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16 December 2012
Archaeology in Oregon

Several years ago some of the earliest evidence of human activity in the Americas was found in eight caves on the outskirts of Paisley, about 220 miles southeast of Eugene, in the northwest USA.
     Organic material at the site dated to about 14,000 years ago, and material in the strata just above this to about 13,000 to 13,200 years ago, making it the oldest site in Oregon and the oldest containing Western Stemmed Points.
     "From our dating, it appears to be impossible to derive Western Stemmed points from a proto-Clovis tradition," said Dennis Jenkins, of the University of Oregon. "It suggests that we may have here in the Western United States a tradition that is at least as old as Clovis, and quite possibly older. We seem to have two different traditions co-existing in the United States that did not blend for a period of hundreds of years."
     Michael Hofrieter, a biologist in DNA laboratory of the University of York (UK) says, "The results of this study are exciting, because they show that the hypothesis that the Clovis people were the first Native Americans, which has been the prevailing idea for the last decades, is wrong. Now researchers need to come up with a new model for the settling of the Americas."

Edited from Cannon Beach Gazette (9 December 2012)

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