In Washington, a 13,900-Year-Old Projectile Point Was Discovered

Scientists have found fragments a human-made projectile point in a rib of an American mastodon (Mammut americanum) from the Manis site, Washington, the United States. The projectile point is about 13,900 years old and is morphologically different from later cylindrical points of the 13,000-year-old Clovis culture. The artifact, which is made of mastodon bone, shows that people predating Clovis made and used osseous weapons to hunt megafauna in the Pacific Northwest.

Reconstruction of the distal end of the Manis projectile point. Image credit: Waters et al., doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9068.

Reconstruction of the distal end of the Manis projectile point. Image credit: Waters et al., doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9068.

In the 1970s, archaeologists excavated a single male mastodon from sediments at the base of a kettle pond at the Manis site, Washington.

No stone tools were found at the site, but human interaction with the mastodon was suggested by bones with spiral fractures, flakes removed from a long bone, and bones with cut marks.

In addition, the end of a mastodon’s right rib had foreign fragments embedded in it.

Those foreign pieces were interpreted to be the tip of a projectile point that broke apart as it impacted and entered the rib.

In the new study, Texas A&M University’s Professor Michael Waters and colleagues used high-resolution micro-CT scans and 3D software to study those foreign pieces.

They isolated all the fragments to show it was the tip of a human-made projectile point (34.5 mm long, 16.9 mm wide, and 5.8 mm thick).

According to the team, the fragments became embedded in the rib when the mastodon was alive, as indicated by the visible healing around the site of the wound.

The genetic study showed that the bone fragments embedded in the rib are from a mastodon.

The Manis mastodon rib with an embedded projectile point: (A) three views of the rib fragment with embedded point; (B) close-up views of the embedded point; note root staining on the bone and embedded bone point. Image credit: Waters et al., doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9068.

The Manis mastodon rib with an embedded projectile point: (A) three views of the rib fragment with embedded point; (B) close-up views of the embedded point; note root staining on the bone and embedded bone point. Image credit: Waters et al., doi: 10.1126/sciadv.ade9068.

“We isolated the bone fragments, printed them out and assembled them,” Professor Waters said.

“This clearly showed this was the tip of a bone projectile point. This is this the oldest bone projectile point in the Americas and represents the oldest direct evidence of mastodon hunting in the Americas.”

“At 13,900 years old, the Manis point is 900 years older than projectile points found to be associated with the Clovis people, whose stone tools he has also studied.”

“Dating from 13,050 to 12,750 years ago, Clovis spear points have been found in Texas and several other sites across the country.”

“What is important about Manis is that it’s the first and only bone tool that dates older than Clovis. At the other pre-Clovis site, only stone tools are found.”

“This shows that the First Americans made and used bone weapons and likely other types of bone tools.”

Not much is known about the people who used the Manis projectile point other than they were some of the first Indigenous people to enter the Americas.

“The Manis site and others are giving archaeologists some insight,” Professor Waters said.

“It is looking like the first people that came to the Americas arrived by boat. They took a coastal route along the North Pacific and moved south. They eventually got past the ice sheets that covered Canada and made landfall in the Pacific Northwest.”

“It is interesting to note that in Idaho there is the 16,000-years-old Coopers Ferry site, in Oregon is the 14,100-year-old site of Paisley Caves.”

“And here we report on the 13,900-year-old Manis site. So there appears to be a cluster of early sites in the Northwestern part of the United States that date from 16,000 to 14,000 years ago that predate Clovis.”

“These sites likely represent the first people and their descendants that entered the Americas at the end of the latest Ice Age.”

The study was published in the journal Science Advances.

Related Posts

Breaking News: Unearthed and Untouched – The Only Intact Egyptian Pharaoh’s Tomb

Vi𝚛t𝚞𝚊ll𝚢 𝚞nkn𝚘wn, th𝚎 𝚍isc𝚘v𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚘𝚏 th𝚛𝚎𝚎 int𝚊ct E𝚐𝚢𝚙ti𝚊n Ph𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚘h’s t𝚘m𝚋s 𝚛iv𝚊ls Kin𝚐 T𝚞t’s 𝚍isc𝚘v𝚎𝚛𝚢. This is th𝚎 st𝚘𝚛𝚢 𝚘𝚏 th𝚎 𝚐𝚘l𝚍 𝚘𝚏 th𝚎 Ph𝚊𝚛𝚊𝚘hs 𝚊n𝚍 th𝚎 T𝚛𝚎𝚊s𝚞𝚛𝚎 𝚘𝚏 T𝚊nis. Th𝚎 t𝚘m𝚋 𝚘𝚏 T𝚞t𝚊nkh𝚊m𝚞n is 𝚘n𝚎 𝚘𝚏 th𝚎 m𝚘st 𝚏𝚊scin𝚊tin𝚐 𝚍isc𝚘v𝚎𝚛i𝚎s 𝚎v𝚎𝚛 m𝚊𝚍𝚎, …

Read more

The Ancient Bridge of Girsu/Tello: Unraveling the Mysteries of a Temple, Dam, or Water Regulator in the Sumerian City

Four millennia ago, the ancient Sumerian city of Girsu was home to 15,000 people, making it one of the earliest known cities. Sebastien Rey, leader of the British Museum team excavating the ancient site, believes that it was “the cradle of civilisation …

Read more

Farmer Discovers Large ‘Dinosaur Egg’ But Unveils Surprising Contents Inside

Follow the Farmer’s Journey as he Unveils the Astonishing Truth Behind the Enigmatic Shell! In a quiet place called deep, there was a farmer named Mateo Suarez. You would think that Carlos Spegazzini is a name and not a place, but it’s not like that. …

Read more

‘Black Beauty’: One of the Most Intact T. Rex Skeletons, Featuring a Classic ‘Death Pose’ and Unique Mineral Exposure

In the realm of paleontology, discoveries often transcend mere scientific findings—they unveil stories of ancient worlds, offering glimpses into the lives of creatures long gone. Recently, the excavation of a remarkably preserved Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton …

Read more

The “Hologram” Effect Ring Found in the Tomb of 1st Century AD Noblewoman, Aebutia Quarta

**A 2000-year-old ‘hologram’ enclosed in a gold jewel ** The ring of Titus Carvilius Gemello was found on the finger of a Roman matron, the noble Aebutia Quarta, in the so-called Flavio-Trajanic tomb – now known as the “Hypogeum of Garlands” – was discovered …

Read more

Curious Historical Anecdote: Unusual Incident by a Statue in 15th Century Cologne

Few men are memorialized in such a contradictory manner as Konrad von Hochstaden. Surely a man who laid the cornerstone of one of Europe’s greatest churches—The Cologne cathedral—should be remembered fondly. And he is…sometimes. (See the mosaic below.) …

Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *