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Sci Adv. 2018 Jul 11;4(7):eaar5954. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aar5954. eCollection 2018 Jul.

Evidence of an early projectile point technology in North America at the Gault Site, Texas, USA.

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Prehistory Research Project, Department of Anthropology, Texas State University, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA.
Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 2215 Raggio Parkway, Reno, NV 89503, USA.
Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 North Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA.
School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4K1, Canada.
SWCA Environmental Consultants Inc., 200 West 22nd Street #220, Lombard, IL 60148, USA.
Independent Scholar, 2901 FM 1496, Dublin, TX 76446, USA.
Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station, R7500, Austin, TX 78712, USA.


American archeology has long been polarized over the issue of a human presence in the Western Hemisphere earlier than Clovis. As evidence of early sites across North and South America continues to emerge, stone tool assemblages appear more geographically and temporally diverse than traditionally assumed. Within this new framework, the prevailing models of Clovis origins and the peopling of the Americas are being reevaluated. This paper presents age estimates from a series of alluvial sedimentary samples from the earliest cultural assemblage at the Gault Site, Central Texas. The optically stimulated luminescence age estimates (~16 to 20 thousand years ago) indicate an early human occupation in North America before at least ~16 thousand years ago. Significantly, this assemblage exhibits a previously unknown, early projectile point technology unrelated to Clovis. Within a wider context, this evidence suggests that Clovis technology spread across an already regionalized, indigenous population.

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