Thursday, 22 December 2011

Interesting study from the Clovis people, or should I say the pre-Clovis people!

So this article was suggested to me by Anson and I think it is really interesting for the late Pleistocene extinction debate in Australia.

This study by Waters et al (2011) (and also supported by Lawler 2011) found the tip of a projectile point made of mastodon bone at the archaeological site of Mansin in Washington. Now I know this isn’t quite in Australia, but what is interesting is that radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis shows the rib (that it was embedded in) was found with other remains that date to 13,800 years ago. So this means these projectile points that are associated with the Beringian Upper Palaeolithic and Clovis were in fact used in the pre-Clovis era. Hence this site shows people were hunting at 800 years before the Clovis. Furthermore, this is backed by evidence of mammoth hunting at sites in Wisconsin, showing hunting occurred way before the once presumed first humans in North America, the Clovis.

This shows that the human co-existence with megafaunal species was even longer than first presumed. Although this is a case study from North America, it just goes to show that actually we don’t have an exact time-line of humans arrival, especially in Australia where there is no clear or accurate dating implementation as of yet. North America has ample more archaeological evidence of both human and megafaunal species remains and even here chronological events have proven false. So the estimation of human arrival varies a lot, from 62-45ka, this is a large time lag, and who’s to say it isn’t longer?! Either way, it can’t be ignored; human co-existence was very prolonged in both Australia and North America it seems. This discounts the ‘blitzkrieg’ model completely, and probably the ‘overkill’ model, well unless the extinction was long and drawn out. But there is more evidence for the climate model applying, surely it can’t be coincidence these extinctions happened as the climate and naturally the environment transformed dramatically?! I don’t think so…

No comments:

Post a Comment