Exploring abrupt climate change induced by comets and asteroids during human history

PNAS: Diamond peak confirmed at YDB — and Bronze Age collapse, perhaps?

Restored from the library fire 1/9/20

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 11.17.44 PM

 Table 1.

Bement video

Earlier GSA abstract

Co-author spotlight: Andrew S. Madden


PNAS Lexus lane? 46,000 hits!


In 2007, scientists proposed that the start of the Younger Dryas (YD) chronozone (10,900 radiocarbon years ago) and late Pleistocene extinctions resulted from the explosion of a comet in the earths atmosphere. The ET event, as it is known, is purportedly marked by high levels of various materials, including nano-diamonds. Nanodiamonds had previously been reported from the Bull Creek, Oklahoma, area. We investigate this claim here by quantifying the distribution of nanodiamonds in sediments of different periods within the Bull Creek valley. We found high levels of nanodiamonds in YD boundary deposits, supporting the previous claim. A second spike in nanodiamonds during the late Holocene suggests that the distribution of nanodiamonds is not unique to the YD


167 Responses

  1. First comment: Annoying beginning, as their date is laid out as “10,900 RCYBP” without designating calibrated per IntCal09. Tsk tsk. Sloppy science. Good science requires ultra clear communication of data and metadata.

    Comment 2: Important news : There is now an IntCal13. see https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/16947/pdf

    IntCal09 is superceded though still somewhat necessary for papers written since late 2009 and before now. As I understand it IntCal13 can be used for older papers if the uncalibrated age is given.

    IntCal13 appears to give a 12,760 age in calibrated years for a 10,900 14C BP date. A slight extra shift downward.

  2. It may or may not be significant, but the IntCal13 curve at the 10,900 14C RCYBP > 12,760 C14 Calibrated point has a sharp increase in the downwardness of the slope beginning right there.

    There is an almost equally sharp increase in the downwardness of the slope about 1480 years later. That also might be not significant, but that might denote the end of the YD stadial. If so, that is the longest length I’ve seen given for the YD stadial. I’ve heard of 1,000 to 1,300, but not more.

  3. Having just glanced at the paper, and assuming that the sediment statigraphy was accurately representative, and if the n-diamonds are accurate evidence of large scale temperature or composition related catalysis or deposition, then one may infer that the modern late holocene to present detection at YDB quantities (190 ppm in the digested residue) is a result of human metallurgy, particularly early metallurgy experiments where large amounts of native cellulose was burned in close proximity to rocks, metal ores and other ferrous metals – open pit furnaces, forges and refineries. It’s hard to see how this could be simple wildfires. Looking at ISON is easier to see how Earth could be peppered with this kind of stuff. On the other hand, it could be something entirely different producing the n-diamonds and the whole thing is just a big misunderstanding! That would be interesting enough as well. These kinds of microscopic proxies are new enough and vague enough to permit some wildcards.

  4. Steve, in Sweden the Pleisto-Holocene boundary, that is the end of the Dryas III, was determined by C-14, varves and treerings. The result was 10,000ys Bp, plus or minus 500ys. That gives a long Dryas III.

    N.-A.Moerner, 2003: Palaeoseismicity of Sweden, a novel paradigm.

  5. If anyone is actually interested in this phenomenon, a simple superficial search of the peer reviewed nanodiamond synthesis and structure literature reveals that nanodiamonds associated with fullerenes and fullerene fragments and hydrogen surface adsorption is a common phenomenon, and there even is a well known nanodiamond to fullerene transformation. The literature trail is too vast for me to cite here.

  6. Decomposing diamonds of any type is easy. I’ve only recently become interested in and thinking about the synthesis and formation of nanodiamonds now because I now have solid experimental evidence of their existence in sediments to motivate me to do so. There is a fundamental difference between synthesis and formation and deposition. For instance, hexagonal nanodiamond (lonsdaleite) in extraterrestrial space is believed to originate from the raw carbon bearing particles and dust, fullerenes, carbon onions, graphene and graphane and fullerene fragments of all types and geometries, which are primarily hexagonal. They appear form nearly instantaneously in high energy carbon on carbon impacts and may subsequently be deposited in the atmosphere and on the ground by reentry and impact.

