Monday, October 6, 2014

Evidence of Earliest Habitation in Oregon Caves

From VOA News:

... Jenkins' team used radiocarbon dating to determine that more than 200 samples of human feces collected from the Paisley caves were deposited in the area 14,300 years ago, nearly 1,000 years  efore the human settlement evidenced in the Clovis era. 
Jenkins said the test findings provide "significant new information regarding the timing and spread of the first settlers in the Americas," suggesting an ancient human population reached what is now the United States at the end of the last Ice Age. 
In addition to biological samples, Jenkins' team also found stones used to grind plant materials, woven plant fibers, modified animal bones and stemmed projectile points.
"The people living there 14,300 years ago were gathering and consuming aromatic roots, for which they would have needed special knowledge that would have developed over time," according to the press release announcing the site's placement on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today, the Paisley caves are surrounded by sagebrush in a sparsely populated area of south-central Oregon. But researchers believe the site was once a grassy plain containing a lake and populated by camel, bison and waterfowl.

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