Mike Ruggeri’s Pre-Clovis and Clovis Archaeological News

Mike Ruggeri's Pre-Clovis and Clovis World


Mike Ruggeri's Pre-Clovis and Clovis News Magazine 


Breaking Pre-Clovis and Clovis Archaeology News

May 10, 2014

Pre-Clovis Artifacts Found in Idaho

Archaeologists have found a blade like tool and flakes left from tool making in northern Idaho. The material has been dated to 13,740-13,490 years ago. This would put these artifacts in the pre-Clovis time period. And even if the dates are off by a few hundred years, the inhabitants of this site would have had to have been in the area going further back into Pre-Clovis times. The site at Kelly Forks has been inhabited for 13,000 years. Goshen points and Western Stemmed Tradition blades have been found here going back to 11,000 years ago. The Pre-Clovis artifact has traces of rabbit flesh on it.

(my note; The reporter has added a link to a critique of the human coprolites found at Paisley Cave in Oregon. The archaeologist who found the coprolites, Dennis Jenkins, has successfully refuted the critique in my opinion.)

Western Digs has the Idaho Pre-Clovis report here;


March 15, 2014

Report on Siberian/Alaskan Languages and Beringia

Linguists have taken another step in showing a relationship between Siberian and Alaskan languages called the Dené–Yeniseian family. Dene is the Alaskan and Yeniseian is the Siberian branch of the family. They used phylogenetic analysis, using linguistic similarities and ancient migration patterns out of Beringia as their computer data.

The authors first coded a linguistic dataset from the languages, modeled the relationship between the data, and then modeled it against migration patterns from Asia to North America, or out-of-Beringia. The data shows the language moved south after some moved back to Asia from Beringia. The research is published in the journal below;

Citation: Sicoli MA, Holton G (2014) Linguistic Phylogenies Support Back-Migration from Beringia to Asia. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91722. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0091722

Science 2.0 has the report here, with diagrams;


There are 37 groups speaking Ne-Dene languages including the Navajo. There are only 50 speakers left of the Yeniseian language known as Ket in Siberia.

These movements took place 10,000 years ago and the study does not include movements of people at an earlier time.

Live Science has the additional facts here;


An additional study on Beringia was released March 1 that sheds more light on this migration pattern;

March 15, 2014

Beringia Theory Gets New Support

University of Utah archaeologists have found further evidence that ancient immigrants to America inhabited the Bering land bridge called Beringia for some 10,000 years, from 23,000 BC until 15,000 BC, when they moved into the Americas. Sediment studies show that Beringia had vegetation that could support human habitation at the time. Genetic studies show the gene blueprint for Native Americans separated from Asia during this time. Mitochondrial DNA of Native Americans today shows that their genetic blueprint arose before 25,000 years ago, but did not spread through the Americas till 15,000 years ago. So there had to be a population in isolation away from Asia for a long time.

To confirm this, archaeological sites, now underwater, must be found in the area of the once above water Beringia. 

(My note; This does not rule out earlier groups migrating from Asia along the Pacific Coast.)

Science Daily has the report here;


National Geographic published this report in 2008 of a similar study;


February 15, 2014

Full DNA Genome Sequence of a Clovis Skeleton

The “Anzick" skeleton of a small boy dating from Clovis period time (11,500-9,500 BCE) was found in Montana many years ago. Radiocarbon dating of the burial show the burial is dated at 10,600 BCE. Scientists have been able to do a full genome sequence of the DNA of the boy. They have found that the genome is closely related to all Native Americans today.  This DNA study puts to rest the idea that the Clovis people were from a Solutrean group from Europe. The DNA study shows there is a deep divergence between northern Native Americans and those from Central and South America that happened before the Clovis era.

Most South Americans and Mexicans are of the Anzick lineage. But northern Canadian groups are of another lineage. The boy was buried with antler tolls that were 400 years older than the boy, showing this was an object passed down over generations.

The full report is on the February 13 issue of the journal Nature.

Live Science has the story here;


December 9, 2013

Oldest Human Footprints in North America

The oldest human footprints in North America ever found were discovered in Chihuahua, and date to 8,500 BCE. The footprints were preserved in travertine, which has minute traces of uranium. This allowed the prints to be dated. Although the prints were discovered in 1961 and housed at Saltillo’s Museo del Desierto, they have just now been dated. Tom Dillehay found a child’s footprint at Monte Verde, Chile dated to earlier than 11,000 BCE. This discovery, among others at Monte Verde, made that site the first confirmed Pre-Clovis site in the Americas. The culture in Chihuahua is known at the Coahiltecan culture, a nomadic group that ranged from Central Mexico to Texas. The area the person was traversing was changing to a more arid desert region. The Coahiltecans had to adapt to this more hostile environment and had to roam further for food.

