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This arrival would have placed the initial migration from northeastern Asia over the Bering Land Bridge and through the Arctic corridor that opened between ice sheets at some 15,000 years ago.Recent descriptions of relatively sophisticated stone tools from California's Channel Islands also add strength to a costal path.Diligent dating Surrounding any ancient artifact is a slurry of questions and doubts as to whether the place they are found reflects when and where they were originally discarded.But, he noted, the researchers behind the new work "have shown in great detail that the site is intact," adding that he was impressed with "how carefully they were able to document the age." The team found "uniform particle size distribution" in the clay around the fragments, suggesting that it had not been disturbed when—or since—the rock pieces were dropped, Nordt explained during Wednesday's briefing.Because the researchers did not find enough biological material in the nearby dirt to perform radiocarbon dating, they used optically stimulated luminescence (OLS), which measures the amount of radiation trapped in sediment grains when they were last exposed to sunlight.The area where the tools were found, northwest of Austin, must have been an appealing campsite for millennia, because it bears a record of nearly continuous occupation from 15,500 years ago.The discovery is detailed in a new study, published online March 24 in .But such an early, glacial-period arrival poses some problems for the overland route through the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets, the corridor between which would have been closed until about 15,000 years ago."As you push it back," Bamforth says of the early settlement, "they have to come down the coast" before penetrating the continental interior.With the rich hill country around them, "it's not surprising people came back time and time again." The people who left the tools and fragments described in the study were likely hunter–gatherers, passing through the site from time to time over thousands of years."This was a mobile tool kit—something that was easily transported," Waters said.