Thursday, April 03, 2008

Ancient feces yield clue to the peopling of the Americas

Another scientific brick has been thrown through the window of the "Clovis people were first" shop. DNA in human feces from a cave in Oregon have been dated to 14,000 years B.P. Dennis Jenkins, a University of Oregon archaeologist, said, "This is the first time we have been able to get dates that are undeniably human, and they are 1,000 years before Clovis." Clovis people were once thought to have arrived about 10,000 years B.P., but that date has slipped backwards two to three thousand years as new discoveries dictated. Still, this puts a group of people, apparently a nomadic one, well down the west coast of North America from the Bering Sea land bridge a long time before Clovis. Something else besides the Clovis migration happened back then, and we are still working out what it was.

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