Oldest site in america updated dating

The deepest pit, which took 5 years to excavate, reached down 31 meters.Shockingly, those deep layers contained telltale signs of human occupation, Dillehay’s team reports today in : evidence of hearth fires, animal bones, plant remains, and simple but unmistakable stone tools.Nevertheless, there is substantial evidence that the Earth and the other bodies of the Solar System are 4.5-4.6 billion years old, and that the Milky Way Galaxy and the Universe are older still.

oldest site in america updated dating-66

The new find isn’t old enough to prove that the first Americans came down the coast, says Dillehay, who also excavated Monte Verde.

But Huaca Prieta does provide a detailed snapshot of ancient coastal lives.

The Huaca Preita residents knew so much about their environment that Dillehay can’t imagine they were just stopping by on their journey south.

If they were part of a wave of coastal migration, they certainly weren’t in a hurry.

All rocks and minerals contain long-lived radioactive elements that were incorporated into Earth when the Solar System formed.

These radioactive elements constitute independent clocks that allow geologists to determine the age of the rocks in which they occur.Archaeologists used to think that people walked from Siberia through an ice-free passage down Alaska and Canada, reaching the interior of the United States about 13,000 years ago.In recent years, however, well documented earlier sites like Chile’s Monte Verde have convinced most archaeologists that humans made it deep into the Americas by 14,500 years ago, meaning that they would have had to cross Canada long before an ice-free corridor existed.“This looks like people settling in,” agrees Loren Davis, an archaeologist at Oregon State University in Corvallis.“As old as this is, you’re probably not looking at the first peoples on the landscape.” The Huaca Prietans managed to do all this with surprisingly simple stone tools.Radioactivity was discovered in 1896 by French physicist Henri Becquerel.

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