The paper has been published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

Western Digs has the story and photos here;


November 20, 2013

Huge Pre-Clovis News

An international team of researchers have traveled to the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg to study the 24,000 year old remains of a skeleton of a young boy housed there, and to do a DNA study. The skeleton was found near the village of Mal’ta in Siberia. He has close genetic ties to other Eurasians that stretched from Siberia to Europe. The DNA shows that Native Americans are related to this boy genetically. This find proves that Native American ancestors migrated to the Americas from Siberia. The DNA study is the oldest complete genome of a human so far. The boy was found with a beaded necklace, pendants, flint tools. 

This also shows why Kennewick Man has Eurasian genes. The Siberian genes reached both the Americas and Europe very early. Native Americans ancestors probably lived in Beringia any time after 24,000 years ago, and could have colonized the Americas before 14,500 year ago.

(My Note; This does not preclude an entry by other earlier groups from other parts of Asia I believe. It is just that this boy’s genes are related to a large number of Native Americans genetically. Since this skeleton was found in Central Siberia, his genes could also have been mixed with the genes of other Asians further south.)

TamuTimes has the story here (Texas A&M site), with a short video and photos;


November 7, 2013

Important Fluted Point Find in Alaska

A team at the Center for the First Americans at Texas A&M, with the assistance of an national team of researchers, have found that a new site at Serpentine Hot Springs in Alaska contains fluted points that date to 12,400 years ago. This is too young to be ancestral to Clovis. It represents a south to north dispersal of fluting technology. The find confirms that humans were on the land bridge at 12,000 years ago. Charred animal bones and spear points were found at the site. Archaeologists have found 20 sites in Alaska with fluted points so far. No one has been able to determine their exact age in terms of the earliest Clovis technology. The Serpentine Hot Springs find shows the possibility of a migration from Canada or further south into Alaska. No fluted points have been found in neighboring Chukotka in Russia. The fluted points in Alaska were appearing there as the land bridge was being flooded.

BioNews Texas has the report here;


And the full journal report is here:


April 17, 2013

New Genetic Study of Ancient Americans

A new genetic study has been published in the PLOS Genetics journal. They studied the Y chromosome markers in 50 tribal South American populations. They found evidence of several migrations to the Americas. 1,011 subjects were studied. Among other finds, they identified a lineage never described in North and Central America before; the C-M217 (C3*) haplotype, which is frequent in East, Central and Northeast Asia, but not in Alaska or Central America. It was found in Ecuador and would be consisted with entry from a trans-Pacific or coastal route. This haplotype is found in Korea, Japan and among the Ainu of northern Japan and Melanesia.They also found a Polynesian lineage in Peru. (My note; this is consistent with findings from Kennewick Man and Monte Verde).

PhysOrg has the story here;


January 23, 2013

More Proof of Ties Between Pre-Clovis and China

A new ancient DNA study of humans living in the Beijing area 40,000 years ago are related to Native Americans. This is another study which ties pre-Clovis populations in the Americas to Central Asia. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA was sequenced. The DNA was sequenced from a leg bone found in a cave in the area of Beijing. The human was already diverging from the ancestors of present-day Europeans. The report will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Physorg has the report here;


July 12, 2012

Pre-Clovis Projectile Points Found at Paisley Cave

Dennis Jenkins and an international team of researchers have continued their work at Paisley Cave in Oregon. A few years ago, he discovered human coprolites that were dated at 14,300 years ago. This was proof of Pre-Clovis people in the region. Later he found tools dated to Pre-Clovis times. The international team at the site has found broken obsidian spear points. They are very different from Clovis points. They are known as western stemmed projectile points. These particular points are dated at 13,200 years ago, the same age as the Clovis points. This proves that there were two different traditions of projectile point design developed independently and simultaneously in the Americas. The findings by an international team of scientists from the U.S., Britain and Denmark are in the Journal "Science."

As more reports come in from Paisley Cave, the evidence of Pre-Clovis at the cave is now irrefutable. This site is now the pre-eminent proof of Pre-Clovis in the Americas. Eurekalert, Phys.org and Science Daily explain why this is. Not only have they found points that differ from Clovis at the site, but all the earlier Pre-Clovis dates found in human coprolites and other artifacts at the site have been confirmed.




