- A newly found trove of 56 stone tools north of Austin confirms the makers of the "Clovis point" weren't the first Americans.
- The Clovis point was a two-faced fluted blade that showed up between 13,100 and 12,800 years ago.
- The new site dates back 15,000 years and reveals different stone tool designs.
Everything's bigger in Texas, even the piles of debris and tools left alongside a stream some 15,000 years ago by some of the earliest known inhabitants of North America.
The newly discovered trove of 56 stone tools and thousands of flaky rock bits at an archeological site north of Austin is the largest and oldest artifact assemblage of its vintage discovered to date, says Michael Waters of Texas A&M University in College Station. Waters and a large team of colleagues describe the collection of artifacts, dubbed the Buttermilk Creek Complex, in the March 25 Science.
All across North America, a distinctive type of two-faced fluted blade shows up in layers of dirt dating to between 13,100 and 12,800 years ago. This "Clovis point" has been called the first great American invention, a technology that spread quickly among people living on the continent. Scientists used to think that the inventors and users of this particular point, which was probably fastened to wooden spears, were the first inhabitants of North America, arriving via an ancient land bridge with Siberia.