Author Topic: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin  (Read 360 times)

Offline Shiranu

15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« on: October 25, 2018, 06:28:36 PM »




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Texas A&M University researchers have discovered what are believed to be the oldest weapons ever found in North America: ancient spear points that are 15,500 years old. The findings raise new questions about the settlement of early peoples on the continent.


The team found the numerous weapons – about 3-4 inches long – while digging at what has been termed the Debra L. Friedkin site, named for the family who owns the land about 40 miles northwest of Austin in Central Texas. The site has undergone extensive archaeological work for the past 12 years.


Spear points made of chert and other tools were discovered under several feet of sediment that dating revealed to be 15,500 years old, and pre-date Clovis, who for decades were believed to be the first people to enter the Americas.


Clovis is the name given to the distinctive tools made by people starting around 13,000 years ago. The Clovis people invented the “Clovis point,” a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and parts of the United States and northern Mexico and the weapons were made to hunt animals, including mammoths and mastodons, from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.


“The findings expand our understanding of the earliest people to explore and settle North America,” Waters said. “The peopling of the Americas during the end of the last Ice Age was a complex process and this complexity is seen in their genetic record. Now we are starting to see this complexity mirrored in the archaeological record.”



I probably am more excited about this than the average person both because this has been my primary field of study for the past couple of years (pre-Historic Native Americans as well as efforts to preserve their descendants' culture today)... as well as the fact that this is a site I visited two years ago with one of my archaeology classes.


When I started taking anthropology, the most common theory was still (very roughly) that Clovis was the first real cultural group here in the Americas. Both European and South American scholars disagree with us, and this is one more nail in the coffin. The funniest thing is that I had professors that actually taught us about Monte Verde (a site in Chile), which is between 18,000 and 14,000 years old... and yet insisted Clovis was the first wave of migration south, even though they were at the very least 1,000 years later into the Southwest and Northern Mexico than the artifacts found in Chile.

Another interesting site, Toca da Tira Peia in Brasil, is believed to date back to around 22,000 B.C. , featuring beautiful rock-wall art and artifacts. This one is a much more recent development, and between being trained in American archaeology and how recent that one was dated, I do not know enough about it to talk with any sort of authority.


One last thing I find interesting is that if you look up the Wikipedia pages for these sites, many of them make note about how science doesn't agree with them, or that they are "just theories" (for lack of a better way of saying that). That's not true... global scientists are pretty consistent on the validity of these sites, it's only American archaeologists who have issues with it.


I absolutely love anthropology, but it's shit like this that has really made me regret spending money on a college education in it. It is an extremely closed-minded and petty society that is much more interested in getting the leg up on one's colleagues than actually discovering the truth, and anything that contradicts accepted ideologies is instantly dismissed and ridiculed... regardless of if it's wrong or not, or how much evidence it has in favour of it. I want to learn, not sit around and nod my head and be praised for how smart I am or have my name on "the first stone that the first human being ever touched".
« Last Edit: October 25, 2018, 07:30:11 PM by Shiranu »
"Judge a moth by the beauty of its candle." - Rumi

Offline SGOS

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 10:02:06 AM »
I took an intro anthropology class in 1963, at the University of Montana.  A few years ago, I rekindled my interest in anthropology, and was amazed at how much of what I learned was incorrect.  Not just in regards to American Indians, but also much of the overall "Dawn of Man" and the evolutionary paths that led to homo sapiens.  I took mostly science classes.  Most of that other science is still intact, with most of the updates in anthropology.  I think figuring out anthropology, the history of us, as important as it should be to us, is very difficult.  There are a lot of educated guesses, and not a lot of data and consequently not much to cross reference and verify it with.  I'll speculate that the reason is that in spite of our importance to ourselves, man just hasn't been on Earth that long.  I read some place when it comes to actual human fossils, if you put them all together and didn't care about keeping them organized, you could fit them all in the back of a pickup truck.  Compare that to dinosaurs, where we have a relative "wealth" of objects to draw conclusions from. 

