Research ArticleARCHAEOLOGY

Pre-Clovis occupation 14,550 years ago at the Page-Ladson site, Florida, and the peopling of the Americas

Science Advances  13 May 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 5, e1600375
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600375

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Abstract

Stone tools and mastodon bones occur in an undisturbed geological context at the Page-Ladson site, Florida. Seventy-one radiocarbon ages show that ~14,550 calendar years ago (cal yr B.P.), people butchered or scavenged a mastodon next to a pond in a bedrock sinkhole within the Aucilla River. This occupation surface was buried by ~4 m of sediment during the late Pleistocene marine transgression, which also left the site submerged. Sporormiella and other proxy evidence from the sediments indicate that hunter-gatherers along the Gulf Coastal Plain coexisted with and utilized megafauna for ~2000 years before these animals became extinct at ~12,600 cal yr B.P. Page-Ladson expands our understanding of the earliest colonizers of the Americas and human-megafauna interaction before extinction.

Keywords
  • Archaeology
  • Prehistoric America
  • Pre-Clovis
  • Late Pleistocene
  • Megafauna Extinction
  • Page-Ladson
  • Florida
  • Paleoindian
  • Sporormiella
  • underwater archaeology

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