    Nigel A. Marks, Martina Lattemann and David R. McKenzie

    Nanometre-sized diamond grains are commonly found in primitive chondritic meteorites, but their origin is puzzling. Using evidence from atomistic simulation we establish a mechanism by which nanodiamonds form abundantly in space in a two-stage process involving condensation of vapour to form carbon onions followed by transformation to nanodiamond in an energetic impact. This non-equilibrium process is consistent with common environments in space and invokes the fewest assumptions of any proposed model. Accordingly, the model can explain nanodiamond formation in both presolar and solar environments.

    The simulations employ the Environment Dependent In teraction Potential (EDIP) [3] which provides an accurate description of bond formation processes. They reveal that within an optimal energy window of around 1-2 eV/atom carbon onions are efficiently transformed into nanodiamond on the timescale of a picosecond. The process differs substantially from conventional mechanisms for accessing the
    diamond phase which require high temperature and/or high pressure.

    On the other hand, these carbon fragments condensed into a primitive carbonaceous meteoroid with many other elements and materials and then reentered into the atmosphere in a high energy ablative event would be an entirely different mechanism of synthesis and deposition after their decomposition, and might be more properly described as high temperature chemical vapor deposition, especially when water and metals are present. Thus is is unremarkable to find a lack of hexagonal nanodiamond, and large amounts of metal and water catalyzed cubic n-diamond, in addition to a wide variety of hexagonal carbon fragments that could easily have been mistaken for hexagonal nanodiamond and lonsdaleite. So one can perhaps forgive the initial claims of hexagonal nanodiamonds now.

    That doesn’t mean these diamonds are a result of impact, reentry and CVD and then atmospheric dispersal, it just means there is a viable theoretical route in support the that particular hypothesis that is worthy of further investigation. It also doesn’t mean that a cosmic impact contributed to the Younger Dryas stadial yet either, it just means that cubic n-diamond in sediments may or may not be diagnostic of certain large cosmic impacts.

  7. “Thus is [sic]is unremarkable to find a lack of hexagonal nanodiamond[s], and large amounts of metal and water catalyzed cubic n-diamond…”

    The double negative here makes this a VERY confusing statement. Would this re-wording be correct?:

    “Thus it is common to find hexagonal nanodiamonds, and large amounts of metal and water catalyzed cubic n-diamond…”

  8. TLE –

    You: “For instance, hexagonal nanodiamond (lonsdaleite).”

    The paper: “in addition to a wide variety of hexagonal carbon fragments that could easily have been mistaken for hexagonal nanodiamond and lonsdaleite.” Hexagonal nanodiamond AND lonsdaleite.

    One of you is wrong.

    I found this: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021095030.htm “CWRU researchers make nanodiamonds in ambient conditions”.

    This claim of “ambient conditions” is rather b.s., because they may have near ambient temps and pressures, but they have to use a microplasma to effect the creation of the nanodiamonds. A microplasma is NOT an ambient condition on the surface of the Earth.

    Plasmas make up more than 99% of the visible universe. In general, when energy is applied to a gas, internal electrons of gas molecules (atoms) are excited and move up to higher energy level. If the energy applied is high enough, outermost electron(s) can even be stripped off the molecules (atoms), forming ions. Electrons, molecules (atoms), excited species and ions form a soup of species which involves many interactions between species and demonstrate collective behavior under the influence of external electric and magnetic fields. Light always accompanies plasmas: as the excited species relax and move to lower energy levels, energy is released in the form of light. Microplasma is a subdivision of plasma in which the dimensions of the plasma can range between tens, hundreds, or even thousands of micrometers in size. The majority of microplasmas that are employed in commercial applications are cold plasmas. In a cold plasma, electrons have much higher energy than the accompanying ions and neutrals.

    Plasmas are 99% of the universe – but not on the surface of the Earth.

    Microplasmas are basically very small plasmas. Which doesn’t tell us much. But how often do we see plasmas on the surface of the Earth?

