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“The evidence we found at this site indicates that some hominin species was living in North America 115,000 years earlier than previously thought.A concentration of fossil bone and rock found at the site.The claims stem from a site in San Diego County, along State Route 54, that was found in the early 1990s to contain the scattered remains of an Ice Age mastodon.A new analysis of those bones concludes that the mastodon was butchered by humans.“This was significant in and of itself and a first in San Diego County. “The distributions of natural uranium and its decay products both within and among these bone specimens show remarkably reliable behavior, allowing us to derive an age that is well within the wheelhouse of the dating system,” Paces said.“Since the original discovery, dating technology has advanced to enable us to confirm with further certainty that early humans were here significantly earlier than commonly accepted.” That technology involves measuring the amount of uranium in the material and tracking how much of it has decayed into thorium. This date, it bears mention, contradicts the date that Deméré and Dr.But in a separate — that reached North America before modern humans even migrated out of Africa.In the end, if there’s any consensus to be found among Holen’s team and the skeptics, it’s that the Cerutti Mastodon site would benefit from further study.
“Broken bones and stones alone do not make a credible archaeological site, in my view, especially without a detailed description of their broader geological context,” Erlandson said. Torben Rick, director and curator of North American archaeology at the Smithsonian Institution, also expressed his doubts.“This breakage pattern has also been observed at mammoth fossil sites in Kansas and Nebraska, where alternative explanations such as geological forces or gnawing by carnivores have been ruled out.” Dr.Tom Deméré is curator of paleontology at the San Diego Natural History Museum and a co-author of the new study, who also took part in the original 1992 dig of the site.Given uranium’s steady decay rate, the proportion of the elements can provide an accurate date, said Dr. Richard Cerutti — for whom the site is named — obtained when they originally reported the mastodon find in 1995.After conducting radiometric dating on a sample from one of the animal’s tusks, they initially determined the age to be 300,000 years old.