November 21, 2022
New research on the ancient human White Sands footprints which were dated by a research team to be between 23,000-21,000 years old has now been disputed by a new team of researchers from the Universities of Nevada, Kansas, and Oregon State. The original team making the claim used tiny seeds used to date the footprints using radio carbon methods. The plant seeds came from Ruppia cirrhosa, an aquatic plant that grows underwater. These plants do not get their carbon from terrestrial sources but from dissolved carbon atoms in the water. Using aquatic plants like this for radio carbon dating is problematical.
Earlier radio carbon dating of these aquatic plants were found to be only 7.400 years old in a study at New Mexico labs in 1947. Finding these plant seeds in conjunction with human footprints would subtract 7,400 years from the age of the footprints, making the footprints between 15.000-13,000 years old.
Cambridge University Press published the new research here:
Heritage Daily has the report here.