|17 September 2005
Spear point may be oldest Idaho human relic
The discovery of a carved obsidian spear point, believed to be 11,000 years old, was found last year just west of the Idaho-Montana border in the Beaverhead Mountains. If proved to be that age, it would be the oldest example of humans in what is now Idaho, said Lane Allgood, a spokesman for North Wind, a company hired to help the Bureau of Land Management to investigate the cultural resources of the area.
Denise Stark, an archaeological technician with North Wind, found the point just below the ridge line of the Continental Divide.
The age of the point was determined first by its shape and then by its similarity to a spear point discovered at Coopers Ferry, about 25 miles west. Archaeologists at the Coopers Ferry site carbon dated materials from that site, setting the age at 11,000 years old.
The shape suggested the spear point was of the Lind Coulee type, named for its discovery site in Washington state and dates to the late Pleistocene period. The spear was made to hunt big game.
If, after testing, the age of the spear holds up to expectations, the discovery will add new data to the least known-people in the area, the Clovis people. Recognized as the oldest people in North America, the Clovis probably came over the Bering Strait to North America as a mammoth-hunting nomadic group.
If the point is of the Lind Coulee type, it will be among the earliest of artifacts recovered in that region.
Source: The State (12 September 2005)
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