Archaeologists unearthed a stone tool at an ancient rock shelter in Oregon that could be older than any known site of human occupation in western North America.
The hand-held scraper was chipped from a piece of orange agate that is not normally found in eastern Oregon. The tool was found about eight niches below a layer of volcanic ash from an eruption of Mount St. Helen’s dated from about 15,000 years ago. The depth was about 12 feet below the surface.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management announced the find Thursday. An archaeologist from the agency, Scott Thomas, said that if the age of the site holds up to scrutiny, it would be the oldest west of the Rockies, predating the Clovis culture that is believed to be the first people to migrate from Asia to North America about 13,000 years ago.
The Clovis culture gets its name from the flint projectile point (arrows, spears) that was first found near Clovis, New Mexico, and is only found in other sites in North America. And if that is true then one has to assume that the ancestors of the Clovis people had to have immigrated to North America long before their descendents learned how to fashion said Clovis Point.