Science changes.  That's the nature of the beast, and you are right that the process of change is fraught with endless argument and resistance, but fortunately not as bad as the Catholic Church, or the Mormons still believing that American Indians were a cursed tribe of Israel.

I also read that early geology, which got going somewhere around the late 1700s (I think.  I just can't remember all this perfectly) believed that erratic boulders lying where they weren't supposed to be had been shot out of caves by a build up of gasses.  This and other wonky theories were commonly upheld by the most learned minds of the time, when science was a bit more informal and would be geologists would meet once a month for dinner and discussion at some pub or another. 

So along comes this one guy, a rather bright Scotsman I think, who was puzzling over erratics in a field when he came upon a local farmer.  He casually asked the farmer how he thought those boulders got there.  The farmer immediately responded with what all the local farmers assumed about the boulders, that they had pushed there by giant glaciers from those mountains "over there", about 10 miles away.  At the time, the idea that glaciers may have covered vast valleys of Europe was scientifically abhorrent.  Never the less, the farmer's words resonated with the Scotsman, who developed the theory and presented it to one of the local scientific meetings, where he was laughed out of the place.  Undaunted, he took his theory to England, where he was once again treated with ridicule.  After the same results several times at different scientific gatherings, he eventually made his way to the Americas, where his idea created a great deal of interest and began to catch on, eventually changing much of what we now know.

Science changes, but not always quickly.  The process does eventually help us improve our understanding and knowledge base, however.  Nothing is perfect.  Some things are only better than others.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 10:06:34 AM by SGOS »

Offline SGOS

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 10:24:46 AM »
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I absolutely love anthropology, but it's shit like this that has really made me regret spending money on a college education in it. It is an extremely closed-minded and petty society that is much more interested in getting the leg up on one's colleagues than actually discovering the truth, and anything that contradicts accepted ideologies is instantly dismissed and ridiculed... regardless of if it's wrong or not, or how much evidence it has in favour of it. I want to learn, not sit around and nod my head and be praised for how smart I am or have my name on "the first stone that the first human being ever touched".
Take heart.  A college education is not all about filling your head with a bunch of immutable facts.  In theory, you should be exposing yourself to new ideas and different perspectives, and learning how to process.  Granted, in today's economic environment, college is no longer a sure fire way to a lucrative career, so it's hard to justify the high cost today.  Career fields are even changing too rapidly for the kind of permanence I experienced.  But learning how to learn is a worthwhile experience, and college is a good place to do it.

Offline Baruch

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 11:09:53 AM »
The Scotsman ... James Forbes?

Rather more complicated ...

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As smart a guy as Thomas Jefferson thought that it was ridiculous that stones could fall from the sky ;-)
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 01:16:00 PM »
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As smart a guy as Thomas Jefferson thought that it was ridiculous that stones could fall from the sky ;-)

Well, it is ridiculous, but they do it anyway. It would be more ridiculous if they fell from the ground.
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"In life, unlike chess, the game continues after checkmate."
Isaac Asimov

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 01:25:04 PM »
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Well, it is ridiculous, but they do it anyway. It would be more ridiculous if they fell from the ground.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 06:12:10 PM »
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Mentos vs Coke?
𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎌𐎀𐎍𐎎𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀𐎟𐎍𐎜𐎜𐎟𐎁𐎀𐎍𐎉𐎀𐎀𐎚𐎀
luu shalmaata luu balt’aata
May you be well, may you be healthy

Offline SGOS

Re: 15,500 Y/O Arrowhead Found Near Austin
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 08:57:59 AM »
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The Scotsman ... James Forbes?
I had to go back to my source.  No problem.  I wanted tor refresh my memory.  The part of the anecdote about the local farmer explaining erratics was as it happened to Jean de Charpentier, a Frenchman visiting Switzerland.  His resulting formulations about glaciation were then met with ridicule, and he got nowhere generally speaking.  His ideas were then picked up by Louis Agassiz.   After meeting Charpentier, Agassis then correctly recognized various deposits of rock around his very home in Scotland as glacial moraine.  Agassiz was also met with ridicule, much of it from the assumed geological experts of the time.  Agassiz then made his way to the America's where he was well received.



 

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