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The Topper site, 50,000 year old North American excavation?

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posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 02:19 AM
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A new report will be coming out


Later this year, the first peer-reviewed report on the geostratigraphy of the Topper site in South Carolina will be published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.



The Topper site is located about 80 kilometers from the Atlantic coast of North American within the Savannah River coastal plain. The site is deeply buried within the fill of a raised terrace and colluvium parallel to the current Savannah River channel, to depths of perhaps five meters and more.

What makes if important is that it contains two pre-clovis occupations and a well defined Clovis layer.

The Journal of Archaeological Science addresses the geomorphology and dating of the Topper site's preclovis occupations. The upper assemblage appears to date to ca. 15,000 RCYBP; the lower is older than 50,000 RCYBP (the upper limit of radiocarbon testing).

An opinon of the report


Topper clearly has a fabulous Clovis site; and it also may have a preclovis site, dated about 15,000 years ago. Excavations are still ongoing, and there certainly may be more to report and eventually I and the other skeptics may be proved wrong about the +50,000 year occupation. That would definitely be exciting, and lead to a complete cockup of what we understand today about the human population of the world.


Link to the expeditions site for this excavation

Link to the actual report but unfortunately its a pay to read site

[snip]

 


Removed PPV site link - severely stretching page

[edit on 16/2/09 by masqua]




posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 02:53 AM
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Is this saying that somthing was in that site 15000 and 50000 years ago mining/digging, methodically and organized?



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 03:54 AM
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reply to post by king9072
 



Howdy King

Excavation in the archaeological sense not mining. Alleged finding of a 50,000 year old habitation site.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 03:58 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 
I only have a couple of points that fall into line with the opinion of the report you linked. The 50, 000 year seems excessive and would raise serious problems about settlers spreading from Eastern Russia. Are there any sites in Alaska or Eastern Russia that pre-date 50, 000 years?

The Yana River artifacts of Siberia have been dated to 30, 000 years. The amount of stone tools and bodies that were discovered there indicated an established area of habitation. Between the pre-Clovis date of 15, 000 years and this Siberian date of 30, 000 does the idea become acceptable to models of human movement?


Finding evidence of human habitation at the Yana site "makes it plausible that the first peopling of the Americas occurred prior to the last glacial maximum," Daniel Mann of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, said in Science. The last glacial maximum was 20,000 to 25,000 years ago.

Grayson and others, however, said more evidence is needed before it becomes widely accepted that it was people from the Yana site who migrated to the New World.

The major problem, said Grayson, is that archaeological evidence for human dwellings in Siberia is still very sparse. Also, there is a gap of thousands of years between the 30,000-year-old Yana site and other sites in Asia and the Americas.
Source (we can't all be using pay sites, Hans!)

There isn't enough evidence, or indeed any, to link the Yana people and America or even the topper site. It's fascinating news though, as it demonstrates two areas of human settlement where they should theoretically be


I have a few questions, but will ask this one first. Is it possible to compare the Yana Artifacts with the Topper artifacts? I've recently read about the subtle ways of identifying different production methods for stone tools like spear heads, blades, scrapers etc. Do the Yana ones have enough similarity to show a shared cultural predecessor?


Yana artifacts


Yana artifacts

Don't forget I'm an interested amateur, if anything is glaringly idiotic



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 04:26 AM
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Don't forget I'm an interested amateur, if anything is glaringly idiotic


Howdy K

So am I, the only professional anthropologist we have here is Bryd. I trained as an Archaeologist (Mayanist) and worked briefly in another area (Bronze age middle east- notably Cyprus) that capacity but moved to another area of interest while remaining an avid amateur in the field to this day.

If - as the one article notes, the date is correct, it would throw things around. Siberia is not particularly well surveyed for archaeological sites - but then most of the world isn't either!

One of the links I had was to the Topper sites expedition on that site they may have pictures of the artifacts found. You can compare them to Clovis of course and I'm sure someone somewhere has done so. If you have a detailed question. You can ask a character named cladking over at the Hall of Ma'at. He's a pre-Clovis researcher.

The 50,000 year date is already under attack, we'll see if it stands up.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by Hanslune



Don't forget I'm an interested amateur, if anything is glaringly idiotic


Howdy K

So am I, the only professional anthropologist we have here is Bryd. I trained as an Archaeologist (Mayanist) and worked briefly in another area (Bronze age middle east- notably Cyprus) that capacity but moved to another area of interest while remaining an avid amateur in the field to this day.



Lucky You and Lucky Byrd....

I am also an amateur. i am just an engineer.
I am basically interested in History, Ancient Civilizations.....
I wish......



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by Hanslune
 
I only have a couple of points that fall into line with the opinion of the report you linked. The 50, 000 year seems excessive and would raise serious problems about settlers spreading from Eastern Russia. Are there any sites in Alaska or Eastern Russia that pre-date 50, 000 years?


You ask an excellent question, there. I don't know of any, but the area is difficult to access and we do have to figure out where the rivers and beaches were at that time.

Although we can rule out a significant migration from Europe at that time (20,000 years ago), there might have been a smaller one from Europe some 50,000 years ago.

I'm looking forward to the peer review. I've been aware of the material at that site for several years (at least, "aware that it's there and that they're working on it.") I'd love to see more of what they found and how they are dating and confirming it.

