American origin dating back
Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed last May along the Savannah River in Allendale County by University of South Carolina archaeologist Dr.
Albert Goodyear indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.
For five years, Goodyear continued to add artifacts and evidence that a pre-Clovis people existed, slowly eroding the long-held theory by archaeologists that man arrived in North America around 13,000 years ago.
Last May, Goodyear dug even deeper to see whether man's existence extended further back in time.
Evidence of modern man's migration out of the African continent has been documented in Australia and Central Asia at 50,000 years and in Europe at 40,000 years.
The fact that humans could have been in North America at or near the same time is expected to spark debate among archaeologists worldwide, raising new questions on the origin and migration of the human species.
The Topper excavation site is on the bank of the Savannah River on property owned by Clariant Corp., a chemical corporation headquartered near Basel, Switzerland.
"The two 50,000 dates indicate that they are at least 50,300 years.The absolute age is not known." The revelation of an even older date for Topper is expected to heighten speculation about when man got to the Western Hemisphere and add to the debate over other pre-Clovis sites in the Eastern United States such as Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pa., and Cactus Hill, Va.In October 2005, archaeologists will meet in Columbia for a conference on Clovis and the study of earliest Americans.May 2003 — Archaeologists continue to excavate pre-Clovis artifacts above the terrace, as well as new, significant Clovis finds.May 2004 — Using backhoe and hand excavations, Goodyear and his team dig deeper, down into the Pleistocene terrace, some 4 meters below the ground surface.