only flake blades.
No Clovis tools have been found in either Alaska or Northeast Asia. According to the Smithsonian, Clovis is concentrated in the Southeast US. The concept of "Clovis first" has been pretty much run to ground. 

Ref. "Across Atlantic Ice, The Origin of America's Clovis Culture". Bradley and Stanford.





  
Last edited by Red Clay on 22 Jan 2017, 15:49, edited 1 time in total.
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Lee Olsen
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22 Jan 2017, 17:01 #15

Red Clay wrote:
Ref. "Across Atlantic Ice, The Origin of America's Clovis Culture". Bradley and Stanford.

http://ahotcupofjoe.net/2016/12/seven-w ... chaeology/



  
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Lee Olsen
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26 Jan 2017, 16:02 #16

The Coastal Hypothesis has been around for almost 60 years

http://www.uaf.edu/files/apua/Chard1963.pdf

 

So what's changed since the 1960s with the negative argument that the earliest sites are most likely underwater (see also Erlandson 2011) and therefore can't be found or tested?

The On Your Knees Cave Site isn't underwater. The Anangula Site isn't underwater.

The Ground Hog Bay Site isn't underwater, nor is Arlington Springs Daisy Cave or the Isthmus of Panama. The oldest outer Aleutian Island inland sites (Adak) aren't underwater.

(See Diane Hanson Science Vol 335 13 January 2012)

https://aleutianislandsworkinggroup.wor ... nd-houses/

 

Malhi (2008) says there is a very clear mtDNA settlement pattern from east to west in the Aleutians, just the exact opposite of what one would expect if the Aleutians were first settled by people from Japan and Kamchatka or other Pacific Rim areas as postulated by the direction of the red arrow in the graph presented here: http://www.nature.com/news/plant-and-an ... te-1.20389 The irrational coastal proponents want it both ways.... the earliest sites are underwater... then they are not. (See Erlandson et al. 2008)

 

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/do ... 1&type=pdf  

"..on

San Miguel island, where terminal Pleistocene occupations show

that Palaeoindians used seaworthy boats to colonize the islands by

at least 13–12 ka."

"seaworthy boats" ???

http://patch.com/california/ranchosanta ... o-mainland

Also the islands were closer to the mainland during the late Pleistocene because of lower sealevels, so people would have had even less open water to navigate than Fiona Goh.
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Lee Olsen
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01 Nov 2017, 13:24 #17

Lee Olsen wrote: "The only thing Heintzman et al. demonstrated is the corridor (the dry land trail without ice or bison) may not have been open early enough for travel, fair enough, but that is a far cry from proving Clovis people couldn't travel across ice which is absurd, as my links to the articles above proved. If in doubt, take the safest, easiest route...Occam's razor."

Well, well...I wonder if these guys have been reading PaleoPlanet looking for ideas?
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8216311284
"Nunataks and valley glaciers: Over the mountains and through the ice
Abstract

Models of the first peopling of the Americas characterize arrival routes either along the coast or through the ice-free corridor following the Last Glacial Maximum. While the pendulum has currently swung somewhat towards the coastal route, archaeological evidence for either entry is lacking. In this paper we introduce a third option, an icy corridors entry route. We argue that the traditionally envisioned corridor is an unnecessary feature for the terrestrial arrival of Clovis or Clovis predecessors below the ice sheets. The recent genomic data is fully compatible with a re-envisioned peopling route."
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Nomad1
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14 Nov 2017, 02:30 #18

Could they have been purposely herded for food?
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NewbowPA
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14 Nov 2017, 07:05 #19

Unlikely.  For one thing, the animals in question would have to be herdable which is a good deal different than driving some over a cliff.  I am aware of nothing in the record that would suggest that native populations in North America were herders at that time but, if the corridor's natural graze would support the herded animals it would also support wild animals and there would have been no need to herd.  But, why would they herd animals to get through the corridor in the first place unless they already knew there was someplace to go at the other end?...and, if they knew that, then information had to have been returned from the other end about it, which means someone was already down there and the corridor wasn't how they got there.  My take is that there was no reason for people to enter the corridor until it would support them.  Even if they knew that there was a verdant land to the south, they would not have had the geographical knowledge to know that the early, ice free but barren, corridor would lead to the same place; or anyplace at all.  This also addresses the "across the ice" idea:  We are speaking of modern humans, just as smart as we are and with far better knowledge and skill to not just survive but to thrive in the paleo environment but, why, even if capable, would they strike out across a thousand kilometers of ice, which almost certainly would not provide anything close to adequate nourishment, even for transients, unless they knew there was someplace to get to that was worth the journey?  And, if they had that information, we're back to someone having had to get south earlier and relay the information back.  It doesn't make a great deal of sense to me that prospective colonizers, lacking google maps, would then strike out on an entirely different route.
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Nomad1
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14 Nov 2017, 16:53 #20