If it does appear to be genuine, the next thing to follow would be the geneticists' examination of chains of DNA. I can't (off the top of my head) think of any islands of different language families in the Northeast Americas. There are rumors of things, but if we get a solid hit of 50,000 years here then there will be a reexamination of sites up and down the Atlantic coast and a boom in underwater archaeology.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 09:48 AM
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Originally posted by coredrill
Lucky You and Lucky Byrd....

I am also an amateur. i am just an engineer.
I am basically interested in History, Ancient Civilizations.....
I wish......


Yeah, but YOU have got better sites than we do!


There's some wonderful megaliths in your area that I would love to see someday... and so many other things. And there's no shame in being an interested amateur. There may be ways to volunteer to go on a dig in the areas where you live.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Excellent article and find. I always thought the Natives were here a lot earlier than the theories presented. I do hope the site pans out, and the proof is found that people were here that long ago.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 01:09 PM
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reply to post by kidflash2008
 


Yes it would certainly be interesting. I suspect that the population was extremely small, nomadic, family groups - which makes finding evidence of their existence more challenging. Like most every article we discuss here I can make the same statement, we need more data!



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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Well done Hans, I've been reading around the topic and looking for good quality images of the stone tools and flakes from the Topper site to compare with those from Siberia. It's been educational


I found an early article about Goodyear and the Topper dig. It's a scan on pdf so I can't paste it here. Nevertheless, Goodyear remarks that the chert quarries near Topper were exploited by the Clovis to the extent that similar chert points were found a 100 miles away. Is it reasonable to speculate that the earlier people would be drawn to same area for those same resources?


Although we can rule out a significant migration from Europe at that time (20,000 years ago), there might have been a smaller one from Europe some 50,000 years ago.


I like this idea because I can't find a lot of evidence of East Siberian populations from that far back. The populations were naturally much smaller and left fewer remains to archaeology. Rather than tribes expanding or moving across into Alaska and then South, is it more likely to be just groups? Maybe just one or two dozen people from connected families made the journey? Of those, fewer still would have survived the hostile environment.

Slightly off-topic, but sort of related...during the course of my foray into distant times, I came across some interesting sites. The best for beginners (like me) is The Atlas of the Human Journey by the Genographic Project. It charts the progress of mankind from 200, 000bc until 500bc. The presentation is excellent and includes video or text. Another was Stone Age Habitations, I didn't know that we once used mammoth tusks as part of our dwellings.

Last but in no way least, I found the story of a 550 year old North American native who's frozen body was found in British Colombia following seasonal Glacial melt. It would support a thread by itself. He was studied before being returned to Champagne and Aishihik First Nations for mountaintop cremation.



posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 06:37 PM
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Ah you have been busy, yep you could get a few separate threads out of that.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 12:02 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 
Greetings Hanslune. Long time, no hear!

Great post! S & F! My hats off to you for the find with data. Would you believe that I once lived about 30 miles from the site. Now I am about 140 m away.

The Topper site will certainly cause some jealousy & re-write the books to say the least.

The only other site that is very old(though controversial) is located in Pedra Furada Brazil. It was alleged to have been the location of an African group that may have been slain by early paleo indians. There are some petroglyphs & such. French archaeologists indicate it may be 50K years old & were working on the research & digs. Link:www.athenapub.com...



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 12:13 AM
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reply to post by DREAMING MAN
 


Howdy Dreaming Man

Hmmmm I know that name, where have we met before DM?

Pedra Furada Brazil would be best discussed in another thread. Feel free to start one up if one hasn't already been done 'n the past.

[edit on 17/2/09 by Hanslune]



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 01:14 AM
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reply to post by DREAMING MAN
 


Thanks for the link to pedra Fureda.
never heard of it before.
Now, i have.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 02:00 AM
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Originally posted by Hanslune
Ah you have been busy, yep you could get a few separate threads out of that.
Busy indeed, several hours of paperwork is still waiting to be done
I'm glad that new threads are few and far between on the A&LC section. Threads like this everyday would leave me wiser but poorer. Still glad you posted it though. Lots of information



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:06 AM
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reply to post by core drill
 


You are most welcome.

PF is an interesting site. However, Topper Site is steadfastly "solid," without the controversy. Cheers.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:26 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

We had discussed some shared interests in Egypt, mainly Giza Plateau. I was there in 1980. Also, I was in SE Turkey 76-78, north of your old haunts in Cyprus.

I will be keeping up with Topper Site. Thanks much! Cheers.



posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 11:11 AM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
I found an early article about Goodyear and the Topper dig. It's a scan on pdf so I can't paste it here. Nevertheless, Goodyear remarks that the chert quarries near Topper were exploited by the Clovis to the extent that similar chert points were found a 100 miles away. Is it reasonable to speculate that the earlier people would be drawn to same area for those same resources?


If they were using lithics, then yes. We've seen evidence of chert here in Texas traveling through trade and other networks for quite some distance.

...however, this does assume they use a lithic technology instead of fire-hardened point (or bone tip point) atlatls and spears.



posted on Feb, 18 2009 @ 04:56 PM
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Topper's been discussed before here at ATS.

I wish it would turn out to be true, but I suspect it won't.

There is very little evidence of a 50,000 year old site except charred wood, presumably from a camp fire but more likely (IMO) from a forest fire, and some broken stones that do not, to me, appear to be shaped for any purpose.

I wouldn't get too excited, unless new findings are made that are more definitive.

I'm afraid this is just researchers stretching a little too much.

Harte



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