Artifacts from the Anzick site.
“The other previous ages suffered from some sort of contamination. With the new method, we got very accurate and secure ages for the human remains based on dating hydroxyproline. As a test, we also redated the antler artifacts using this technique.”
The results prove that both the human remains and antler Clovis artifacts are of the same date.
“The human remains and Clovis artifacts can now be confidently shown to be the same age and date between 12,725 to 12,900 years ago,” Waters notes. “This is right in the middle to the end of the Clovis time period which ranges from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.
“This is important because we have resolved the dating issues at the site. Some researchers had argued that the human remains were not Clovis and were younger than the Clovis artifacts, based on the earlier radiocarbon dates. We have shown that they are the same age and confirmed that the Anzick site represents a Clovis burial.”
While not the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, Clovis is the first widespread prehistoric culture that first appeared 13,000 years ago. Clovis originated south of the large Ice Sheets that covered Canada at that time and are the direct descendants of the earliest people who arrived in the New World around 15,000 years ago.
Clovis people fashioned their stone spear tips with grooved, or fluted, bases. They invented the “Clovis point,’ a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and other portions of the United States and northern Mexico, and these weapons were used to hunt animals
The researchers say the findings will also help geneticists in their estimates of the timing of the peopling of the Americas because the Anzick genome is critical to understanding early settlements and the origin of modern Native peoples.
Media contact: Keith Randall, Marketing and Communications, at (979) 845-4644 or Mike Waters at (979) at 845-5246