June 22, 2012

New ice Age Discovery

A study of lake sediment cores from Sanak Island in the Gulf of Alaska suggest deglaciation may have happened 2000 years earlier than thought. The Monte Verde site in Chile and perhaps from Huaca Prieta in Peru date to 14,200 years ago. 22 radiocarbon cores were utilized. This earlier deglaciation would have allowed movement into the Americas from Siberia 17,000 years ago. Sites at Monte Verde, Chile, and perhaps Huaca Prieta, Peru, date back 14,000 to 14,200 years ago. Pollen was also found indicating a dry tundra 16,300 years ago.The report was published in the peer reviewed Quaternary Science Reviews.

Eurekalert has the report here;


May 16, 2012

Pre-Clovis at Vero Beach

Human and mammoth remains had been found at Vero Beach, Florida. The question was if they were there at the same time. It has been determined that mammoths survived in some pockets in the Americas till 7,600 years ago. Previously, it was believed that mammoths disappeared 12,000 years ago. Using rare earth element analysis, scientists have found the bones of the two almost complete human skeletons found at the site have the same combination of rare earth elements as the mammoths, proving the humans and mammoths lived together at Vero Beach. All of the bones show an age in the 13,000 years ago range. This is an important Pre-Clovis find. The study is published online today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Live Science has the report here


April 15, 2012

Pre-Clovis at Lamb Springs?

Archaeologists at the Archaeology Conservancy believe the Lamb Springs site near Denver may hold Pre-Clovis activity. Giant mammoths lived there with camels, horses, sloths, llamas and wolves 13,000 years ago. Humans certainly lived there with mammoths 8000 years ago. Archaeologist Dennis Stanford (of the Paisley Cave Pre-Clovis coprolite find) found a 30 pound rock with possible tool marks on it. The stone had to be carried to this spot by humans. It sits at the 16,000 years ago sediment layer.

(My note; the problem here is that there is only this stone, which could have been worked on by humans many thousands of years later. And a heavy stone like this is not enough proof from the 16,000 years ago layer of sediment. There would have to be other tools and human artifacts found there as well. This is still pretty thin evidence of Pre-Clovis at this site.) They will continue excavating at this site in hopes of finding more.

The Denver Post has the report here;


March 20, 2012

Pre-Clovis Find in Ohio

The leg bone of a giant sloth found in Ohio has been found to have been butchered more than 13,000 years ago. This is the earliest evidence of human activity in the Great Lakes area. This is further evidence of a Pre-Clovis coastal route from Asia, starting perhaps as early was 16,000 years ago. The sloth was found 95 years ago in an Ohio swamp and has been sitting in a local museum overlooked for a century. Archaeologists in the US needed to determine if the 44 incisions on the sloth's femur were made by men stripping meat from the sloth. A forensic expert was called in and he confirmed the marks were made by stone tools. The sloth has been dated to 13,345-13,738 years old, well within the Pre-Clovis period. (My note; This would mark the 4th scientifically verified find of Pre-Clovis activity in the Americas. The other three sites being at Monte Verde, Chile, Paisley Cave in Oregon and the Manis Mastodon site in Washington. This one does lack human artifacts, but the verified date of the sloth and the tool made cut marks on it makes this look genuine, unless other peers can discredit the human tools diagnosis.)

Arrowheadology has the story here;


And the Manitoban has the story here;


January 26, 2012

Southern Altai and Ancient Migrations to America

University of Pennsylvania and Russian anthropologists have located the Altai region of southern Siberia as the genetic source of the earliest Americans. That region is at the intersection of Russia, Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. People of this region began to move to northern Siberia and into the New World 20,000-25,000 years ago. The researchers studied the genetics of the people living in this region, looking at mitochrondial DNA which is maternally inherited, and the Y chromosome DNA linked to paternal inheritance. They also compared those genetics to samples from southern Siberia, Central Asia, Mongolia, East Asia and American indigenous groups. Their study has a high degree of precision. There is a unique mutation shared by Native Americans and souther Altaians known as lineage Q. The southern Altaian lineage diverged from Native Americans 13-14,000 years ago.

EurekAlert has the story here;


December 29, 2011

Paleo-Indian Genetic Find

There has been continuing controversy about the X2a and C4c haplogroups in paleo-indian Native American populations as to whether this has a connection to the Solutrean Culture in France and Spain. A new analysis shows that the haplogroups have clear roots in Asia and that the two haplogroups arrived together from Beringia during the ice free corridor period. The new findings definitively dismiss the idea of an Atlantic glacial route. The paper was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 147.

