"Watch the newspapers for more startling admissions that all is not right in Western Hemisphere prehistory and ask your local scholar to provide evidence for the fantastic scenarios that are being passed off as 'science.' You will enjoy watching them squirm and change the subject." -- Vine Deloria Jr., historian, 1997
"The existence of 40,000 year old human footprints in mexico means that the 'Clovis First' model of human occupation can no longer be accepted as the first evidence of human presence in the Americas." -- David Huddart, geologist, 2003
"Much is known about Early Man in the Old World, where new discoveries continue to expand our knowledge base. Unfortunately, in the New World our knowledge is largely limited to Clovis and younger cultures. The study of potential pre-Clovis sites is not encouraged, and those who report a possible pre-Clovis site do so at significant risk to their career." -- Charles W. Naeser, chemist, April 2007
Science Daily 2004: New Evidence Puts Man In North America 50,000 Years Ago.
ScienceDaily (Nov. 18, 2004) — 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.Free Times: Al Goodyear and the Secrets of the Ancient Americans.
The findings are significant because they suggest that humans inhabited North America well before the last ice age more than 20,000 years ago, a potentially explosive revelation in American archaeology.
Goodyear, who has garnered international attention for his discoveries of tools that pre-date what is believed to be humans' arrival in North America, announced the test results, which were done by the University of California at Irvine Laboratory, Wednesday (Nov .17).
"The dates could actually be older," Goodyear says. "Fifty-thousand should be a minimum age since there may be little detectable activity left."
The dawn of modern homo sapiens occurred in Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. 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.
"Topper is the oldest radiocarbon dated site in North America," Goodyear says. "However, other early sites in Brazil and Chile, as well as a site in Oklahoma also suggest that humans were in the Western Hemisphere as early as 30,000 years ago to perhaps 60,000."
In 1998, Goodyear, nationally known for his research on the ice age PaleoIndian cultures dug below the 13,000-year Clovis level at the Topper site and found unusual stone tools up to a meter deeper. 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. He recovered numerous stone tool artifacts in soils that were later dated by an outside team of geologists to be 16,000 years old.
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.
Back at Topper in 1998 — and with time running out on the summer’s dig — Goodyear had a decision to make. He remembered reading about a pre-Clovis site in Monte Verde, Chile, the year before in which evidence was found to substantiate a human presence around 14,500 years ago, and an odd thought popped in his head.
“I thought if all the experts had agreed on that date and people were in South America at that time, a thousand miles south and a thousand years before, how could they have not been here?” Goodyear says. “How could they miss a 20-million-year-old chert quarry on the Savannah River, which has always been about the same place it is now and has a relatively temperate climate like it does now?
“So I talked to my team about the Monte Verde find and asked them if they wanted to dig deeper than anyone had before in America to see what’s there. Of course, they don’t have to go to national meetings and defend results, so they were all like, “Yeah! Let’s do it! We’ll ruin your career!’
“To most people of my generation, saying you’re searching for something pre-Clovis is tantamount to saying you’re going looking for Elvis or E.T. It was that entrenched — it’s what I was taught myself and what I taught my students to believe. And lo and behold the first week we start finding artifacts.” ...
“That was a big psychological time of change for me, those last few weeks of 1998,” Goodyear says. “We just kept finding more and more. As a Clovis-first person myself, I had to re-evaluate what I thought I knew against what I was holding in my hands. And once you accept that, all of a sudden everything that came before it is fair game, too.”