When humans first populated North America and how they arrived has long been a matter of spirited debate. A recent study detailing what archeologists believe are the oldest known footprints in the United States is sparking new questions and upending long-held beliefs.
Discussion Questions: Trackways and Ancient Movements
- What is a trackway? How have these changed how historians understand when people first came to the Americas?
- Where was this discovery made?
- How did the prints survive so long, and how can researchers determine how old they are?
- Why does this evidence change researchers’ understanding of when people first came to North America?
- What might the lives of the people who left the prints been like? How can the researchers tell?
How do scientists and historians use physical evidence to tell stories about the past? How do they determine what is true or not true?
Media literacy: What did researchers claim with certainty about their methods and discoveries, and what did they say required further research?