    In impacts. Any other time?

    Here is their PROCESS:

    They first create a plasma, which is a state of matter similar to a gas but a portion is becoming charged, or ionized. A spark is an example of a plasma, but it’s hot and uncontrollable.

    To get to cooler and safer temperatures, they ionized argon gas as it was pumped out of a tube a hair-width in diameter, creating a microplasma. They pumped ethanol—the source of carbon—through the microplasma, where, similar to burning a fuel, carbon breaks free from other molecules in the gas, and yields particles of 2 to 3 nanometers, small enough that they turn into diamond.

    In less than a microsecond, they add hydrogen. The element removes carbon that hasn’t turned to diamond while simultaneously stabilizing the diamond particle surface.

    So, they need an ARGON plasma, to which they had carbon, and then, less than a microsecond later they add hydrogen. Obviously if they added the hydrogen WITH the carbon the process isn’t going to work, otherwise they would not dealy the entry of hydrogen.

    And all this in an argon plasma. Argon is almost 1% of the atmosphere, so could they get an argon plasma simply by an electric arc in the atmosphere? Almost certainly not, or the researchers would be talking about an atmospheric plasma. Since they are talking of an argon plasma they MUST be talking of a pure argon plasma – which simply doesn’t exist in nature.

    Now since argon is present in ocean water 0.45 ppm and in Earth’s crust 1.2 ppm, it is possible that an impact might make a plasma out of the argon in the ocean or ground and this may contribute to creating conditions for making nanodiamonds out of the carbon present in either the impactor or the target materials.

  9. I give little credence to these papers whose authors keep mixing up cubic and hexagonal nanodiamonds or refer to them all as “nanodiamonds” without specifying which they are talking about. If they can’t even keep the two types straight, how are we to credit them with any skills or experience with the subject they are talking about?

    BTW, TLE, from other sources I’ve seen, your equating lonsdaleite to hexagonal nanodiamonds seems correct – lending even LESS credence to the authors of the paper you quote, who talk of lonsdaleite AND hexagonal nanodiamonds. If you are correct, they are posers.

  10. Thus is is unremarkable to find a lack of hexagonal nanodiamond, but instead – large amounts of (metal and water catalyzed) cubic n-diamond

    Sorry that was unclear. I assume the cubic n-diamonds are catalyzed in some high temperature high pressure fireball event, with the assistance of impurities in the fireball, whether they be nucleosynthetic metals from the solar nebula incorporated into the bolide, terrestrial rocks, or burning forests. This assumes the paper I quoted has any kind of validity, which is debatable since it appears to be a relatively new and novel hypothesis of extraterrestrial hexagonal nanodiamond synthesis. All of this is very new.

    The rest of what you are going on about – I have no idea what you are saying.

  11. I just friendly terminated a patent license with UCSB for the production of nanodiamonds at low temps and pressures (inventors Jim Kennett and Allen West). Since it was a biz I have not spoken of it. Great experience, I have some pretty good proof the diamonds are produced terrestrially. Stay tuned…

  12. I just completed a preliminary look at the peer reviewed literature, and it appears that very recent work, some of which is as yet unpublished, hints at fairly exotic new allotropes and polymorphs of carbon diamond nanostructures, besides the previously reported 4% hydrogen doped cubic diamond, including carbon foams, metallic ‘glitter’, and a variety of exotic microstuctures and superstructure, most of which mimic cubic diamond from an x-ray diffraction perspective, which includes some yet to be precisely determined forbidden reflections, almost any of which could be confused with hexagonal nanodiamond.

    Interesting times ahead.

  13. Sparkle and glitter sound pretty cool, but remember, don’t look directly into the fireball, and stay away from the windows. lol. It will be interesting to see how this all pans out. Science works in mysterious ways. Thanks for playing.

  14. Not sure why I had this opened and not sure where to put it here, so sorry if this isn’t the best place. Someone here probably linked to it, but I can’t find who.