For food how long would it take them to get through the corridor with kids/old and so on driving your food ahead of you would seem like the thing to do and just cuz someone says it would/could not be done I have heard that one before as I am sure you have also...
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NewbowPA
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14 Nov 2017, 18:01 #21

The length of the corridor is variously estimated in the neighborhood of 1000 miles(1500-1600 km).  Let's say it's 900 miles and assume they actually had animals to herd.  The old west cattle drives would average around 15 miles a day.  At that rate it would take 60 days to travel 900 miles.  Without taking into consideration that even if that pace was possible at the start it could not be sustained due to the weakening of the herded animals, two months is a long time to go without any nutritional input.  If the herded animals actually lasted 30 days, that would leave another 30 days without any food for people who would be using a lot of calories.  It may be possible, assuming they had animals to herd, but it would have been a starvation route and hardly practical (if even possible) for migration.  It further begs the question of why they would try to do it in the first place if they didn't already know where the corridor went.
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Nomad1
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14 Nov 2017, 21:48 #22

it may have been one of the ways but I also think that they went the coastal route both east and west of the continent long before the corridor opened up. 
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Lee Olsen
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16 Nov 2017, 23:06 #23

NewbowPA wrote: The length of the corridor is variously estimated in the neighborhood of 1000 miles(1500-1600 km).  Let's say it's 900 miles and assume they actually had animals to herd.  The old west cattle drives would average around 15 miles a day.  At that rate it would take 60 days to travel 900 miles.  Without taking into consideration that even if that pace was possible at the start it could not be sustained due to the weakening of the herded animals, two months is a long time to go without any nutritional input.  If the herded animals actually lasted 30 days, that would leave another 30 days without any food for people who would be using a lot of calories.  It may be possible, assuming they had animals to herd, but it would have been a starvation route and hardly practical (if even possible) for migration.  It further begs the question of why they would try to do it in the first place if they didn't already know where the corridor went.
Your model does an excellent job of demonstrating why Robert Scott died at the South Pole...hay burners make for slow traveling in icy conditions. Why was  Amundsen so successful, while Scott perished?
https://www.si.com/edge/2015/04/06/born ... ly-stewart
My model gets them there in less than a week. OK, I know they didn't have carbon fiber racing sleds back then, but they didn't have animal rights groups and race officials dictating how often dogs have to be rested in a day and restrictions on how many dogs they could start with. Nor did the ancients have a fixed starting line...who dictates it was all done in just one year rather than a succession of years of a learning curve?

How did they know there was land to the south?
https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... fic_Flyway
 
"Each year, as winter came on, the people
would look skyward and watch the swans and the smaller birds fly south, across the ice.
Eight months later (usually in April or early May, based on the behavior of their modern
descendants), the birds would return. Where had they been? Obviously, there was
habitable land somewhere to the south, beyond the ice. What the people didn’t know
was that they would have to walk 2,000 km to get there. (Fiedel 2007, pp. 5–6)."

Hard evidence in site reports from the interior and coast of Alaska demonstrates people were fully aware of the interior (and traveled over interior ice) thousands of years before evidence for boats, whether they had dogs or not, nor would they have needed to traverse the entire 2000 km in a single season.
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NewbowPA
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17 Nov 2017, 06:59 #24

