Archaeological evidence conclusively documents man verses mastodon in the Pleistocene epoch. As such, they lived in a land of giants. Hollywood depictions of oversized creatures once were reality to man. The fierce saber-tooth, large wooly mammoths and mastodons, giant beaver, short-faced bear, and dire wolf were all part of their world. Who were these men, women and children who dealt with mega-fauna concerns to protect their families, not to mention survive the bitter weather, glaciers and terrain so long ago? What were their tools of defense, patterns of lifestyle, concerns and joys? A welcome change from the view of early man as the alley oop style cave man has in fact turned to evidence of an adaptable, resourceful, intelligent humankind.

Pre-Clovis Sites – A Sampling

Important sites in North America were built on an assortment of locations among rivers, marshes, sand dunes, sinkholes, caves and prairies creating a growing list of cultural finds and information that continue to influence our understanding of early Man. Each place portrays a piece of the unfolding portrait of the ancient inhabitants.

Meadowcroft Rockshelter in western Pennsylvania is located in Avella, Independence Township, Pennsylvania on Cross Creek, a tributary to the Ohio River. This site officially became a National Historic Landmark on 5 April 2005. The Statement of Significance (as of designation - April 5, 2005) is recorded thus: "This site contains evidence of some of the earliest human occupations in Eastern North America. Meadowcroft Rockshelter demonstrates that humans have been in the Americas since at least 16,000 years before the present. The site was periodically utilized and reoccupied from the earliest Paleo-Indian times through the Archaic and Woodland periods by Native American peoples, and during the Historic period by European Americans. It has provided one of the longest, if not the actual longest, stratified sequence of cultures in the United States, and evidence for some of the earliest domesticated crops in the northeastern United States. Meadowcroft has revolutionized how archeologists view the peopling of the New World."

Cactus Hill, Virginia located on the Nottoway river near the small town of Stony Creek also had artifacts below the clovis level. A clovis and pre-clovis occupation present in the natural strata used raw materials primarily of quartzite and chert. Radiocarbon data that matched Meadowcroft Rockshelter made the prickly pear covered sand dunes a clear contender as one of the oldest archaeological sites in North America.

Saltville, Virginia salt marshes attracted inhabitants and wildlife dating to the Pleistocene epoch. A pre-clovis worked tibia possibly from a musk-ox, and other finds include 200 clam shells, 500 pieces of small vertebrate remains, charcoal and 125 pieces of leftover chipped stone waste.

Topper, South Carolina situated on the Savannah River in Allendale county produced blades and flakes matching those recovered at Cactus Hill and Saltville, Virginia. Below the pre-Clovis stratum was the "topper chopper," an abstract animal, in this case in bird form, classic in design and common as an artifact in North American and European paleolithic works.

Sheridan Cave, Ohio is a significant sinkhole excavation site that extended about 50 feet underground beneath a dolomite ridge near Carey, Ohio. The record produced exceptional biodiversity in plant and animal remains of the Ice Age including rare and extinct species such as the giant beaver, the stag or elk moose, the short-faced bear and the peccary. The human record is among the earliest known evidence of man in this region.

Buttermilk Creek site in Salado, Texas is located just 250m downstream from the Gault Site where so much of the Clovis culture has been defined. Here, below the clovis level, a previously undisturbed strata disclosed a large and varied collection of some 15,528 stone artifacts. OSL mineral dating of the assemblage places it between ~13.2 and 15.5 thousand years ago. These finds offer considerable archaeological evidence to support the theory of human habitation in the area prior to Clovis technology; also adding important data for researching the origins of the Clovis culture.

The Manis site located in the Sequim-Dungeness valley, Washington inspired early inhabitants of the S'Klallam tribe long before the coming of the European to name the location east of Sequim "place for going to shoot." It was great hunting for elk and waterfowl, but 800 years before the even earlier Clovis people, men were hunting mastodon. An osseous projectile point made of mastodon bone was found embedded in a rib of another mastodon. Due to additional bone growth around the projectile, it was determined not to be the wound that killed the animal. When analyzed, the unnatural position of the 14,991lb. fossil and other evidences suggested that it had been tampered with by man, making it one of the earliest locations evidencing mastodon/man interaction. Two other mastodon remains were also found to have been butchered at this 2-acre site.

Kenosha county, Wisconsin in the great lakes region of the midwest delivered mammoth discoveries on two adjacent farms in Paris Township. By 1992, after years of hunting, David Wasion put together clues that led to the rediscovery of mammoth bones once displayed and then packed away, lost to the knowledge of the community in the basement of the local Historical Society. The rediscovery and new observations of the clear cut and hack marks on the bones was a find of major importance. By 1994, subsequent digs brought to light a more complete picture of the Schaefer mammoth and a new Hebior mammoth that were ostensibly butchered by pre-clovis people. This electrified some in the scientific community because the Kenosha county digs dated much earlier than the 12,000 year Beringia barrier and the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska was broadly believed to have been inaccessible before that date. Other sites in Kenosha county contain unexcavated mastodon/mammoth remains in the area. The Mud Lake mammoth and the Fenske mastodon are among the "kill sites."

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