    Katherine T. Cagen & Polgar Fellow


    Oceanic impacts such as the one discussed in this paper, which we propose occurred
    approximately 2300 years ago in the Atlantic Ocean, are a poorly understood
    phenomenon. Though the Earth is seventy percent covered with water, scientific
    investigations have focused on continental events. This is in part due to the difficulties
    inherent in examining submarine impact structures. Oceanic impacts lack many of the
    known features of continental events…

    And basically next to ZERO work has been put into ice sheet impacts, even though vast areas of the globe have been covered by ice in the past for such long periods that are important for us today.

    It is GOOD to see work being done on oceanic impacts, however. Good on them!

    Ice sheet impacts and oceanic impacts are both different from land impacts, but they are also different from each other. BOTH need to have some brain power applied to them.

  15. Steve, from recent work the distinction between diamond polymorphs is less than clear, is highly dependent upon processing conditions like composition and size of the feedstock particles, temperature, pressure, impact (jerk or second derivative of velocity) of the reaction, and can only be determined by washing away the detritus of formation and decomposition of the very tiny nanoscopic particles and then hitting them with X-rays which is by no means straightforward with particles this small and when a large and complex fireball occurs producing a variety of conditions and reaction byproducts, which then cool at different rate or suffer post formation decomposition. It’s not even clear if the terrestrial lonsdaleite is seeded from above or formed in the impact. This is a pretty wide open field if you’d like to get into it, and it’s possible most of what we know about this phenomenon may be subsequently demonstrated to be simple misunderstandings. The only key point here is that we now know these things can be found in recent terrestrial sediments only by great effort and meticulous processing, much like the metallic and mineral spherules, but much more difficult due to their small size. Even getting isotope ratio information is proving to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. So there really is no cut and dried answer here.

    As soon as somebody comes up with a definitive testable hypothesis I would love to hear about it.

  16. Ok, probing a little deeper into the peer reviewed literature on n-diamond, while the discussion hasn’t quite yet risen to the level of controversy of the Younger Dryas impact hypothesis, there is a pretty well defined alternative to the 4% hydrogen doped cubic solution. Once thing that is pretty clear though is that these things are pretty easy to make with extraterrestrial carbon in a hydrogen rich plasma impact fireball. Here is the carbon glitter hypothesis :


  17. TLE –

    Forgive me for taking so long here, but somehow I completely missed your late January comments.

    Your January 30 comment is great. What I hear you saying is that the science of recognizing n-diamonds is “in development.” If true – and from what I’ve read so far, yes, it does seem to be – then ALL papers on this may to some degree be wrong, though still valuable. The dust hasn’t settled yet, it seems, but time will tell…

  18. Darn! I also wanted to agree on the WIDE variety of conditions within and around an impact. It is – coming at it from an entirely different direction – one of the point I had tried to make in regards to Michael Davias’ Saginaw Bay impact conjecture – that there is a declining gradient going outward, and we need to also think of those outer regions, too, not just what is happening in the plasma center. The Bos has his pretty model impages that wow some people, but other REAL stuff is happening in all those zones.

  19. From the link on lab nanodimonds, this caption:

    “B4+5: The char was heated to >900°C
    while limiting oxygen and/or introducing
    steam at near-atmospheric pressure. After
    cooling, diamonds were found in the char.”

    A question –

    What possessed them to introduce steam at about ambient pressure? There is nothing in the impact scenario that includes steam.


    Kinda weird…LOL

  20. Steam at ambient pressure in an impact? THAT was my point. Had it been at high pressure I’d have let it pass… But ambient sounds a bit odd.

  21. I find it interesting the extent some in the archaeological community go to support some form of the “Mammoth over-kill” hypothesis.

    See —

    Domestication of dogs may explain mammoth kill sites and success of early modern humans

    May 29, 2014

    Penn State

    A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led to a new interpretation of these sites — that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domesticated dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth.


  22. This is another in the same mold.

    The “CSI” drawing of the weapon impact had me thinking about something like an Aztec style alt-atl spear thrower, rather than a bone tipped throwing spear.