Honestly, I hadn't considered migratory birds, though I had given some thought to unfamiliar flotsam casting up on the beach.  Point taken!  They most likely were aware of a "somewhere else" to the south.  Getting there is still problematic.  Given the current state of evidence, over the ice is more plausible than the ice free corridor.  I confess that I've not been able to get access to the article you cited (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8216311284) so I don't know what evidence was put forward to support their hypothesis, but what I did find suggests it might just be possible, though not in so short a time as a week.  For starters, the earliest evidence for dogs that may have been bred to pull sleds comes from Zhokhov Island, Siberia, something less than 9000 years ago (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/ ... ian-island).  The oldest physical evidence, harness, is only about 1000 years old but, even at 9000 years, the peopling of the Americas came too early to plausibly invoke dog power.  Evidence for human powered sleds goes back 16000 years, putting them on the edge, but still plausible.  Sixteen thousand years ago there may not have been any domesticated dogs at all.  I didn't find any data on how fast a human powered sled can travel.  For the sake of speculation, I'll suggest 30 miles a day.  That would mean a journey of about a month and I think that is doable.  I don't know that over the ice is more desirable than a coastal route.  (Boats apparently were in use over 50000 years ago [https://phys.org/news/2012-03-evidence- ... umans.html] and I see no compelling reason to beleive that coastal peoples only 20000 years ago had no knowledge of them.)  It would be faster, but moving down the coast would allow for resupply along the route and probably areas where a least temporary encampments could be set up.  I would like to read the entirety of "Nunataks and valley glaciers: Over the mountains and through the ice" so I can weigh their arguments against my speculations.
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Lee Olsen
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17 Nov 2017, 16:50 #25

>Honestly, I hadn't considered migratory birds,

No problem, Fiedel didn't think of the 'over-the-ice' model and it looks like he was wrong from the most recent evidence.

> though I had given some thought to unfamiliar flotsam casting up on the beach.

Me too, there is weak (ah, very, very weak) circumstantial evidence for that also but it still wouldn't answer to some of the DNA and archaeological evidence.

> For starters, the earliest evidence for dogs that may have been bred to pull sleds comes from Zhokhov Island, Siberia, something less than 9000 years ago (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/ ... ian-island). The oldest physical evidence, harness, is only about 1000 years old but, even at 9000 years, the peopling of the Americas came too early to plausibly invoke dog power.

Dogs are negative speculation, just as boats. So what is fair speculation for one side is fair speculation for the other, so I tossed in Amundsen for fun. I also said: "whether they had dogs or not,...". I don't need dogs to 'ice' my model. My key players for the model are Nansen's crossing of Greenland, without dogs, an unknown Native American seen by the Donner Party crossing Donner Lake, and numerous people today getting to the South Pole without using dogs. http://www.cnn.com/travel/article/felic ... index.html
So dogs really aren't needed, but just the same if confronted by angry dire wolves or giant cave bears, I'd much rather my dogs disatract them while I run away and hide! Has everyone seen those new cats up North? I wouldn't have felt safe up there even with an AK-47. Those first colonizers had guts and skills we can't even imagine.

> For the sake of speculation, I'll suggest 30 miles a day.

I'll stick with less than a week and without dogs for the last leg of the trip.
Boats in one place are not evidence for boats in another anymore than atlatls in Europe are evidence for atlatls in North America at the same time.
I'd better add something about what kind of boats to avoid confusion. Erlandson claimed "seaworthy boats" for his "kelp Highway" model. That's even an bigger *IF* than dogs. I'm not discounting floating logs or the type of junk the Rapa Nui people were using when contacted by the first European explorers. Getting to Attu or Adack Island sinks the Kelp Highyway model before it even starts. I'll add evidence and references for this later.
All the models have lots of imagination and little supporting evidence, so I'm just arguing what seems the most probable given all the circumstantial evidence as of 2017.

About this paper https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 8216311284 I haven't read it either. I can prove I had the idea (online) since at least 2011, and probably 10 years earlier than that privately. I researched it then to my satifaction that it was feasable and really don't need their 'old hat' data. They already have one glaring error in their abstract, there is one more possibility, it may not have been a case of either or, but BOTH the coast and the interior may have been involved.
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Lee Olsen
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17 Nov 2017, 20:03 #26

https://uoregon.academia.edu/JonErlandson
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6363/592
https://www.livescience.com/13066-chann ... vered.html

Big mistake by Erlandson and the University of Oregon showing Channel points and crescents in the
same hand from same site  and suggesting they have anything at all to do with a coastal adaptation. 

