Skip to comments.Hunters present in North America 800 years earlier than previously thought: DNA analysis
Posted on 10/20/2011 12:18:28 PM PDT by Red Badger
The tip of a bone point fragment found embedded in a mastodon rib from an archaeological site in Washington state shows that hunters were present in North America at least 800 years before Clovis, confirming that the first inhabitants arrived earlier to North America than previously thought, says a team of researchers led by a Texas A&M University archaeologist.
Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans in the Department of Anthropology at Texas A&M, and colleagues from Colorado, Washington and Denmark believe the find at the Manis site in Washington demonstrates that humans were in the area around 13,800 years ago, or 800 years earlier than was believed. Their work is published in the current issue of Science magazine.
In the late 1970s, an adult male mastodon was excavated from a pond at the Manis site. The distribution of the bones and the discovery that some of the bones were broken suggested that the elephant had been killed and butchered by human hunters, Waters explains. However, no stone tools or weapons were found at the site. The key artifact from the site was what appeared to be a bone point sticking out of one of the ribs, but the artifact and the age of the site were disputed.
Waters contacted team member and original excavator, Carl Gustafson, about performing new tests on the rib with the bone point. New radiocarbon dates confirmed that the site was 13,800 years old. High resolution CT scanning and three-dimensional modeling confirmed that the embedded bone was a spear point, and DNA and bone protein analysis showed that the bone point was made of mastodon bone.
"The Manis site is an early kill site" Waters says.
"The evidence from the Manis site shows that people were hunting mastodons with bone weapons before the Clovis stone spear point."
The new evidence from Manis supports extinction theories of large mammals at the end of the last Ice Age, Waters says. During the last cold period, herds of mammoth, mastodon, camels, horses and other animals roamed Texas and North America. At the end of the Ice Age, these animals became extinct.
"While these animals were stressed by the changing climate and vegetation patterns at the end of the Ice Age, it is now clear from sites like Manis that humans were also hunting these animals and may have been a factor in their demise," Waters adds. He also notes that "there are at least two other pre-Clovis kill sites in Wisconsin where hunters killed mammoths."
'Clovis' is the name given to the distinctive tools made by people starting around 13,000 years ago. The Clovis people invented the 'Clovis point', a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and the rest of the United States and northern Mexico. These weapons were used to hunt animals, including mammoths and mastodons, from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.
Waters says that "the evidence from the Manis site is helping to reshape our understanding of the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, the last continent to be occupied by modern humans."
Well, I went through school with a guy named Sandy Claus.
The huge crater(s) is/are probably in lake Michigan. Sudbury was caused incredibly earlier, I think it might have been at least a billion years ago, but certainly not during any period of humanoids. Sunken Civ, time to post that Firestone book on the 13,000 yo meteor strike.
My take on the article is better late to the party than never to have gone.
They found one bone tipped spearhead in the bones of a dead mammoth. Wonder what happened to the guy that did it?.......
They should check the bottom of the mammoth’s feet.
“Ya should have hung out, mannnn!” — Dave Attell
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****... that humans were in the area around 13,800 years ago, or 800 years earlier than was believed. ****
Well I wish they would make up their mind! Years ago Nat Geo had on their cover tools that were 20,000 years old found around the Crow River in Canada.
Then a few years later there was a small notice that the tools were really only 2,000 years old, a discrepency of 18,000 years.
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