I happened across a completely snarky commentary from “About“. First, I detest “About”. Secondly, I am sick and tired of the prejudice against extremely early American human settlement. Dr. Albert Goodyear has been making remarkable discoveries in South Carolina, but is being treated with the thumb of the nose by “text book” archaeology snobs.
K Kris Hirst has a piece about the dating of “Topper” a 50,000 year old archaeological site in South Carolina. My first instinct is prejudice – hers. If the site were discovered here in New Mexico, or Arizona, or California I wonder if there would be such a “disgust” with the dating. But, since it is in South Carolina, and can completely re-write archaeological and history books, it is being down-played.
“…Since the 1930s, the prevailing theory concerning the peopling of the New World is that the first human inhabitants were the Clovis people, who are thought to have appeared over 9,000 years ago. Artifacts of the Clovis people are found throughout most of the United States and as far south as Panama. The standard theory has been challenged in recent decades with the emergence of pre-Clovis sites such as Monte Verde and other possible pre-Clovis candidates such as Cactus Hill. To date, no consistent pre-Clovis cultural patterns have been established and the accuracy of these claims have been found controversial and unverified. In 2004, Albert Goodyear of the University of South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology announced that radiocarbon dating of a bit of charcoal found in the Topper Site dated to approximately 50,000 years ago, or approximately 37,000 years before the Clovis people. Goodyear, who began excavating the Topper site in the 1980s, believes that the artifacts are stone tools, although other archaeologists dispute this conclusion, suggesting that the artifacts may be natural and not human-made. Other archaeologists have challenged the radiocarbon dating procedure of the Topper artifacts. Goodyear discovered the artifacts by digging 4 m deeper than the Clovis artifacts. Before discovering the oldest artifacts, he had discovered other artifacts that he claimed were tools dating around 16,000 years old, or about 3,000 years before Clovis. Until the recent challenges to the Clovis theory, it was unusual for archaeologists to dig deeper than the layer of the Clovis culture, on the grounds that no human artifacts would be found older than Clovis….”
Then there is Pedra Fruada in Brazil. European archaeologists take the newer dating seriously, but the dogmatic American neanderthals (archaeologists) can’t quite get beyond 1492.
“…The Pedra Furada is a large collection of over 800 archaeological sites located in Brazil. Specifically the Southeast portion of the state of Piaui in what is now the Capivara National Park. They were discovered by the Brazilian archaeologist Niède Guidon. The Pedra Furada is a collection of rock shelters with hundreds of cave paintings dating from 5,000 to 11,000 years ago. Deeper into the sediments there are contested artifacts and hearths that show, through carbon dating, the possibility of humans existing there around 32,000 years ago. (New numbers show that humans could have been around anywhere from 35,000-48,000 years ago.) This was groundbreaking as it came at a time that many archaeologists still held the “Pre-Clovis first” view for humans in the Americas….”
The real problem is the fact that old school archaeologists simply cannot accept the fact that there was a there was a thriving Clovis culture in South Carolina. Dr. Albert Goodyear is finally getting the right kind of attention for his discovery and the fact that he is willing to admit that there was thriving Clovis and pre-Clovis culture in South Carolina.