New DNA Discovery Changes Native American History

The Beringian Standstill Hypothesis

Although many historians believe that early humans crossed Beringia, they do not know who did so. One theory, called the Beringian standstill hypothesis, attempts to answer this.

A portrait shows an Arikara man published in Volume V of The North American Indian (1909).
© Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
© Historical Picture Archive/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

The hypothesis says that the “Ancient Beringians” lived on Beringia in isolation due to the ice and harsh climate. If this is true, the Beringians might be the sole ancestors of all Native Americans, according to archaeologist Jennifer Raff.