Artifacts Discovered in Texas Predate Earliest Known North Americans by 2,500 Years

Artifacts Discovered in Texas Predate Earliest Known North Americans by 2,500 Years

Michele Collet
Michele Collet
Scribol Staff
Anthropology and History

Some of the artifacts from the 15,500-year-old horizonPhoto: Michael R. Waters

For decades scientists and archaeologists believed that North America was populated by people who came from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge. Researchers called them the Clovis because of their unique tool making, which included bifacial blade technology the Clovis may have adapted later. Now that theory of the Clovis being the first North Americans seems to have been ripped asunder. Researchers have discovered 16,000 artifacts that predate the Clovis by over two thousand years.

The Debra L. Friedkin Site in Texas.Photo: Michael R. Waters

“At the Debra L. Friedkin site, Texas, we have found evidence of an early human occupation… 2,500 years older than Clovis,” said Dr. Michael Waters of Texas A & M University. “This makes the Friedkin site the oldest credible archaeological site in Texas and North America. The site is important to the debate about the timing of the colonization of the Americas and the origins of Clovis.”

Problems with the Clovis model had been arising over the years. For instance, no one had found any tools like theirs in Asia where they had supposedly crossed. No one found them in South America either. But the model had vehement supporters, and until now there were never enough artifacts that could be dated properly to finally land the blow to the outdated model.

Excavation in Block A at the Debra L. Friedkin Site in TexasPhoto: Michael R. Waters

Instead, the people who were called Clovis or known by their Clovis tools were seen to have had 2,500 years to develop new ways to work with flint and chert and come up with unique and distinctive tools.

“This discovery challenges us to re-think the early colonization of the Americas,” said Dr. Waters. “There’s no doubt these tools and weapons are human-made and they date to about 15,500 years ago, making them the oldest artifacts found both in Texas and North America.”

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