An international team, in which the Spanish researcher from the Milà i Fontanals Institution (IMF-CSIC) participated, found Ignacio Clemente-Conte in Valle da Piedra Forada (Brazil) A 24,000-year-old stone tool belies the widespread acceptance that early settlers arrived in South America 15,000 years ago.
The discovery confirms the human occupation during the Ice Age in this region South AmericaIt was published in the journal PLoS one.
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The age of the found object ranges from 27,600 to 24,000 years, and its function has not yet been clarified by the researchers who have excavated the site. Pleistocenico From Vale da Pedra Furada (Piauí, Brazil), where they found archaeological evidence of human occupations between 40,000 and 5,000 years before the present.
In this excavation, archaeologists found 2,200 stone artifacts, whose analysis by carbon 14 as well as the analysis by OSL (Optically Induced Luminescence) of the sediments around them showed that the layer in which the tool was found ranges from 27,600 to 24,000 years old.
All stonework was made on quartz or quartzite, but one of them is distinguished by its large size and modifications made to it on both sides, and it has technical properties not yet known in ancient American sites.
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It is a sandstone alluvial plate 21 cm in length, 18.5 in width and 2.9 in thickness, and was carved by craftsmen in a symmetrical hexagonal shape. According to archaeologists, this piece is undoubtedly man-made and reveals a technological novelty during the Pleistocene’s occupation of South America.
“Until now, the official archeology of North America has considered that the first settlers arrived in America 15,000 years ago, however, the unearthed artifact here was found in an archaeological level between 27,600 and 24,000 years old,” he said. Ignacio Clemente Conte.
Official archeology of North America considered that the first settlers arrived in America 15,000 years ago.
Additionally, archaeologists learn about five different stages of the technical transformation in the manufacture of the instrument that indicate that an artifact may have multiple uses. Although the intentional character of this artifact is “indisputable,” its function remains obscure, according to the researchers, who add that it may be a simple object of use, or perhaps it has a symbolic function.
This would explain its uniqueness among the toolkits of that archaeological layer to which it belongs, and the fact that it has not been found elsewhere either.
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According to Clemente-Conte, what makes his find exceptional is its age because, if not the oldest, it is one of the oldest in South America. In addition to Vale da Pedra Furada, there are other settlements such as the one in Chiquihueit (Mexico), Over 30,000 years old, and The site Cerutti Mastodon (Baja California), 130,000 years ago, indicating the existence of settlements in America earlier than was thought until a few years ago.
Hence, this new finding adds important information about a human career during Last maximum ice (26500-19000 BC), It contradicts the generally accepted theory of post-glacial human occupation of South America and asserts the existence of human occupations in this region during the Ice Age.
The artifact found is preserved in the Museum of the American Man in São Raimundo Nunato (Piauí) in American Man Foundation Museum.