http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/11/041118104010.htm

Date:
November 18, 2004
Source:
University Of South Carolina
Summary:
Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.

 


Dr. Al Goodyear examining artifacts in the terrace.
Credit: Photo courtesy of University of South Carolina

Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.

The findings are significant because they suggest that humans inhabited North America well before the last ice age more than 20,000 years ago, a potentially explosive revelation in American archaeology.

Goodyear, who has garnered international attention for his discoveries of tools that pre-date what is believed to be humans’ arrival in North America, announced the test results, which were done by the University of California at Irvine Laboratory, Wednesday (Nov .17).

“The dates could actually be older,” Goodyear says. “Fifty-thousand should be a minimum age since there may be little detectable activity left.”

The dawn of modern homo sapiens occurred in Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. Evidence of modern man’s migration out of the African continent has been documented in Australia and Central Asia at 50,000 years and in Europe at 40,000 years. The fact that humans could have been in North America at or near the same time is expected to spark debate among archaeologists worldwide, raising new questions on the origin and migration of the human species.

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