form not validating on submit - Radiocarbon dating stone tools

Likewise, Bamforth was not surprised by the discovery of the new evidence.

"I think it's kind of been waiting to be found," he says of a substantial pre-Clovis site.

The striking discovery of 14,100- to 14,600-year-old stone tools at a site in Monte Verde, Chile, raised questions about just how quickly the new settlers could have arrived so far south so quickly.

These early people might have used the two continents' west coast as a pathway to settlement but, as Waters noted, it would mean those early explorers would have been "paddling as fast as they could to get down to the southern tip of South America," passing up a lot of awfully nice places on the North American coast along the way—such as the Columbia River, San Francisco Bay and San Diego, "where I would have stopped," Waters said, half jokingly.

The discovery is detailed in a new study, published online March 24 in .

When the makers of these tools were using the site (from 15,500 to 13,200 years ago), the region would have been slightly cooler than it is today, probably by an average of about 5 to 6 degrees Celsius—"rather amiable at that time period," Lee Nordt, of Baylor University's Department of Geology and co-author of the new study, said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

"This was a mobile tool kit—something that was easily transported," Waters said.

The prevalence of Clovis style tools—epitomized by fine, fluted (grooved) stone points—across the continent had suggested to many archaeologists for decades that the groups who made these tools must have comprised the first wave of settlement in the Americas.But the resources in the area were likely plentiful, added Michael Waters, of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University in College Station and co-author of the new study.With the rich hill country around them, "it's not surprising people came back time and time again." The people who left the tools and fragments described in the study were likely hunter–gatherers, passing through the site from time to time over thousands of years.Researchers have also yet to find strong technological links between Clovis technology and same-period stone tools in northeastern Asia."There are a lot of problems with the Clovis-first model," Waters said, adding that it is "time to abandon [it] once and for all." Some of the pre-Clovis tools found at the Buttermilk Creek site, such as "bladelets," do show similarities with bifacial (two-sided) techniques found in Asia, suggesting a deeper history.The find is "unequivocal proof for pre-Clovis occupation of America," said Steven Forman, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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