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130,000 years ago???

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  • #16
    Interesting thread Charlie. Thanks for sharing
    Gary

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    • CMD
      CMD commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks, but this is actually Greg's thread.....

  • #17
    Whatever the case, the heads of the "Clovis First" deadenders are going to explode......

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    • #18
      I have not yet watched this myself:

      An evening with the Cerutti Mastadon scientists, put on by the San Diego museum:

      https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xvpwlnzzniY

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      • #19
        This past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Fall meeting of the New England Antiquties Research Association(Neara). A chance to greet old friends and establish new friendships. And a chance to hear the keynote address by Dr. Steven Holen, the lead author of the letter and supplemental material dealing with the Cerutti Mastodon Site, which appeared earlier this year in the prestigious journal Nature. Dr. Holen's spouse, also one of the authors of the Nature letter, delivered a lecture during the afternoon section Saturday.

        Dr. Kathleen Holen's talk was entitled "Evidence for human activity at large animal death sites". She and her husband have been involved in over 50 excavations of mammoth and mastodon remains, in the Great Plains and elsewhere. Of course, not all those have involved evidence of human activity, but some have, and have returned dates far older then Clovis. Her emphasis in her talk was on what fresh bone looks like when it is humans doing the work of breaking those bones open. Including experimentation using heavy hammerstones with fresh elephant bones in Africa. I cannot recapitulate her knowledge, and won't attempt it, but will say she convinced me that there are reliable clues that can be demonstrated when fresh bone has been fractured by hominids wielding large hammerstones for percussion operations.

        Dr. Stephen Holen's talk was entitled "The Cerutti Mastadon Site in San Diego: 130,000 B. P."

        Well, it was superb. I shook his hand afterward and told him I could not speak for Neara, but that I considered it an honor that he came to speak to us about what is grounbreaking(to say the very least!) research, to be able to hear the frontier research by the lead author of the Cerutti study. He replied that he felt honored to have been invited, and that it was wonderful to speak to an audience that was actually receptive to their study.

        Indeed! The blowback against them has been nothing short of relentless and fierce. They told us of one grad student, who had no experience excavating a mastodon site at all, publishing a reply stating that heavy equipment driving above the Cerutti bones while they were still buried, was responsible for the fracturing seen. Both Holen and his wife were incredulous at this suggestion, having, as stated, not only so much more experience studying megafauna sites, but being able to easily demonstrate the difference between bones broken by percussion while fresh, and bones broken when dessicated(which the Cerutti bones would have to have been if broken by heavy vehicles driving over their burial sites. Even at 130,000 +/-9000 years old, the Cerutti bones are dessicated, not fossilized. In other words, they are still bones).

        Regarding what I felt was one key observation I took away. European colleagues working on sites far older then sites in the Americas, as well as African colleagues working at the famous Olduvai Gorge Early Man sites, are near universal in being of the opinion that the Cerutti Mastodon Site is an archaeological site. Everyone, both old world and new world archaeologists, are of the opinion that the dates for the site are valid. 130,000 +/-9000 years old. The old world archaeologists and paleontologist recognize the fracturing as clearly originating in percussion blows by humans. American archaeologists, in sharp contrast, have been near universal in rejecting the findings. American archaeologists are of the opinion that the Cerutti site is not an archaeological site at all. But I felt the Holen's have effectively overcome these opinions. And that is why I thanked them for the honor of hearing from the lead authors regarding what I believe will lead to a major breakthrough in understanding the peopling of the Americas.

        BTW, already two additional sites have been located in California, which may show evidence of hominin activity, and both have returned dates of 80,000-100,000 years old. They told us of occasions where other sites have been destroyed because archaeologists had simply assumed a priori that the sites were simply "too old" and therefore simply not worth saving.

        In short, the Holen's won me over. I wish a tape of their talks were available, and that I could offer here more then my impressions based on memory.
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        Last edited by CMD; 11-13-2017, 01:59 PM.

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        • #20
          Thanks for sharing that Charlie, that's pretty exciting stuff and you did good giving us a rundown of what you took in... So much we don't know but maybe, finally we are getting to see a little of what the future of archaeology holds, sounds like the start of a new chapter to me. Thanks for sharing!
          Josh (Ky/Tn collector)

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          • sailorjoe
            sailorjoe commented
            Editing a comment
            I ditto what Josh said. Many thanks.
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