    See —

    Hunters present in North America at least 800 years earlier than previously thought

    October 20, 2011

    Texas A&M University

    The tip of a bone point fragment found embedded in a mastodon rib from an archaeological site in Washington state shows that hunters were present in North America at least 800 years before Clovis, confirming that the first inhabitants arrived earlier to North America than previously thought, says a team of researchers.


  23. Nice finds, as usual, Trent!

    The girl found in the cenote in the Yucatán (somebody correct me any of that is wrong) was dated at about 15,100 ys cal C14 (IntCal13). [My conversion on the calibration curves…]

    Of COURSE if there was a girl in the Yucatán there were hunters also. Wherever there were people of any sort in that period, some of them had to be hunters. The people were not vegans. And it was a good deal earlier than 800 years before Clovis.

    It’s nice to have some confirmation of that, though.

    Again, though, I love how they focus only on mammoth kills our west when almost all the Clovis people were in the east and southeast. I think they don’t DARE go looking for mammoth kills in the east, because THEN they have to admit that Clovis ate other things besides mammoths.

    I give Surovell much credit for working on that aspect of Clovis. Even if it is later and during Clovis times. He pointed out in one paper that there really are only 14 kill Clovis mammoth sites. That is really not enough to support the Overkill Hypothesis. Surovell also has papers bringing to the fore evidence suggestive of Clovis hunting all sorts of other game, too. And the more Clovis was successful at hunting other, smaller, game, the less likely Clovis was out tracking down every single solitary mammoth and giant beaver, etc.

    But one thing this does is show that it wasn’t ONLY Clovis that was hunting mammoths.

    Another aspect of this, is that twenty years ago this find would have been labeled a mistaken identity, a C14 error, or a fraud. At least the world has gotten past the Clovis Barrier and will readily accept dates that are pre-Clovis. These earlier dates are becoming so common that the dudes who hold tight to the Barrier must be crying in their beer.

    As such, this find further buries the Barrier. Long Be Dead The Barrier!

  24. I will also point out that the Ice-Free Corridor was not actually open until at least 8,000 ya. Thus neither the hunters at this Manis site in Washington state, NOR Clovis could have come down that route.

    They ALL had to have come some other way. It is as likely as not that the Manis hunters came originally from Asia. However, the great majority of Clovis and other Paleo-Indians live in the east. Paleo-Indians are mostly AFTER the YDB.

    This article mentions two pre-Clovis mammoth sites in Wisconsin. Outside the upper Midwest, there are almost no mammoth kills anywhere in the eastern USA.

    One of these days the pre-Clovis people should be given a name not associated with Clovis.

  25. Steve G,

    A better question is “Did the Clovis sites also have bone fragment spear tips?” with the idea that not one has bothered to look.

    Or perhaps the question should be rephrased as follows, —

    “Has anyone re-screened Clovis site collections for Paleo-Indian artifacts like sharpened and fire hardened bone spear tips?”

  26. This is probably a good place to drop this in, since we are talking about the mammoth-Clovis connection…


    “Daniel B. Botkin, a world-renowned ecologist, is Professor (Emeritus), Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UC Santa Barbara, and President of The Center for The Study of The Environment, which provides independent, science-based analyses of complex environmental issues. The New York Times said his book, *Discordant Harmonies: A New Ecology for the 21st Century* is considered by many ecologists to be the classic text of the [environmental] movement.” His Environmental Science, now in its Sixth Edition, was named 2004′s best textbook by the Textbook and Academic Authors Association.”

    In my reading, it seems that ecologists are usually among the most Chicken Little of scientists about global warming. Yet Botkin in his testimony before Congress gives what I consider an even-handed assessment ot the IPCC 5th Assessment Report, released earlier this year.

    Among the critiques Botkin gives – all unflattering to the IPCC – is one pertinent to the YDB discussion (his words):

    16. The report for policy makers on Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability repeats the assertion of previous IPCC reports that “large fraction of species” face “increase extinction risks” (p15). Overwhelming evidence contradicts this assertion. And it has been clearly shown that models used to make these forecasts, such as climate envelope models and species-area curve models, make incorrect assumptions that lead to erroneous conclusions, over-estimating extinction risks.

