Virginia, a state perhaps best known for its links to colonial America, contains some of the earliest known remains of prehistoric Americans, according to data presented in Philadelphia last week at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Analyses of soil, plant, and animal remains and stone artifacts that researchers found in layers of a sand dune known as Cactus Hill suggest that people lived there at least 15,000 years ago. That's well before the appearance of the Clovis culture, long regarded as the first in the New World.
Sites from Florida to Alaska have yielded distinctive Clovis stone points. Such finds date at earliest to 11,500 years ago.
"We think people went to Cactus Hill, on and off, beginning at least 15,000 y