NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Fossils recently uncovered in northern New Mexico may change our understanding of human history. A piece of land outside Abiquiu that just happens to be owned by a paleontologist was once a crucial part of life for people who lived there thousands of years ago.

Back in 2013, one of Dr. Timothy Rowe’s neighbors discovered the skeletal remains of a female mammoth and her young calf. Scientists then started a years-long process of investigating the bones leading them to believe the pair waskilled by humans.

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But Rowe says what makes this discovery monumental is how old these bones are. “What I see is a re-conceptualization of human history in the Americas.”

Carbon dating analysis showed the bones are 37,000 years old, and since scientists believe they were killed by humans, that means humans arrived in North America much earlier than previously thought. “The convention that you’ll see in most textbooks is that humans arrived 13,000… 14,000… 15… 16,000… somewhere in that time span,” Rower said.

Rowe never expected his property to turn into the site that now has experts re-examining human history. “You need to step back and kind of rethink how human actions have shaped the world around us,” Rowe said.

In 2019, mammoth footprints were found in White Sands National Park. Scientists believed those were 12,000 years old.