appears to be between 13,200 and 15,500 years old and it includes biface and blade technology that may have later been adapted and improved upon by the Clovis culture
This Clovis culture
was assumed to have lasted from about 12,000 BP (years before present) to about 10,000 BP.
But the Alaska discovery is not as old as the 11,500-year-old human bones from what is called the Clovis culture
, which ranged between Wyoming and New Mexico.
Radiocarbon dates place the site at about 12,500 years before present, a millennium before the Clovis culture
, named for a New Mexico site where distinctive fluted points were found with mammoth bones, which was long thought to represent the first people in the New World.
Researchers have recently discovered that an ancient child known as Anzick-1 who was part of the Clovis culture
is an ancestor to all Native Americans (SN: 3/22/14, p.
Artifacts found with the body show the boy was part of the Clovis culture
, which existed in North America from about 13,000 years ago to about 12,600 years ago and is named for an archaeological site near Clovis, N.
Although the Clovis culture
disappeared, its people still are living today.
peaked between 13,000 and 12,600 years ago and its members may have been ancestors of today's Native Americans (SN: 3/22/14, p.
The cause of this cooling has been much debated, especially because it closely coincided with the abrupt extinction of the majority of the large animals then inhabiting the Americas, as well as the disappearance of the prehistoric Clovis culture
, known for its big game hunting.
The study may put to rest an idea, known as the Solutrean hypothesis, that ancient Europeans crossed the Atlantic and established the Clovis culture
in the New World.
Researchers from Royal Holloway University, together with Sandia National Laboratories and 13 other universities across the United States and Europe, have found evidence that rebuts the belief that a large impact or airburst caused a significant and abrupt change to the Earth's climate and terminated the Clovis culture
Previous investigations found that human coprolites in the caves predated the Clovis culture
by over 1,000 years; however, critics questioned the interpretations by saying that the cave strata had not been sufficiently examined and that no Clovis-age stone tools had been found with the coprolites.
This episode occurred at or close to the time of major extinction of the North American megafauna, including mammoths and giant ground sloths; and the disappearance of the prehistoric and widely distributed Clovis culture
Researchers have long regarded remains of the prehistoric Clovis culture
as the oldest solid evidence of people in the Americas.
A long-standing model of human exploration and settlement of the Americas holds that, after reaching North America through the Bering Straits off Alaska, a concerted push southward led early humans including the Clovis culture
across inland parts of the continent to South America.