    Surprisingly few species became extinct during the past 2.5 million years, a period encompassing several ice ages and warm periods.5 Among other sources, this is based on information in the book Climate Change and Biodiversity edited by Thomas Lovejoy, one of the leaders in the conservation of biodiversity.6 The major species known to have gone extinct during this period are 40 species of large mammals in North America and Northern Europe. (There is a “background” extinction rate for eukaryotic species of roughly one species per year.)

    Obviously the 33 megafauna that went extinct at or about the YDB are 80% of what Botkin is talking about.

    For those of you here who may be worried about animal extinctions and humans causing them, his last sentence and the highlighted sentence should give us all a bit of a reality check. I actually went looking for extinctions about two years ago, trying to determine how many are going extinct and how many are human-caused. Almost all of the human-caused extinctions since 1800 were rodents and predators (mostly types of wolves), and most of those were on islands. Islands are a very small part of the overall human population in general. So those human-caused extinctions are few and for practical reasons – mostly to do with farmers, and nothing to do with industry emitting CO2, which is the big bogeyman in the global warming issue.

    One can find any number of sites that assert great numbers of animals under threat of extinction, but as Botkin points out, “Overwhelming evidence contradicts this assertion.”

    Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_extinctions lists 15 extinctions in all of the 19th century, including one form of algae, an average of one extinction per 7 years or so. None were due to climate. For the 20th century Wiki lists 43, of which 8 are plants. Of the 35 animals, 18 were predators that were hunted or rodents. 15 were hunted to extinction, by my count. Only in the 1990s were three extinctions assigned to “climate change”, and that was always speculative.

    Botkin pointing out the megafauna extinctions – in the last 2.5 million years – did include the 33 at the YDB, leaving only 7 megafauna gone extinct in the last 13,000 years. Botkin specifically argues that the alarm about polar bears is not supported by the facts. (See the link)

    We know that the YDB extinctions went hand in hand with the climate change that occurred then, and some researchers allege that the climate change caused the extinctions. However, as we all know here, every one of those megafauna had survived earlier climate change that was worse.

    To have ALL 33 of them go extinct due to one climate change is a real stretch.

  27. Trent,
    Yes Clovis sites do have bone points associated with them.
    I think we will learn that the bone point was the primary hunting point for the larger animals; mammoth, mastadon and such, and that the larger stone blades are butchering tools, and razors.
    Bone points with bladeletts will penetrate much deeper and would likely be more durable in that application, whereas the large overshot flaked and fluted “points”, are perfect for butchering, which is exactly where you find them, at butchering sites. The overshot flaking makes for a serrated cutting edge, and also decrease the surface area presented to the sides of the knife, just like the newest “fluted”chefs knives, and makes for easier cutting.
    As for the Washington find, it doesn’t change anything, other than help illustrate that the Clovis cultural package moves west and north in time from it’s south east origin.
    At the time of the Washington kill, people had been in california for three thousand years, if you take the conservative view(habitation on the west shore of China lake, Mojave desert @16k+years)
    62k years if you take a progressive view, a 62k year old mammoth tooth found in a freshwater shell midden that also produced a 17 k year old human femur, Witt site California.

  28. Trent,
    I find the euro study on dogs particularly interesting.
    The reason being, some of the most productive mammal fossil beds anywhere are right here in central California. At the time we are discussing the central valley of cal was a veritable paradise, vast shallow lakes surrounded by wetlands and grasslands.
    A couple of years ago, during excavations for a freeway expansion, a new set of fossils was found, dating from 200k up to 6k years ago.
    The most interesting thing is that among the fossils of mammoth, bison,horses and camels they also found dogs.
    At first I assumed that they meant to say canids, wolves and Coyotes, but when I contacted one of the paleontologists, to clarify, he confirmed that they were dogs , and that they assumed that they represented dogs from much later.
    The dogs were found associated with fossils from 6k to about 20 k. Unfortunately the excavation was rushed to extract the fossils so the freeway could continue.
    One thing I’ve learned recently, there is a species of canid , the short faced wolf, from southern Alaska, show many of the physiological changes that arise from domestication.
    The lone example comes from a time period when there is a documented migration of north American mammoth into Eurasia, about 60 k years ago.

