Associate professor Mark Muñiz and his team of anthropologists have tested soil samples in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness that challenge previous beliefs that glacier-led flooding in northern Minnesota caused the earliest humans to inhabit the south.
Their discovery leads them to believe the site was home to a settlement 16,400 years ago, which would make the habitation the oldest in Minnesota.
Soil samples were collected around Knife Lake, along the U.S.-Canada border. More tests are needed before drawing firm conclusions.
Muñiz has led several trips to that area to examine stone tool-making sites of the Paleo-Indians. The team is applying for another grant to test other soil samples.