Tuesday, November 15, 2011

34 Years Later, He Gets To Say "I Told You So."

After that long a period, the emotional satisfaction is likely to be bittersweet.

It's not unusual for an archaeologist to get stuck in the past, but Carl Gustafson may be the only one consumed by events on the Olympic Peninsula in 1977.

Sifting through earth northwest of Seattle, he uncovered something extraordinary - a mastodon bone with a shaft jammed in it. This appeared to be a weapon that had been thrust into the beast's ribs, a sign that humans had been around and hunting far earlier than anyone suspected.

Unfortunately for Gustafson, few scientists agreed. He was challenging orthodoxy with less-than-perfect evidence.

or almost 35 years, his find was ridiculed or ignored, the site dismissed as curious but not significant.

But last month, a team that re-examined his discovery using new technology concluded in the prestigious journal Science that Gustafson had been right all along.

The pierced bone was clear evidence that human beings were hunting large mammals in North America 13,800 years ago - about 800 years before the so-called Clovis people were thought to have migrated across the Bering land bridge from Asia.

And presumably many of the people who ridiculed his conclusion are dead, and went to the grave thinking that they were right.


PISSED said...

thanks.. thats an interesting story.. Its amazing to think how much we DON'T Know. :)

Firehand said...

Remember the crapstorm over Kennewick man when it was announced there were caucasoid features? A bunch of Indian tribes had fits, and the Clinton Interior Secretary bent over backwards to help them try to prevent further research. Including trying to make the scientists give up a 3D model of the skull they'd made.

Been a while, but I seem to remember Babbitt ordering a shitload of gravel and dirt dumped on the site and trees planted, specifically to prevent further digging for more evidence. And since the stuff had to be flown in by chopper, it cost us a buttload of money.