An archaeologist from the University of South Carolina on Wednesday announced radiocarbon tests that dated the first human settlement in North America to 50,000 years ago -- at least 25,000 years before other known human sites on the continent."Topper is the oldest radiocarbon dated site in North America," said Albert Goodyear of the University of South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.
This new discovery suggests humans may have crossed the land bridge into the Americas much earlier -- possibly during an ice age -- and rapidly colonized the two continents."It poses some real problems trying to explain how you have people (arriving) in Central Asia almost at the same time as people in the Eastern United States," said Theodore Schurr, anthropology professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a curator at the school's museum."You almost have to hope for instantaneous expansion ...
The method was developed by Willard Libby in the late 1940s and soon became a standard tool for archaeologists.
Libby received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in 1960.
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