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Many scientists thought humans first ventured into the New World across a land bridge from present-day Russia into Alaska about 13,000 years ago.
This new discovery suggests humans may have crossed the land bridge into the Americas much earlier -- possibly during an ice age -- and rapidly colonized the two continents.
"It poses some real problems trying to explain how you have people (arriving) in Central Asia almost at the same time as people in the Eastern United States," said Theodore Schurr, anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a curator at the school's museum.