The Ohio Archaeology blog has the report here;


October 20, 2011

Pre-Clovis Mastodon Kill

In a crucial piece of evidence about ancient North American mastodon hunting related to the "Manis Mastodon" site in Washington state, evidence now points to the Pre-Clovis date of the mastodon kill at that site. When a sharp bone was found embedded in a mastodon rib in the 1970's, some archaeologists claimed the bone was 14,000 years old. Others argued that the bone was not a tool shaped by human hands. And that the sharp bone found in the mastodon's ribs could be part of the mastodon's skeleton. New tools have now been used to settle the argument. Bone protein has been extracted from the mastodon's damaged rib and has been radio-carboned. The specimen was dated at 13,800 years old, 800 years before the Clovis era. The sharp bony tip embedded in the rib was placed under a high-resolution computed tomography (CT) scan. Using this technique, they saw that the needle sharp shaft of the projectile point had been whittled down and sharpened. Bone protein and DNA was extracted from the projectile point. It was found that the bone implement was not from the mastodon that was killed. And it appears that the point was thrown by the use of an atlatl or spear thrower. Although one artifact does not make incontrovertible proof, the findings are seen as convincing. If this is true, we would now have three confirmed Pre-Clovis sites, the two others at Monte Verde, Chile and Paisley Cave in Oregon.

Live Science has the report here with a slide show and video of the kill within the story;


October 20, 2011

11,000 Year Old Tools Found in Baja California

INAH has discovered tools from 11,000-9000 years old in Baja California Sur at the site of El Coyote. Although these tools are within the Clovis era dates, the fact that they have been found in this coastal area supports the idea of a coastal migration route from Asia for the First Americans. Stone tools, shells and snails manipulated by humans have been found at the site as well as seafood the migrants consumed. Mother of pearl hooks have also been found. No human skeletons have yet been found there, so ethnicity of the group cannot be determined.

INAH has the story (in Spanish) here;


March 24, 2011

Huge Pre-Clovis Find in Texas

In huge Pre-Clovis news, archaeologists at the Debra L. Friedkin site
at the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Texas have found stone tools dated to 13,500 BCE. The tools range in age from 13,200-15,500 years. The report is in the current issue of Science Magazine. The finds are five feet below Clovis materials. The tools are in a large open campsite. 15,528 artifacts have been uncovered so far including blades, scrapers and choppers. This is the largest and oldest Pre-Clovis site so far found in the Americas. Pre-eminent Pre-Clovis expert Tom Dillehay is concerned about the separation of layers there. But another Pre-Clovis expert Dennis Jenkins, who has found 12,000 BCE human coprolites in a cave in Oregon, the oldest human DNA so far found in the Americas, has taken a look at the research and is impressed by the "incredible, meticulous scientific work" of the Texas team. There are no organic materials found there yet, so carbon dating is not yet possible. Luminescence dating was used instead, among other techniques. This is huge news in the archaeology of the Americas, and stories are
appearing in many sources. Most skeptics are pretty convinced the
dates are genuine. And this find is monumental.

The Houston Chronicle has the story here;

March 3, 2011

Ancient Channel Island Finds

Researchers looking at three sites on the Channel Islands off the coast of California have found many stone tools and bone and shell fragments from meals eaten more than 11,000 years ago.On the menu for the earliest colonizers of the Americas: seabirds, seals and sardines.

The sites have yielded dozens of delicate stone tools and thousands of bone and shell fragments from these meals, researchers report in this week's issue of the journal Science. The tools also show a link to populations far inland in Utah and Nevada. Human remains dating back to 13,000 years ago had been found on Santa Rosa Island, part of the Channel Island chain a few years ago. The new research has found 52 stone points called "Channel Island barbed points," at Santa Rosa. They are ultra thin serrated points that look like hunting points used by groups in the Great Basin. 15 stone crescents have also been found. They look exactly like the stone crescents from the Great Basin-and this makes the contact idea stronger. There is one bit of obsidian found so far that came from eastern California. The bones and shells were from meals of rockfish and sardines and geese. The other two sites on San Miguel Island turned up crabs, mussels, abalone, escargot shells and bones.

Live Science has the story here with photos;


physorg.com has important additions to the Channel Island finds. The points and crescents found at the three sites are not Clovis based and are similar to artifacts in the Great Basin and the Columbia Plateau, including the tools found at the pre-Clovis site of Paisley cave in Oregon. The Channel Island points are broadly similar to points found around the Pacific Rim from Japan to South America, making the story more intriguing.


