|28 June 2008
Ancient stone tools discovered in South Carolina
Archaeologists have unearthed two ancient stone tools in an archaeological dig in Allendale County, (South Carolina, USA), a rare find that could provide more information about how early Americans lived.
Matthew Carey, a 22-year-old University of South Carolina anthropology major, volunteered at the Topper Site where USC archaeologist Dr. Albert Goodyear has been excavating for 10 years. Carey found the tools on June 8, the last day of the 2008 dig. In 1998 Goodyear found artifacts at this ancient rock quarry near the Savannah River that indicate humans lived here 37,000 years earlier than originally thought. The site is one of a handful of excavations across the country where evidence is being uncovered that could rewrite America's history.
So far, there have been two sets of artifacts found at Topper: Stone flakes and tools that date to the Clovis people, which history books say are the first Americans who arrived here 13,000 years ago via a land bridge from Asia; a fire pit that contained plant remains that date to 50,000 years ago, which could help prove Goodyear's theory about when humans lived here. Goodyear believes the site was a factory for the Clovis people, where they came to make tools. The new find could show it was also a site used by the Taylor people, who lived at least 1,500 years after their Clovis ancestors in an era called the Early Archaic period.
In the dirt, 4 inches above Clovis artifacts, Carey found the tools dating to 11,000 years ago that could have been used as knives or projectile points for hunting. The tools are pointed with straight sharp edges. They are unlike those typically found from the Taylor people, known for making pointed tools with jagged edges that would have been attached to spears for hunting or fishing. Goodyear has found 18 of these at his dig site. Carey's find could prove the Taylor people also had another tool in their toolkit, which might have had a different purpose. "I think they were probably left there the same day, in all likelihood by one person," Goodyear said. "What we are hoping is this will tell us something more about the Early Archaic people." Goodyear hopes to find more of these artifacts next year when he returns to Topper for another dig.
Source: AJC.com (17 June 2008)
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