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Early Man In America !

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Published on Oct 24, 2009

After excavations in the 1960's, the site became notorious due to geochronologists analyses that indicated human habitation at Hueyatlaco was dated to 250 ka. The geochronologists claim was largely rejected amongst mainstream archaeologists and anthropologists, who typically date the earliest human habitation of the New World to roughly 15 to 20 ka.
Cynthia Irwin-Williams first excavated the site in the 1960's. They dug four strata to excavate the artefact. Virginia Steen-McIntyre later wrote and published a paper concerning the dating of the artefacts found. It reported four sophisticated, independent tests: uranium-thorium dating, fission track dating, tephra hydration dating and the studying of mineral weathering to determine the date of the artefacts. Their 1981 paper (Quaternary Research (1981) v. 16, pp. 1-17) suggested that these tests, among others, validated a date of 250 ka for the Hueyatlaco artefacts. Later analyses conducted by bio-stratigraphic researcher, Sam VanLandingham, were concordant with the radiometric analyses conducted earlier.

The professional report, categorizing the findings at Hueyatlaco, was delayed for years. When it was finally published in 1981 it met widespread criticism. Steen-McIntyre argues that her findings were rejected not on their failings or merits, but because her critics engaged in circular reasoning.

The centre of the debate is whether the Clovis people were the earliest human inhabitants of the Americas or whether there was a PreClovis human presence in the Americas. The archaeologists studying such sites as Clovis and Hueyatlaco are able to identify the time period through a series of testing techniques. A very simplified version of determining Clovis or PreClovis is the existence of Clovis tool reduction techniques apparent on the tools.

Hueyatlaco is a site that portrays the academic debate between Clovis or PreClovis inhabitation of the Americas. Hueyatlaco is famous because sophisticated, bi facial tools, professionally excavated, are dated to around 250,000 years ago (via concordance of five independent dating methods).

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