A Western Stemmed spear point found at the Paisley Caves in Oregon.
(Cheng Lily Li) Spearheads and DNA found at the Paisley Caves in Oregon suggest that a separate group of people using different hunting tools arrived in North America several hundred years prior to the Clovis, long thought to be the first to migrate to North America from Asia.
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 spearheads are fluted and have a unique notch at the base where a large flake of stone has been removed. These indicated a different technology from Clovis spears, one that produces spear points that are narrower and differ in the way they are attached to the base of the projectile.
"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.