WBEZ | clovis http://www.wbez.org/tags/clovis Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago scientist dates artifacts that may rewrite ancient history http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-March/2011-03-24/P1000205.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Archaeologists have hard evidence that humans lived in North America much earlier than previously thought, and a Chicago researcher played a key role in nailing down the dates.</p><p>The earliest North Americans were long thought to be the Clovis people, who lived about 12,000-13,000 years ago. Now archaeologists have dug up stone tools and debris from underneath a Clovis site in central Texas.</p><p>Steven Forman brought samples back to his lab at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He used a technique called optical dating to determine when the sediment around the objects was last exposed to sunlight. The artifacts turn out to be about 15,000&nbsp; years old, from millennia before the Clovis people. And they appear to provide a missing link in understanding how some Clovis technology developed.</p><p>It&rsquo;s not the first evidence of cultures older than Clovis, but Forman said it may be the strongest.</p><p>&ldquo;It appears to be that this might be kind of watershed piece of science in which people say, yes, there is really compelling evidence for pre-Clovis occupation in North America,&rdquo; said Forman, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at UIC. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no longer a red herring.&rdquo;</p><p>The new find will likely overturn the history of ancient humans in North America. The results are out today in the journal, Science.</p></p> Thu, 24 Mar 2011 15:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/anthropology/chicago-scientist-dates-artifacts-may-rewrite-ancient-history-84190