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American Association for the Advancement of Science Summary: Researchers in Texas have discovered thousands of human artifacts in a layer of earth that lies directly beneath an assemblage of Clovis relics, expanding evidence that other cultures preceded the Clovis culture in North America. This pre-Clovis toolkit appears to be between 13, and 15, years old and it includes biface and blade technology that may have later been adapted -- and improved upon -- by the Clovis culture. Over the past few years, however, scattered evidence has hinted at several earlier cultures. But, such evidence has often been disputed in part because so few artifacts have actually been recovered. The new site in Texas, known as the Debra L. Friedkin site, documents a pre-Clovis settlement in the region and informs researchers about the transition to Clovis culture and technology, which is later seen across North and Central America and also into northern South America.
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It's Official: The First Americans Weren't The Clovis People After All
The Clovis Point and the Discovery of America’s First Culture | History | Smithsonian
Eminent researchers quickly converged on Clovis and bore witness to the discovery. Clovis points are wholly distinctive. Chipped from jasper, chert, obsidian and other fine, brittle stone, they have a lance-shaped tip and sometimes wickedly sharp edges. Typically about four inches long and a third of an inch thick, they were sleek and often beautifully made.
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The Clovis First Theory is put to rest at Paisley Caves
However, due to poor management of the land, looting, and even a commercial pay-to-dig operation, over the years, many of the upper layers have become irreparably damaged. Then, in , the University of Texas at Austin leased the land and began academic excavations. Digging deeper, archaeologists found 2. But the latest discoveries to be unearthed at Gault are arguably the most exciting to date: unknown projectile points, which push back human occupation of the area at least 2, years before the Clovis civilization, reports Kevin Wheeler at the Texas Standard.
The weapons were found in layers beneath those containing Clovis spear points and they date to between 13, and 15, years ago. The discovery could potentially mean one of two things—either humans at the site changed their style of spear, or there was another, separate wave of migration into North America. How and when the first people arrived in North America is not entirely clear. It is thought they migrated across the Bering Land Bridge , which once linked Siberia and Canada, around 20, years ago.