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Evidence of Earliest North Americans Found in Florida Sinkhole

Artifacts show signs of human settlements earlier than previously believed

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Researchers from Florida State University recently uncovered evidence that places humans in North America nearly 1,500 years earlier than what archaeologists previously believed. A stone knife, mastodon bone, and other animal bones were found in a sinkhole in Florida’s Aucilla River near Tallahassee. Radiocarbon dating shows that the items existed 14,500 years ago, much earlier than when the “Clovis People” lived—or whom archeologists believed, for 60 years, were the first North Americans. Between 2012 and 2014, researchers dove into the sinkhole more than 800 times before publishing the results of their findings in Science Advances. For more information on the findings, watch the video at the bottom.

Texas A&M graduate student Neil Puckett finds a mastodon radius bone at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Texas A&M graduate student Neil Puckett finds a mastodon radius bone at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Researchers discover a stone knife called a biface, a tool used to butcher animals, at the Page-Ladson site (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Researchers discover a stone knife called a biface, a tool used to butcher animals, at the Page-Ladson site (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Divers, led by Florida State University Assistant Professor Jessi Halligan, search in the sediment at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Divers, led by Florida State University Assistant Professor Jessi Halligan, search in the sediment at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Florida State University Assistant Professor Jessi Halligan examines a mastodon radius bone that Texas A&M graduate student Neil Puckett found on a dive at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)
Florida State University Assistant Professor Jessi Halligan examines a mastodon radius bone that Texas A&M graduate student Neil Puckett found on a dive at the Page-Ladson site. (Texas A&M University via Getty Images)