Dating of stone tools adds to evidence for pre-Clovis inhabitants in North America
Big game hunters of the Clovis culture may have just gotten the final blow to their reputation as North America’s earliest settlers. At least 1,000 years before Clovis people roamed the Great Plains, a group of hunter-gatherers either butchered a mastodon or scavenged its carcass on Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Stone tools discovered in an underwater sinkhole in the Aucilla River show that people were present at the once-dry Page-Ladson site about 14,550 years ago, reports a team led by geoarchaeologists Jessi Halligan of Florida State University in Tallahassee and Michael Waters of Texas A&M University in College Station. The Clovis people appeared in North America around 13,000 years ago.
Radiocarbon dating of twigs, seeds and plant fragments from submerged sediment layers provides a solid age estimate for six stone artifacts excavated by scuba divers, the team reports May 13 in