réflexions

Home » Politics: Bangladesh » >human traces found to be oldest in N. America

>human traces found to be oldest in N. America

>SCIENTISTS have found and dated the oldest human remnants ever uncovered in the Americas — a discovery that places people genetically similar to Native Americans in Oregon more than 14,000 years ago and 1,000 years earlier than previous estimates, writes Washington Post Staff Writer Marc Kaufman. (Read full report)
Using radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis, an international team concluded that fossilized feces found five feet below the surface of an arid cave are significantly older than any previous human remains unearthed in the Americas.
The samples were discovered near a crude dart or spear tip chiseled from obsidian, as well as bones of horses and camels that were then common in the region. The researchers described their finding as a “smoking gun” in the long-running debate over when and where humans first inhabited the New World.

“What’s so exciting here is that we have cells from real people, their DNA, rather than samples of their work or technologies,” said Dennis Jenkins of the University of Oregon, who oversaw the dig. “And we have them on the Oregon landscape 1,000 years before what used to be the earliest samples of human remains in the Americas.”
The discovery, published yesterday in the online edition of the journal Science, is a blow to the widely held theory that the Clovis culture — named after a site in New Mexico where its distinct artifacts and fluted spearheads were first identified in the 1930s — was the first human presence in North America. Jenkins said that while the human DNA found in Oregon could be from ancestors of the Clovis culture, none of the distinctive Clovis technology has been found in the region.
The “Clovis first” theory has been challenged by almost a decade of discoveries from Canada to the southern tip of South America that indicate that humans were present before the time of the Clovis civilization, generally dated at about 13,000 years ago. But yesterday’s report is considered key because it is the first to involve datable human DNA.
The discovery, however, is not without its critics. The cave has been excavated in the past, leading some to wonder whether the newly found samples were contaminated and mixed with other material. In addition, some of the fossilized feces, called coprolites, contain canine DNA.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Spectator

I welcome you all to my blog, a place where I share reports, articles and images of events taking place in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the world, which I think may be of interest to others. Please drop a few words if you feel like.
%d bloggers like this: