Biggest Discovery of 2017 Turns Ancient Human History On Its Head
Back in 1992 Richard Cerruti a construction-site monitor for the San Diego Natural History Museum happened to be at the right place at the right time. Cerruti had discovered the scattered remains of an ancient mastodon site that gradually unfolded into what would mesmerize some and infuriate others within the community of scholars studying early hominids in the New World.
Radiocarbon testing places the Clovis Culture in New Mexico to roughly 13,000 years ago. Clovis was gradually excavated beginning in the 1920’s. While a more recent excavation at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter from 1973 to 1978 by Archeologist James Adovasio dated the site to at least 16,000 radiocarbon years making it the oldest in North America. And another discovery in 1977 by Anthropologist Tom Dillehay in Southern Chile at the site Monte Verde dating back to at least 16,500 BC. But both Adavasio and Dillehay have fought since the time of their discoveries to gain acceptance as pre Clovis.
What Richard Cerruti discovered, is so mind boggling in its sheer age. That its verification could raise questions that change everything. Cerruti and his associates Paleontologist Tom Derrere and Steve Holen former curator of archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science set about sending samples of the find to the experts.
The LA times writes
Jim Paces, a geochronologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver, took dozens of slices from a rib and two femurs. Each slice, no wider than a millimeter, was dissolved in nitric acid.
The resulting solution contained trace amounts of uranium and thorium, which Paces extracted. After measuring those concentrates in a mass spectrometer, Paces concluded that the bones were 130,700 years old, plus or minus 9,400 years. The specificity was stunning.
But these weren’t your average ancient Mammoth bones. There was evidence placing early hominids in the new world some 130,000 years ago breaking these bones apart.
Thomas Kuhn, the scientist-philosopher who wrote “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions,” said “normal science” dominates discourse until anomalies arise that normal science can no longer address. The result is a shift in thinking that ushers in a new era of understanding.