Here is map from the latest review:
https://phys.org/news/2017-11-anthropol ... -kelp.html
"But is the new evidence really proof of
specialized coastal adaptations? “These
appear to be strictly seasonal settlements
of highly mobile hunter-gatherers, focused
on shellfish and bird harvesting,” says
Yesner, who adds that such forays could
have been carried out with “relatively primitive”
boats."
(not to mention teenagers swimming)

"And David Meltzer of Southern
Methodist University in Dallas, Texas,
wonders whether “this represent[s] a fullblown
marine adaptation of a bunch of
seafaring people cruising down the coast,
or did they wander in” from inland areas,
bringing the stemmed points and crescents
with them."
4 MARCH 2011 VOL 331 SCIENCE www.sciencemag.org
IMO Meltzer is correct. Only a miniscule fraction of  crescents are found along the actual coast, the
vast majority are found at inland hunting sites (although in wetland conditions)  and are in no way
evidence for a "kelp highway" adaptation unless they concede people didn't hug the coast unseen/underwater for
17,000 km from NE Asia to Monte Verde and did actually venture hundreds of miles inland into the
Great Basin  which is a contradiction of what is claimed..."Testing the kelp highway hypothesis is
challenging because much of the archaeo-logical evidence would have been sub-merged by rising seas
since the last glacial maximum ~26,500 years ago (Braje et al 2017)."
They can't have it both ways. "much"??,  he realy means ca 90% of crescents are found inland
along with a few Channel Island barbed points. If the proponents of the coastal route are so
desparate for data as to be forced to use what are clearly older and inland adaptations
(ca. Paisley etc.), where do they stop calling an area the Pacific Coast...Chicago?
https://www.academia.edu/35043109/Braje ... _Americans
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Lee Olsen
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18 Nov 2017, 16:01 #27

Yesterday  in post #26 I linked to a UO site that today says "access denied", so I found an article https://www.livescience.com/13066-chann ... vered.html that shows the hand with the two points and better explains the  problem I was getting at. I also changed the link in post #26.

"At the Santa Rosa site, the researchers uncovered 52 stone points called Channel Island barbed points. These ultrathin, serrated points look very unlike the hunting points used by Paleoindians in the Great Basin, said Charlotte Beck, an anthropology professor at Hamilton College in New York who was not involved in the research.

 
These so-called Channel Island points were found, on the surface, in Central Washington on a cattle feed lot. It is also a state registered site 45-GR-XX.
Because of massive looting problems new laws are pending to obliterate references to locations of sites in the literature, so I guess I'd better comply in case they do pass and not give the exact location. The oldest point discovered on this lot so far is one of these  http://lithiccastinglab.com/cast-page/w ... ndgray.jpg and reliably dated to older than anything found on the Channel Islands except for the Arlington Springs Man that was found without diagnostic points of any kind, so he could just as well been an interior hunter-gatherer looking for mammoths. Yes, those points above could have been trade goods, but it would still show contact 900 miles north and 500 miles inland, as Beck pointed out.

"But the researchers also turned up 15 stone crescents, which are another story altogether, Beck said.

"The crescents, if found in the Great Basin, would not raise an eyebrow — they look just like those in the Great Basin," Beck told LiveScience. "So this does suggest some kind of contact between the people on the islands and the people in the Great Basin."

 I don't know how well accepted this site is today http://nwpaleo.org/2017/04/02/evidence- ... years-ago/, but if true, it would make the interior sites older by a large margin.
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NewbowPA
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19 Nov 2017, 06:00 #28

Dogs are negative speculation, just as boats.

Not all things for which conclusive evidence is absent are equally probable.  DNA suggests dogs weren't domesticated until around 16000 years ago (about as early as many are willing to accept for the peopling of the Americas) with selected breeding evidence (again, DNA) not appearing until 7000 years later, leaving a very low probability that they could have been used as harness animals during the period in discussion and just barely allows for them even as companions.  There is evidence of watercraft (even seaworthy, though seaworthy isn't necessary for coastal travel) extending back at least 60000 years and associated with both Neanderthals and modern humans.  It stretches credulity a bit to suggest that people only 20000 years ago would not develop adequate watercraft with which to effectively utilize their marine environment.  That they did and didn't, respectively, is possible but not the way to bet.

I don't need dogs to 'ice' my model. My key players for the model are Nansen's crossing of Greenland, without dogs, an unknown Native American seen by the Donner Party crossing Donner Lake, and numerous people today getting to the South Pole without using dogs.