February 24, 2011

Oldest Human Remains Ever Found in the Arctic

Archaeologists in Alaska have uncovered the remains of the oldest human ever found in the sub-Arctic. The remains are of a 3 year old. The native population will name the site of the discovery Xaasaa Cheege Ts'eniin or Upward Sun River. The remains were found in a fire pit near the Tanana River in central Alaska, where the child was cremated. 20% of the skeleton was found. Radiocarbon dating places the child at 9,500 BCE. Intial observations are that the child is Northeast Asian in origin. The house located at the fire pit is the earliest of its kind in the near Arctic. There is an older occupation at the site dating back to 11,200 BCE that brought researchers here. Small mammals, birds, fish and animal remains were also found there. The inhabitants look to have abandoned the house after the cremation. There may be DNA that can be extracted from the child. The Alaskan tribe wants to investigate the DNA and compare it with their own.

Physorg.com has the story here with a photo of the dig;


And the entire report will be in the journal Science

January 19, 2011

Clovis Discovery in Sonora

INAH has found 3 Clovis points alongside the extinct gomphotheres (elephant ancestors) animal species in Sonora. The excavation has been dated to 11,200 BCE. The site of the discovery is called "World's End," where excavations have been ongoing for a number of years. A quartz crystal Clovis point was found there in 2008 in relation to the same extinct animal species. The three new Clovis points found are of red and brown flint. Two were found complete. One was missing a tip which would have still been in the animal that was hunted. Other stone tools were also found. The previous Clovis material was too small and fragmented to prove the animals were being hunted. This find confirms they were. The points are similar to ones found in Rio San Pedro in Arizona, dated to the same time period. A new archaeological site was also found in the area this season, the 8th site in the area.

INAH has the story here (in Spanish) with their usually excellent slide show of the finds and site.


August 24, 2010

Very Ancient Skeleton from Tulum Studied in Mexico

The fourth very ancient skeleton in a group of 4 extracted from a flooded cenote cave in Quintana Roo, known as the "Young Man of Chan Hol," has undergone 3 years of study in situ and then was extracted from the water by INAH. The team believes that the remains were placed in a cave at the end of a funerary ceremony when the sea was 150 meters lower. 60% of all of the bones of this 10,000 year skeleton were uncovered. The Woman of Naharon, Woman of Las Palmas and Man of El Templo, also discovered in Tulum's flooded caves alongside the Young Man, strengthens the idea of several waves of migration from Asia into the Americas. These all appear to be pre-Clovis in age and their physical features are similar to people from Central and South Asia. In the next months, the team will make sure the Young Man is from the same groups as the other 3. His gender, age, cause of death and age at the time of death will be confirmed and other dating tests will be performed. The removal of the remains for final study in the lab was an arduous process. The Yucatan Peninsula must have been a desert pastureland at the time of the Young Man and these folks found refuge in caves and water there.

Art Daily has the story here;


August 19, 2010

Little Salt Springs Exploration

Archaeologists at the University of Miami and Florida Aquarium are
diving 90 feet below into the waters of Little Salt Spring, south of
Tampa, to collect artifacts perhaps as old as 13,000 years ago. The
absence of oxygen at the bottom of the spring has preserved materials from decomposition. In 2005, they found a greenstone pendant and what appears to be an atlatl that was 7000 years old. The people who lived here hunted mastodons and giant sloths. A giant tortoise shell pierced by a spear has been dated at 12,000 years ago. Yesterday, they pulled up a spear tip and carved wood. (my note); There has been hope that pre-Clovis material may turn up here.

National Geographic has the story here;



Dear Friends, 

I would like to invite you all to join the listserv "Aztlan" as it joins its new host at FAMSI -- The Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. 
Aztlan has been around for well over a decade, and has recently been moved to a new home at FAMSI. It is one of the oldest and most respected listservs for Mesoamerican Prehistory. 

Recent conversations on Aztlan cover such topics as: The Maya Collapse, Breaking archaeological news reports, The origins of Olmec writing, the uses of yokes and other ball court artifacts in the Gulf Coast ball games, wheels in Mesoamerica, Pre-Clovis Sites, Ancient Southwest and Mississippian research.

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Aztlan typically has an activity level of approximately 3-5 emails per day. This may be too many emails for the casual reader. In this case, I still suggest subscribing, but click the bubble for "daily digest" which will deliver all Aztlan messages in a single daily email (you will therefore only receive one email per day, containing all of the day's messages).

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