  29. CevinQ –

    One could add the really progressive view of California sites and add in Alvarez’s Calico site, which he had dated to about 200,000 ya. There they had the chips-in-bone serrated technology.

    Every time I get into this “stone this and stone that” bit about archaeology and anthropology I laugh, because it is so patently obvious that stones are what we study only because they survived the ages. There were certainly all sorts of other degradable technology that they had. People make use of ALL that they can. Stones made up only one direction for their inventiveness.

    It’s like the graveyard mentality of arkies, who project entire civilizations out of a few trinkets stuck in a gravesite. Why? Because that is all they have – stones and grave trinkets. I’d hate to have sosmone project OUR society out of what someone is going to find in MY grave.

  30. Oops! It wasn’t Luis Alvarez’s Calico site. It was Louis Leakey’s. Luis – Louis – I get all my Looeys mixed up!

    And, yes, it was THAT Louis Leakey, of Olduvai fame.

    I cannot recommend archaeologist Christopher Hardacker’s book “The First American: The Suppressed Story of the People Who Discovered America” any higher. It lays out the politics and total bullshit of what happens behind the academic door when the public is not looking. And part of that story in America goes back 200,000 years.

    And part of that book discusses the Calico Site in California – even to suggest that it possibly goes back even as far as 500,000 years. The lab results suggested that.

    Leakey died in the middle of the fig, and then Vance Haynes wrote a nasty article that got published in Science magazine, and that became the defining conclusion about Calico at the time. But Clico continues on, with the largest collection of stone implements anywhere in the world.

    See http://www.calicodig.org/

  31. http://www.threeimpacts-twoevents.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Geologic-Sensemaking-Simultaneous-Impacts-10May2013.pdf Steve, George, I was sent this link in relation to my inquiries into the Drake Passage opening. This was way more than I expected. I waiting to find out who the author is but thought it might be worth a post on the tusk. The event is way older than YDB but none the less interesting. George, I think the one map image might give you a line on the Australian-Asain tectikes.

  32. something is not adding up — unless I missed something, they did not list any species names – weights, heights, etc etc

    now I did some quick stuff with the site in Los Angeles (tar pits) and they come up with weights for the dire wolf at 57 to 79 (*/-) kgs. german shepherds weight in at 30-40 kgs. this would mean that the ancients were playing with “dogs” that were really very mean machines.

    why this hang up with elephants. there was also bison, camels, horses, ground sloths, moose, deer, bear, elk and a whole spectrum of animals to eat. Me, I would have gone after something that was a little easier to catch. These were also driven to extinction. This whole defense of the “they killed the mammoth” just doesn’t sound right. And I used to be a “hunter”. Hunting deer in an animal trap sounds just safer (they didn’t have gov’t health care). Why would you waste your time over something that could trample you to the size of a pancake for a “steak”.

  33. Steve,
    I purposely didn’t mention Calico/Manix lake because I didn’t want to get into that whole can of worms.
    I am a supporter of the work done there, and have read all of the published work on the site, both pro and con.
    I also know someone who has worked on an undisclosed site in the area, that has produced dates going back 40k, it has yet to be published.
    The published “con” papers are some of the most ridiculous examples of cherry picking that I have run a across.

  34. David – All part of my own thinking, too. You might add this question: Why hunt something that you can’t even take 90% of it back with you to the wife and kiddies? Yes, you can set up drying racks – but still you have 2,000 lbs of dried meat. Or 3000 lbs of rotting meat.

    But, yes, hunt the sloths!

    Surovell’s paper about only 14 mammoth-Clovis kill sites is a BIG one. 14 does not constitute killing every megafauna in 8 million square miles.

    That when first brought up should have been considered an “extraordinary claim” and others should have been VERY skeptical of it and should have made them come up with some serious evidence on a VERY large scale.