All of those cited knew, or thought they knew, where they were going.  I do think  that over the ice is plausible, even compelling, but along the coast (boats or no boats), not into the interior.  Unless evidence to the contrary emerges, 6 day journey time notwithstanding, the more logical route is one that provides a source of resupply.  I can see no scenario that would cause a reasonable people to strike out over 900 miles of glacial wasteland toward the interior if they didn't know for sure it was there.  For all they knew, the lands to their south curved off to the west, in which case there would be no interior to the southeast for them to reach. 

"...unless they concede people didn't hug the coast unseen/underwater for 17,000 km from NE Asia to Monte Verde and did actually venture hundreds of miles inland into the Great Basin  which is a contradiction of what is claimed..."

Agreed.  It is ludicrous to suggest that people, curious as we are, would not have spread inland just as soon as land was encountered that would support them.  They wouldn't all have done so, of course, but once below the ice they would have had the east to explore in addition to continuing on southward.
 
"Those first colonizers had guts and skills we can't even imagine."

To us, their situation would indeed be daunting, but they were the product of their time and had they lacked the necessary skills we wouldn't speculating about any of this.
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Lee Olsen
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19 Nov 2017, 16:35 #29

> Not all things for which conclusive evidence is absent are equally probable. 

Agreed!

> DNA suggests dogs weren't domesticated until around 16000 years ago (about as early as many are willing to accept for the peopling of the Americas) with selected breeding evidence (again, DNA) not appearing until 7000 years later, leaving a very low probability that they could have been used as harness animals during the period in discussion

I rejected carbon fiber sleds above, that would include harnesses also.

>  and just barely allows for them even as companions.

Just how and how long the process of domestication took is in dispute (like boats). Non-domesticated jackals and semi-domesticated dingos can be an asset to humans, no harness necessary.

> There is evidence of watercraft (even seaworthy, though seaworthy isn't necessary for coastal travel) extending back at least 60000 years and associated with both Neanderthals and modern humans.

There is no direct evidence for modern humans or Neanderthals to have used boats 60,000 years ago. That's all speculation. But even if true and can someday be proven.... swimming, flotsam  (tsunami powered) and pure chance out distances the alleged boat crossings by hundreds of miles for hominins and a thousand  miles for some animals.  

> It stretches credulity a bit to suggest that people only 20000 years ago would not develop adequate watercraft with which to effectively utilize their marine environment.

One could make the same arguments for rockets to the moon and pop-up toasters. Certain factors have to be in place first for any expansion to occur.  To my knowledge East Asia was not over populated 20,000-years-ago, nor did all those who were there left for the Americas. Most remained, in spite of the sites that are presumably underwater there also as the sea level rise affected them too. Yet there are plenty of sites that show they were not all underwater, as the negative-evidence arguments claim for just the Americas. IOW, where then are the sites in the Aleutian Islands? Both archaeology and DNA evidence shows they were settled from east to west, just the opposite direction of what would be predicted from  the 'kelp highway' model.  

> All of those cited knew, or thought they knew, where they were going.

And ditto for boat travel. Those who kayak (or go in other small boats) down the Pacific coast today know where each motel and McDonald's is on route. They also have something else, GPS, locator beacons, and satellite radios to scream for Coast Guard help if they get into any trouble at all (not to mention lighthouses!).

My years of experience boating on Puget Sound, in the San Juan Islands, and out on the ocean, tell me the way to bet is inland. If a sudden storm catches you (there were no weather reports by radio 20,000 years ago), on land you can always build an igloo and survive at least until your food runs out, at sea (even close to shore) there is no such escape.
http://c8.alamy.com/comp/CY0C8P/coastgu ... CY0C8P.jpg
 
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NewbowPA
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20 Nov 2017, 05:11 #30

As I suggested, and stand by, not all possibilities are equal.  Speculation is great armchair fun but remains speculation none-the-less.  We will never be entirely certain of what happened, exactly how it went, in the prehistoric past but future discoveries will continue to inform and narrow (or maybe add to) the various speculative scenarios.  We can hope for some great breakthrough, some, as yet, unthought of tool or technique that will open previously unknown doors or windows but only time will tell.  Science, as well as the rest of us, will just have to make do until that happens. 
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