By Dennis J. Stanford
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Additional info for Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture
Stratigraphy is the sequence of natural or artificial layers of deposits; in most cases the lowest is oldest, and they become younger toward the surface. These layers represent different depositional events and may tell us how and when they were deposited. Larger, more robust points and mammoth bones were emerging from a deposit situated below the soil that encased the bones of bison killed by Folsom hunters. If there was any doubt, the advent of radiocarbon dating (a method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of organic materials) in the 1950s confirmed that Folsom was, indeed, younger than this deeper material.
This bridge, the unglaciated portions of Alaska, and far eastern Siberia are known today as Beringia. 8 To complete the logic of this hypothesis, Johnston noted that the glaciers that covered much of North America and Europe began to melt at the end of the last ice age. In particular, he suggested that as the two interconnected glaciers of North America—the Laurentian and the Cordilleran—melted, they left an ice-free corridor that early humans, who had already crossed the land bridge, could use to travel from the Arctic southward into the rest of the Americas.
Thoughts of the ice-free corridor soon took a backseat as new Clovis mammoth kill sites were found in New Mexico, Texas, and Oklahoma, drawing archaeological attention away from the Arctic to lower North America. 10 As one might imagine, this was major news, and archaeologists were excited about the discovery. Especially noteworthy was the fact that the point was made somewhat differently from Clovis points, and so it might be an earlier or ancestral variety. This find refocused scholarly attention on the North Country and to thoughts about Siberian connections.
Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture by Dennis J. Stanford