Abstract

Radiocarbon dating of the earliest occupational phases at the Cooper’s Ferry site in western Idaho indicates that people repeatedly occupied the Columbia River basin, starting between 16,560 and 15,280 calibrated years before the present (cal yr B.P.). Artifacts from these early occupations indicate the use of unfluted stemmed projectile point technologies before the appearance of the Clovis Paleoindian tradition and support early cultural connections with northeastern Asian Upper Paleolithic archaeological traditions. The Cooper’s Ferry site was initially occupied during a time that predates the opening of an ice-free corridor (≤14,800 cal yr B.P.), which supports the hypothesis that initial human migration into the Americas occurred via a Pacific coastal route.

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Citation

Davis, L., D. B. Madsen, L. B. Valdivia, T. Higham, D, A. Sisson, S. M. Skinner, D. Stueber, A. J. Nyers, A. Keen-Zebert, C. Neudorf, M. Cheyney, M. Izuho, F. Iizuka, S. R. Burns, C. W. Epps, S. C. Willis, I. Buvit. (2019) Late Upper Paleolithic Occupation at Cooper’s Ferry, Idaho, USA Shows Americas Settled Before ~16,000 Years Ago. Science. August 30, 2019.