Dating native people
"Unfortunately, we can't rule out that the tooth enamel is contaminated with secondary carbonates from the cave system, but we removed potential contaminates using standard techniques and Tom Stafford, Stafford Research Laboratories, produced a comparable age," said Kennett.
"We consider this a maximum age and when combined with the uranium thorium dates from the adhering speleothems, we argue that the skeleton dates between 12,000 and 13,000 years ago.
To build the case for a late Pleistocene age they collaborated with Yemane Asmerom and Victor Polyak from the University of New Mexico using global sea level rise data to determine when the cave system, which at the time Naia and the extinct animals entered was dry, filled with water.
Genetically, Paleoamericans have similar attributes as modern Native Americans even if their morphology appears different.