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The site is a slam-dunk pre-Clovis site with unequivocal artifacts, clear stratigraphy, and thorough dating." (Texas A&M University), the findings come from excavation of the Page-Ladson site near Tallahassee, an archaeological site that is 26 feet underwater in a sinkhole on the Aucilla River.The site was first investigated from 1987 to 1997, but the original findings, which included eight stone tools and a mastodon tusk with apparent cut marks, were dismissed.At center-left is a group of deep, parallel, transverse marks made with a stone tool as part of the tusk removal process. Michigan Museum of Paleontology) “The new discoveries at Page-Ladson show that people were living in the Gulf Coast area much earlier than believed,” says Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University.Diagonal marks to the left and right of cut marks were made by bone fragments caught in the space between the tusk surface and the alveolar bone, when the tusk was rotated back and forth while attempting to withdraw it from the socket. “The stone tools and faunal remains at the site show that at 14,550 years ago, people knew how to find game, fresh water, and material for making tools.

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“The Page-Ladson site gives us another clue about the first people to explore and settle the Americas,” Waters says.

These weapons were used to hunt animals, including mammoths and mastodons, from 12,600 to 13,000 years ago. This has opened up a whole new line of inquiry for us as scientists as we try to understand the settlement of the Americas.” “Our work provides strong evidence that early human hunters did not hunt mastodons to extinction as quickly as supporters of the so-called ‘Blitzkrieg’ hypothesis have argued.

“This is a big deal,” says Jessi Halligan of Florida State Univeristy. Instead, the evidence from this site shows that humans and megafauna coexisted for at least 2,000 years.” The site has changed dramatically since it was first occupied 14,550 years ago.

Working in near-zero-visibility waters in the murky Aucilla River from 2012 to 2014, researchers excavated stone tools and the bones of extinct animals.

The stone tools included a biface, a knife used for cutting and butchering animal meat.


  1. May 17, 2016. Stone tools found in a Florida river show that humans settled the southeastern United States far earlier than previously believed—perhaps by as much as 1500 years.

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