Settled Science Now Unsettled

No we’re not talking about global climate change (formerly global warming), but rather the first colonizers of North America. Archaeologists had accepted as settled fact that Clovis people were the true native Americans. Well it turns out that’s not the case. From The Register:

The so-called “Clovis First” theory had until 2008 been accepted as unquestioned truth among archaeologists, who considered that the Clovis people – so called from 13,000 year old archaeological finds near the village of Clovis in New Mexico – were the true native Americans. When the still more ancient 14,000-year-old excrement was found at the Paisley [Oregon] caves, it was pointed out by disgruntled boffins that no stone tools or other evidence of the type seen at Clovis had been found, and that the DNA poo evidence could have been erroneous.

Dr Dennis Jenkins of Copenhagen uni was having none of that, however, and he continued to poke about in the caves. Now he and his team are back, this time packing stone artifacts including “Western stemmed” stone projectiles and new, more comprehensive DNA dating.

The new study refutes every one of the critics’ arguments and uses overwhelming archaeological, stratigraphic, DNA and radiocarbon evidence to conclusively state that humans — and ones totally unrelated to Clovis peoples — were present at Paisley Caves over a millennium before Clovis.

Don’t you hate it when settled science won’t stay settled?

Image: University of Oregon Archaeological Field School

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