Skip to comments.Ancient Stone Tools Found In South Carolina (Topper)
Posted on 06/19/2008 10:25:55 AM PDT by blam
Ancient stone tools discovered in South Carolina
Finds at Savannah River site could rewrite America's history
By LIZ MITCHELL
Published on: 06/17/08
HILTON HEAD, S.C. A local man has unearthed two ancient stone tools in an archaeological dig in Allendale County, S.C., a rare find that could provide more information about how early Americans lived.
And if more evidence proves the artifact is a new type of tool and one archaeologists haven't found before, it could be named after Matthew Carey of Hilton Head Island.
The 22-year-old University of South Carolina anthropology major volunteered at the Topper Site where USC archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear has been excavating for 10 years. Carey found the tools on June 8, the last day of the 2008 dig.
Though it's Goodyear's project, new finds are typically named after their discoverers.
That would make Carey the second local resident to earn name recognition by contributing a new find at the dig.
In 1998 thanks to Beaufort County resident David Topper Goodyear found artifacts at this ancient rock quarry near the Savannah River that indicate humans lived here 37,000 years earlier than originally thought. Goodyear named the site "Topper" after the resident who found it.
The site is one of a handful of excavations across the country where evidence is being uncovered that could rewrite America's history.
So far, there have been two sets of artifacts found at Topper:
Stone flakes and tools that date to the Clovis people, which history books say are the first Americans who arrived here 13,000 years ago via a land bridge from Asia.
A fire pit that contained plant remains that date to 50,000 years ago, which could help prove Goodyear's theory about when humans lived here.
Goodyear believes the site was a factory for the Clovis people, where they came to make tools.
The new find could show it was also a site used by the Taylor people, who lived at least 1,500 years after their Clovis ancestors in an era called the Early Archaic period.
In the dirt, 4 inches above Clovis artifacts, Carey found the tools dating to 11,000 years ago that could have been used as knives or projectile points for hunting.
"When we dug them up, I got a good look and thought, 'Yeah, it's a point,'" Carey said. "The next day I was brushing over the area next to it and I uncovered the exact same thing 5 centimeters to the right of it."
The tools are pointed with straight sharp edges. They are unlike those typically found from the Taylor people, known for making pointed tools with jagged edges that would have been attached to spears for hunting or fishing. Goodyear has found 18 of these at his dig site.
Carey's find could prove the Taylor people also had another tool in their toolkit, which might have had a different purpose.
"I think they were probably left there the same day, in all likelihood by one person," Goodyear said. "What we are hoping is this will tell us something more about the Early Archaic people."
Goodyear hopes to find more of these artifacts next year when he returns to Topper for another dig. Kara Bridgman Sweeny who was supervising nearby proposed naming them after Carey.
To do so, Goodyear must be sure the tool is indeed from the Early Archaic era and is an artifact archaeologists haven't found before.
"I've got to be sure," Goodyear said. "They look nearly identical and we are digging more next year in that same area, so we may be revealing more of this. If we find two or three more it would be a very cool story. Our confidence would go way up."
Carey said getting the credit for the find would be an honor.
"I think it is just pretty neat that I could find something the second time I've been out in the field," he said.
Blam, are there any pics of these tools?
Let us know if they unearth a Weather Rock.
100,000 B.C. (Before Creation)
Not that I know of...they were found 11 days ago.
Allendale native ping
Thanks Blam. Just adding to the catalog, not sending a general distribution, unless there's something very new in this one. :')
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Does this mean we get the indian casinos back?