Magazine article Science News

A New Glimpse of Early Americans: Artifacts Show Texas Site Was Occupied 15,000 Years Ago

Magazine article Science News

A New Glimpse of Early Americans: Artifacts Show Texas Site Was Occupied 15,000 Years Ago

Article excerpt

Everything's bigger in Texas, even the piles of debris and tools left near a stream 15,000 years ago by some of the earliest known inhabitants of North America.

The new trove of 56 stone tools and thousands of flaky rock bits from an archaeological site north of Austin is the largest and oldest artifact assemblage of its kind discovered to date, says Michael Waters of Texas A&M University in College Station. Waters and a large team of colleagues describe the collection of artifacts, dubbed the Buttermilk Creek Complex, in the March 25 Science.

Across North America, a distinctive type of fluted blade shows up in layers of dirt dating to between 13,100 and 12,800 years ago. This "Clovis point" has been called the first great American invention, a technology that spread quickly around the continent. Scientists used to think that the inventors and users of the point, which was probably fastened to wooden spears, were the first inhabitants of North America, arriving via an ancient land bridge with Siberia. …

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