|13 September 2014
Possible Pre-Clovis artefacts found in Kansas
The Central great Plains is a semi-arid Eco region of North America, covering large parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. A team from the University of Kansas, lead by Professor Rolfe Mandel, have been excavating in an area of Kansas, within this Eco region, to try ad find evidence of settlements by Clovis, and even Pre Clovis peoples.
The excavations are part of a project run by the University to give their undergraduates and graduates field experience. The team has concentrated its efforts in an area known as Tuttle Creek and several artefacts have been discovered, including projectiles and drills, The team is currently awaiting the results of the analysis of the sediment the artefacts were buried in. They are hoping that the official results will confirm their belief that these artefacts could be older than 13,500 years, which would make them the earliest finds so far within the Central Great Plains area.
The sediment tests use a technique which tries to determine when the layer was last exposed to light. They also take into account the orientation of any object found within it, to determine whether the object was originally deposited in the sedimental layer or accidentally added later.
Professor Mandel is quite excited by his team's finds and is quoted as saying "We all have inherent interest in history, so this tells us something about the early occupants of the Great Plains and this part of the Great Plains. It will tell us a lot about the history of the peopling of the Americas and in particular the peopling of the Great Plains, where it's been pretty much a black hole in terms of unravelling that story".
Edited from PhysOrg (29 August 2014)
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