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24,000-Year-Old Butchered Bones Found in Canada Change Known History of North America

24,000-Year-Old Butchered Bones Found in Canada Change Known History of North America

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Archaeologists have found a set of butchered bones dating back 24,000 years in Bluefish Caves, Yukon, Canada, which are the oldest signs of human habitation ever discovered in North America. Until recently, it was believed that the culture that represented the continent’s first inhabitants was the Clovis culture. However, the discovery of the butchered bones challenges that theory, providing evidence that human occupation preceded the arrival of the Clovis people by as much as 10,000 years.

For decades, it has been believed that the first Americans crossed the Bering Strait from Siberia about 14,000 years ago and quickly colonized North America. Artifacts from these ancient settlers, who have been named the Clovis culture after one of the archaeological sites in Clovis, New Mexico, have been found from Canada to the edges of North America.

A hallmark of the toolkit associated with the Clovis culture is the distinctively shaped, fluted stone spear point, known as the Clovis point. These Clovis points were from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa

A hallmark of the toolkit associated with the Clovis culture is the distinctively shaped, fluted stone spear point, known as the Clovis point. These Clovis points were from the Rummells-Maske Cache Site, Iowa ( public domain ).

However, the recent discovery of bones in Canada that show distinctive cut marks supports the perspective that there were other inhabitants of America that preceded the Clovis.

The finding was made in the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, which consists of three small caves that are now considered to hold the oldest archaeological evidence in North America.  Researchers have found the bones of mammoths, horses, bison, caribou, wolves, foxes, antelope, bear, lion, birds and fish, many of which exhibit butchering marks made by stone tools.

Cut marks in the jaw bone of a now-extinct Yukon horse serve as evidence that humans occupied the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, Canada, up to 24,000 years ago. Photo by Bourgeon et al

Cut marks in the jaw bone of a now-extinct Yukon horse serve as evidence that humans occupied the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, Canada, up to 24,000 years ago. Photo by Bourgeon et al.

The site was first excavated by archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars between 1977–87, and initial dating suggested an age of 25,000 before present.  This was dismissed at the time as it did not fit with the well-established Clovis-First theory. However, a new study published in the journal PLOS One supports the initial dating, demonstrating that humans occupied the site as early as 24,000 years ago.

As part of the study, the research team analysed 36,000 mammal bones found in the caves. Carnivore tooth marks were observed on 38 to 56% of the bone material. A total of fifteen bone samples with cultural modifications confidently attributable to human activities were identified, while twenty more samples with “probable” cultural modifications were also found. “The traces identified on these bones are clearly not the result of climato-edaphic factors or carnivore activity,” the researchers report. “The presence of multiple, straight and parallel marks with internal microstriations observed on both specimens eliminates carnivores as potential agents.”

Bone sample from Bluefish cave showing cut marks made by humans.

Bone sample from Bluefish cave showing cut marks made by humans.

The findings support the hypothesis that prior to populating the Americas, the ancestors of Native Americans spent considerable time isolated in a Beringian refuge during the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM], the last period in the Earth's climate history during the last glacial period when ice sheets were at their greatest extension. As the researchers of the study concluded:

“In addition to proving that Bluefish Caves is the oldest known archaeological site in North America, the results offer archaeological support for the “Beringian standstill hypothesis”, which proposes that a genetically isolated human population persisted in Beringia during the LGM and dispersed from there to North and South America during the post-LGM period.”

Top image: Main: Kluane National Park, Yukon ( CC by SA 3.0 ) Inset: Cut marks in the jaw bone of a now-extinct Yukon horse serve as evidence that humans occupied the Bluefish Caves in Yukon, Canada, up to 24,000 years ago. Photo by Bourgeon et al.

By April Holloway

Comments

Actual radio-graphic dating techniques have directly dated The Tiwanaku Culture's beginnings to 1500 BCE. Their Empire lasted from around 200-1000 CE. These dates are solid and have been verified by many labs many times. There is no evidence that the Tiwanaku culture was around 15,000 years ago. Tiwanaku is the proper and accepted spelling of the word in English. It is spelled Tiahuanaco in Spanish. Your spelling is not found anywhere to my knowledge. Simply dismissing criticism of a crack pot idea as a vast conspiracy is not only ridiculous, it flies into the face of the verified facts.

As I stated earlier, Posnansky's findings (like those of ANYONE who defies the norm) were summarily dismissed by western so-called "experts" for exactly that reason as it would upset the apple cart, so to speak. I seriously doubt anyone who would spend so many years of his/her life researching on-site so as to come up with a half-ass idea about that site. Now only that, but if you do any in-depth research on Tiajuanaco (they also spelled it wrong), you will find that when certain modern archaeologists were at the site, they purposely moved various stones and statues around so as to disturb the setting and therefore, making it easier to dismiss Posnansky's findings. There was also an astronomer who spent a great deal of time there and who mostly concurred with the findings of Posnansky. If you're really interested, you should find and read the book/s Posnansky & others wrote and which are far more detailed.

The area around Tiwanaku may have been inhabited as early as 1500 BC as a small agricultural village.[5] During the time period between 300 BC and AD 300, Tiwanaku is thought to have been a moral and cosmological center for the Tiwanaku empire, and one to which many people made pilgrimages. Researchers believe it achieved this standing prior to Tiwanaku expanding its powerful empire.[1]

In 1945, Arthur Posnansky[6][page needed] estimated that Tiwanaku dated to 15,000 BC, based on his archaeoastronomical techniques. In the 21st century, experts concluded Posnansky's dates were invalid and a "sorry example of misused archaeoastronomical evidence."[7]

You better believe there were people living in so American long before 24,000 years ago. Do some research on Tiajuanaco and also on the scholar Poznantsky (sp) who spent over 20 years there doing research and investigation. Western archaeology refuses to accept his (& others) finding because their time line of between 17.000 and possibly 40,000 years ago doesn't go along with the mainstream. I spent the better part of 12 years researching this and believe, at the LEAST, civilization in that area dates back well over 35K years.

The remaining sites are under water, but no one wants to search.

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