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When Did Early Humans Arrive in North America?


Two recent archeological discoveries have blown scientists' minds.They'll blow yours too!


CREDIT: SMITHSONIAN


Nearly 100 years ago, in 1926, amateur and professional archeologist began finding mammoth bones near Clovis, New Mexico, that had been scoured by recent floods. The site was first excavated in 1926 under the direction of professional archeologists, Harold Cook and Jesse Figgins.


Then, in 1929, 19-year-old amateur archeologist, James Ridgely Whiteman, from Clovis, New Mexico, found fluted spearpoints intermingled with mammoth bones. He sent two letters to the Smithsonian that were ignored until several years later.

CREDIT: UNKNOWN / IF ANY ONE CAN IDENTIFY THS WORK, PLEASE CONTACT NFTF, SO WE CAN PROPERLY CREDIT


Several years later, Edgar B. Howard at the University of Pennsylvania had gotten wind that a road crew near Clovis, New Mexico had found a magnificent cache of huge mastodon bones. He rushed to the location. What he found, mingled among the monster bones were slender, finger-long and exquisitely carved spear points. They became known as Clovis Points, and for nearly 100 years were considered the oldest human-made spear points in North America. Since 1926, nearly 10,000 Clovis points , scattered in 1,500 locations all across the North America.

PHOTO CREDIT: OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY


For nearly a century it was accepted fact that the Clovis discoveries were the oldest known ancient artifacts in North America--around 12,800 to 13,500 years ago.


That is until just a couple of months ago. In December 2022, researchers from Oregon State University announced that unique spear points they had discovered near Cooper’s Ferry on the banks of the Salmon River in Idaho had been dated to around 16,000 years ago--3,000 years older than the oldest Clovis points--upending all we have assumed about when humans came to North America. The teams found 13 points points ranging from a half inch long to two inches long. The site is on traditional NEZ PERCE land near an ancient village known as Nipene.


That tracks with Nez Perce history, Nakia Williamson-Cloud, Cultural Resources Program Director for the NEZ PERCE tribe, told Science Magazine, the official publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The

artifact filled site sits on NEZ PERCE land. Stories passed down over thousands

of years tell of a young couple establishing the village after a catastrophic flood destroyed their home across the river.


Although no genetic evidence connects the ancient toolmakers to modern Nez Perce people, Williamson-Cloud says he believes his tribe is “most definitely” their descendants. “These are truly our ancestors,” he says. “They aren’t just nameless Paleoindian people, and it’s not some nameless site. It’s a place where our lineage came from—people who are alive today.”

PICTURE CREDIT: OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY


That tracks with Nez Perce history, says Nakia Williamson-Cloud, Cultural Resources Program Director for the NEZ PERCE tribe, on whose lands the artifact-filled site sits. Stories passed down over thousands of years tell of a young couple founding the village after a catastrophic flood destroyed their previous home across the river.


Although no genetic evidence connects the ancient toolmakers to modern Nez Perce people, Williamson-Cloud says he believes his tribe is “most definitely” their descendants. “These are truly our ancestors,” he says. “They aren’t just nameless Paleoindian people, and it’s not some nameless site. It’s a place where our lineage came from—people who are alive today.”


What is particularly fascinating about discovery of these 13 spearpoints near that the same types of spearpoints that most closely resemble projectile points made by people who lived near modern-day Hokkaido, Japan, some 20,000 years ago.


Press the You Tube link below to view a short video produced by Oregon State University about the ground-breaking find:

VIDEO CREDIT: OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY


An Even More Mind-Bending Discovery Puts the

Humans in North America 130,000 Years Ago

The discovery of the "Cerutti Mastodon" found in the suburbs of San Diego in the 1990s one of the most hotly contested discoveries in archeology. Studies continue, as do to debates between trained and amateur archeologists and archeology enthusiasts.

PHOTO CREDIT: SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM / EARTHLY MISSION

The above image shows the archeology site near San Diego. Below are some of the bones discovered and a depiction of a 130,00o-year-old mastodon.

PHOTO CREDIT: SAN DIEGO NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM / EARTHLY MISSION

The 130,000 monstrous beast appears to have been butchered by humans. Two archeology teams, one from the San Diego Natural History Museum and the Center for American Paleolithic Research. The were excited enough to discovery the massive skeleton, but when they began to analyze the bones more closely they were shocked that they found unique scraping marks and fractures that appeared--unbelievably--to be caused by humans. After extensive study and radiocarbon

dating, the results confirmed that the marks were caused by humans and an even more incredible fact: the mastodon bones were 130,000 years old!

PHOTO CREDIT: DANTHEMAN9758 / EARTHLY MISSION

lt surely upend history as we know it. But in these modern times and with the incredible advancements in archeology, accepted truths are turned upside down every day. History and history research is a moving target. Just has so much of medicine and biology and all the sciences have proved untrue so much of what the world believed in past centuries. I, for one, will keep an open mind. Let the research parse out the truth.


If you'd like to read more about the new discovery in Idaho or the amazing mastodon dig, click these links below:


SCIENCE MAGAZINE: Deadly Sharp Points Found in Idaho Could Be First American-Made Tools

THE IDAHO STATESMAN: Stone dart tips found at Idaho site are oldest known weapons in Americas, experts say

THE ARCHEOLOGIST: New Evidence for Human Activity in North America 130,000 Years Ago

If you found this post interesting, you may be interested in this related Notes from the Frontier post:

• Hunting Arrowheads

https://www.notesfromthefrontier.com/post/hunting-arrowheads

"When Did the First Humans Arrive in North America?" was first published on Facebook and NotesfromtheFrontier.com on Thursday, February 3, 2023.


©2023 NOTES FROM THE FRONTIER




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Deborah Hufford

Author, Notes from the Frontier

Deborah Hufford is an award-winning author and magazine editor with a passion for history. Her popular NotesfromtheFrontier.com blog with 100,000+ readers has led to an upcoming novel! Growing up as an Iowa farmgirl, rodeo queen and voracious reader, her love of land, lore and literature fired her writing muse. With a Bachelor's in English and Master's in Journalism from the University of Iowa, she taught students of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, then at Northwestern University, Marquette and Mount Mary. Her extensive publishing career began at Better Homes & Gardens, includes credits in New York Times Magazine, New York Times, Connoisseur, many other titles, and serving as publisher of The Writer's Handbook

 

Deeply devoted to social justice, especially for veterans, women, and Native Americans, she has served on boards and donated her fundraising skills to Chief Joseph Foundation, Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Homeless Veterans Initiative, Humane Society, and other nonprofits.  

 

Deborah's soon-to-be released historical novel, BLOOD TO RUBIES weaves indigenous and pioneer history, strong women and clashing worlds into a sweeping saga praised by NYT bestselling authors as "crushing," "rhapsodic," "gritty," and "sensuous." Purchase BLOOD TO RUBIES online beginning June 9. Connect with Deborah on DeborahHufford.com, Facebook, and Instagram.

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