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New Evidence: Ancient Hunters Populated North America Earlier Than We Thought

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March 02, 2012

New Evidence: Ancient Hunters Populated North America Earlier Than We Thought

By Chad Love

It's looking more and more like ancient hunters were in North America, earlier -- and sometimes much earlier -- than previously thought.

From this story on bradenton.com:

Cut marks found on Ice Age bones indicate that humans in Ohio hunted or scavenged animal meat earlier than previously known. Dr. Brian Redmond, curator of archaeology at The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, was lead author on research published in the February 22, 2012 online edition of World Archaeology. Redmond and researchers analyzed 10 animal bones found in 1998 in the collections of the Firelands Historical Society Museum in Norwalk, Ohio.

Found by society member and co-author Matthew Burr, the bones were from a Jefferson's Ground Sloth. This large plant-eating animal became extinct at the end of the Ice Age around 10,000 years ago. "This research provides the first scientific evidence for hunting or scavenging of Ice Age sloth in North America," said Redmond. "The significant age of the remains makes them the oldest evidence of prehistoric human activity in Ohio, occurring in the Late Pleistocene period."

Meanwhile, other archeological discoveries along the eastern seaboard are calling into question the long-held assumption that North America was first populated from the west via Siberia.

From this story in the (UK) Independent:

New archaeological evidence suggests that America was first discovered by Stone Age people from Europe – 10,000 years before the Siberian-originating ancestors of the American Indians set foot in the New World. A remarkable series of several dozen European-style stone tools, dating back between 19,000 and 26,000 years, have been discovered at six locations along the US east coast. Three of the sites are on the Delmarva Peninsular in Maryland, discovered by archaeologist Dr Darrin Lowery of the University of Delaware. One is in Pennsylvania and another in Virginia. A sixth was discovered by scallop-dredging fishermen on the seabed 60 miles from the Virginian coast on what, in prehistoric times, would have been dry land.

The new discoveries are among the most important archaeological breakthroughs for several decades - and are set to add substantially to our understanding of humanity's spread around the globe. The similarity between other later east coast US and European Stone Age stone tool technologies has been noted before. But all the US European-style tools, unearthed before the discovery or dating of the recently found or dated US east coast sites, were from around 15,000 years ago - long after Stone Age Europeans (the Solutrean cultures of France and Iberia) had ceased making such artefacts.

Most archaeologists had therefore rejected any possibility of a connection. But the newly-discovered and recently-dated early Maryland and other US east coast Stone Age tools are from between 26,000 and 19,000 years ago - and are therefore contemporary with the virtually identical western European material. What’s more, chemical analysis carried out last year on a European-style stone knife found in Virginia back in 1971 revealed that it was made of French-originating flint.

Pretty fascinating stuff, eh? Who knows how long our ancestors may have been tramping around North America?

Comments (12)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I know that to be true...my fishing partner was one of them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wischneider wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

The last sentence is super interesting...

"What’s more, chemical analysis carried out last year on a European-style stone knife found in Virginia back in 1971 revealed that it was made of French-originating flint. "

So, some stone age dude walked across the ice from [modern day] France to Virginia, 30,000 years ago? Pretty cool!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

This is really cool. Just proves that the first conservationist were hunters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have heard of this theory it not new...

theory it about 30k years ago (give or take) during an ice age N Europe and Canada were essentially connected by a mile thick glacier, so its possible to travel from Europe to N America by foot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Had to give you a +1 for that, Sayfu. Made me chuckle!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seph92 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Is it so far fetched to think maybe there were always people in North America? After all it is still called the Bering Strait THEORY.
The evidence that is revealed is what academia wants revealed and justifies 500 years of American GENOCIDE.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I agree it's a fascinating idea that a European hunter traveled from France to Virginia -- or at least traded a piece of flint that far. I'm still skeptical though... extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

And yet, (the article I read , I believe in the washington post last week), other then tools, they left no trace.

Maybe like the horse. Evolved here, migrated to asia, died out where when the bearing bridge disappeared, and then had to be transplanted by the spanish from eurasia. An amazing place this planet that we are trashing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Topper wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Seph92: In Science, the word theory does not carry any connotation of "still waiting to be proved". A theory is a collection of FACTS that indicate a truth.
The theory of Evolution, for instance, is not something waiting to be proven or disproven, but rather is a collection of truths used everyday by thousands of scientists worldwide to better understand man's history on earth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seph92 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Topper: I'm still waiting to see any facts, like I said it's a theory an idea that an anthropologist came up with when he realized, after all the schooling he had, that he didn't have a logical answer to this question. So he passed on a logical theory that academia, to this day, still hasn't proved. Like I stated earlier is it that far fetched to believe that humans were always in North America?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

It never ceases to amaze me how mankind gets "dated" to a certain age. Then someone finds a jawbone or something that pushes the date back a few hundred thousand years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Thanks for the interesting post Chad. Food for thought while we are out wandering in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Sayfu wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I know that to be true...my fishing partner was one of them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wischneider wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

The last sentence is super interesting...

"What’s more, chemical analysis carried out last year on a European-style stone knife found in Virginia back in 1971 revealed that it was made of French-originating flint. "

So, some stone age dude walked across the ice from [modern day] France to Virginia, 30,000 years ago? Pretty cool!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mibasshunter wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

This is really cool. Just proves that the first conservationist were hunters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from larson014 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I have heard of this theory it not new...

theory it about 30k years ago (give or take) during an ice age N Europe and Canada were essentially connected by a mile thick glacier, so its possible to travel from Europe to N America by foot.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Mike Diehl wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Had to give you a +1 for that, Sayfu. Made me chuckle!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seph92 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Is it so far fetched to think maybe there were always people in North America? After all it is still called the Bering Strait THEORY.
The evidence that is revealed is what academia wants revealed and justifies 500 years of American GENOCIDE.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Roderick K. Purcell wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

I agree it's a fascinating idea that a European hunter traveled from France to Virginia -- or at least traded a piece of flint that far. I'm still skeptical though... extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

And yet, (the article I read , I believe in the washington post last week), other then tools, they left no trace.

Maybe like the horse. Evolved here, migrated to asia, died out where when the bearing bridge disappeared, and then had to be transplanted by the spanish from eurasia. An amazing place this planet that we are trashing.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Topper wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Hey Seph92: In Science, the word theory does not carry any connotation of "still waiting to be proved". A theory is a collection of FACTS that indicate a truth.
The theory of Evolution, for instance, is not something waiting to be proven or disproven, but rather is a collection of truths used everyday by thousands of scientists worldwide to better understand man's history on earth.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from seph92 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Topper: I'm still waiting to see any facts, like I said it's a theory an idea that an anthropologist came up with when he realized, after all the schooling he had, that he didn't have a logical answer to this question. So he passed on a logical theory that academia, to this day, still hasn't proved. Like I stated earlier is it that far fetched to believe that humans were always in North America?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Douglas wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

It never ceases to amaze me how mankind gets "dated" to a certain age. Then someone finds a jawbone or something that pushes the date back a few hundred thousand years.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bberg7794 wrote 2 years 6 weeks ago

Thanks for the interesting post Chad. Food for thought while we are out wandering in the woods.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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