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"Culturally, biologically and chronologically, the theory is no longer viable."The dissimilar stone artifacts, as well as the DNA-profiling of the human excrement, show that humans were present before Clovis and that another culture in North America was at least as old as the Clovis culture itself."An 11,000-year-old Clovis spear point, with the characteristic notch at its base that distinguishes it from the Western Stemmed spearhead.

(Virginia Deptartment of Historic Resources/Wikimedia Commons)The Clovis First theory of how North America was settled proposes that a group of Paleo-Indian people, dubbed Clovis after the New Mexico town where the first evidence of them was found, were the first humans to settle in North America.

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The researchers concluded that the human DNA they found in the Paisley Caves excrement was as old as 14,000 years, and the spear points dated from about 13,230 to 12,960 years ago and did not resemble the spearheads used by the Clovis people, who are believed to have settled in North America between 13,400 and 12,800 years ago.

The find suggests North America was colonized by multiple cultures, some of whom arrived possibly earlier than the Clovis."Our investigations constitute the final blow to the Clovis First theory," said Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen's Centre for Geo Genetics, which did the DNA analysis, in a news release.

It is increasingly difficult for prehistorians working in the twenty-first century to conceptualise the problems experienced by their predecessors, and approaches to interpretation before the 1960s are consistently criticised.

Culture history and diffusionism may - with hindsight - seem excessively preoccupied with classification and social evolution, and to have applied unsophisticated historical interpretations instead of asking fundamental questions about human behaviour.

S.] is Western points that are regional derivatives of that form."The spear points Jenkins and his team found are the earliest examples of Western Stemmed points found in the U. to date, Jenkins said Thursday in an interview with "These two approaches to making projectile points were really quite different," said study co-author Loren Davis of Oregon State in a news release.

"And the fact that Western Stemmed point-makers fully overlap, or even pre-date, Clovis point-makers likely means that Clovis peoples were not the sole founding population of the Americas."To date, there has been doubt that enough evidence exists that a separate group of hunter-gatherers lived in North America at the same time as or earlier than the Clovis."The point about Clovis First has been: if there is somebody else on the landscape, why haven't we found them? "For 70 years or more, we have been capable of finding Clovis points and associating them with mastodons and mammoths and other extinct animals, but we haven't been able to do the same thing with any other projectile points."Dennis Jenkins, a University of Oregon archeologist, with some of the artifacts he and his team found at the Paisley Caves in 2008.

Archeologists at the University of Oregon, Oregon State University and the University of Copenhagen used radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis to examine fossilized excrement, obsidian projectile points and the stratified sediment inside a series of caves located in the Summer Lake basin in south-central Oregon.

The caves are part of a unique archeological site that is part of the Great Basin watershed and thanks to its arid climate has been able to preserve some of the oldest human remains in the Western Hemisphere.

To establish how old the DNA is, the archeologists had to extract a fibre of hair, bone or fibrous plant material that survived the digestive process and apply radiocarbon dating methods to that — since the genetic material itself cannot be carbon dated.

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