Friday, February 23, 2007

Clovis update New evidence -- Clovis people not first to populate North America
The belief that the Clovis People were the first to populate North America some 11,500 years ago has been widely challenged in recent years, and a Texas A&M University anthropologist has found evidence he says could be the final nail in the coffin for the Clovis first model.

Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, is the lead author of the paper "Redefining the Age of Clovis: Implications for the Peopling of the Americas," that appears in the Feb. 23 (Friday) issue of Science.

Waters’ paper revises the original dates for the Clovis time period, suggesting that humans likely inhabited the Americas before Clovis, who have long been considered to be the first inhabitants of the New World.

They retested 25 samples (bone collagen all, apparently) and found that with modern AMS technology the dates cluster closely between 11,050 and 10,800 (or 10,900?) RC years BP. This makes a very short time frame for this particular cultural complex. It's also more recent than the usual 11,500 baseline usually cited for Clovis. That would make it difficult to argue that Clovis spread throughout the New World and thence gave rise to later peoples.

Interestingly, I did a little searching and found this link: Several samples of charcoal were dated, he [CV Haynes] told us, explaining his reluctance to accept the pre-12,000 B.P. date because of its geological nature, with two subsequent populations of dates, one at about 12,000 B.P., and the other at about 10,800 B.P.

Hmmmmmmmm. . . . . .