    The Overkill hypothesis was a joke when they first brought it up, and it is a joke now. They really pulled out the gradualist crowbar that time.

  35. You know, you learn something new every day.

    My suspicioun about that Mammoth killing spear being a Atlatl dart may have been right, because the Atlatl is indeed dated to the Paleolythic in both the Euasia and the Americas.



    …these spear throwers were called atlatl in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs. The leverage of the long atlatl allowed a thrower to fling a light spear much farther and faster than by hand alone. Tipped with a sharp point of obsidian, bone, or hardened wood, these spears (usually called darts by atlatlists today) were dangerous weapons. It is frequently claimed that they would have penetrated metal armor. This is not true, but most of the Spaniards would have worn lighter chain mail or leather and padded cotton armor similar to that of the Aztecs, and Garcilaso de la Vega, a veteran of Indian fights in Peru and Florida, complained that atlatl darts would pass clear through a man.

    The atlatl was an ancient and important weapon in the Americas when the Spanish arrived. Although different forms of atlatls were invented sometime in the Upper Paleolithic Ice Ages in both the Old and New Worlds, they had been replaced by bows and arrows in most places. However, atlatls survived into modern times in a few places such as Australia, where the bow never arrived, and alongside the bow and arrow in the Arctic and parts of Latin America. In Europe and much of North America we know them only through archaeological finds.

    Atlatl picture link —


    This is text from wikipedia on spearthrowers–


    Reindeer Age[clarification needed] articlesWooden darts were known at least since the Middle Paleolithic (Schöningen, Torralba, Clacton-on-Sea and Kalambo Falls). While the spearthrower is capable of casting a dart well over 100 meters, it is most accurately used at distances of 20 meters or less. Seven spears were found in the Schöningen 13 II-4 layer, dating from about 400,000 years ago and thought to represent activities of Homo heidelbergensis.[7] The spearthrower is believed to have been in use by Homo sapiens since the Upper Paleolithic (around 30,000 years ago).[8] Most stratified European finds come from the Magdalenian (late upper Palaeolithic). In this period, elaborate pieces, often in the form of animals, are common. The earliest secure data concerning atlatls has come from several caves in France dating to the Upper Paleolithic, about 21,000 to 17,000 years ago. The earliest known example is a 17,500 year-old Solutrean atlatl made of reindeer antler and found at Combe Saunière (Dordogne), France.[9]

    In Europe, the spearthrower was supplemented by the bow and arrow, in the Epi-Paleolithic. Along with improved ease-of-use, the bow offered the advantage that the bulk of elastic energy is stored in the throwing device, rather than the projectile; arrow shafts can therefore be much smaller, and have looser tolerances for spring constant and weight distribution than atlatl darts. This allowed for more forgiving flint knapping: dart heads designed for a particular spear thrower tend to differ in mass by only a few percent. By the Iron Age, the amentum, a strap attached to the shaft, was the standard European mechanism for throwing lighter javelins. The amentum gives not only range, but also spin to the projectile.[10]

    Ceremonial atlatl, Peru 0-300 A.D., Lombards MuseumThe spear-thrower was used by early Native Americans as well. It seems to have been introduced to America during the immigration across the Bering Land Bridge,[citation needed] and despite the later introduction of the bow and arrow,[citation needed] atlatl use was widespread at the time of first European contact. Complete wooden spearthrowers have been found on dry sites in the western USA, and in waterlogged environments in Florida and Washington.

    So, did Clovis or pre-Clovis Paleo-Indians in North America have spearthrowers?

    Has anyone checked?

    The one thing that is certain to me is that the Clovis stone points were not spear-thrower dart tips, given their variable size, as this passage from the wikipedia article states —

    “This allowed for more forgiving flint knapping: dart heads designed for a particular spear thrower tend to differ in mass by only a few percent.”

  36. So, spear throwers are thought to have been used to kill mammoth in Eurasia, see —


    Spear thrower carved as a mammoth

    Late Magdalenian, about 12,500 years old
    From the rockshelter of Montastruc, Tarn-et-Garonne, France

    Carved from a reindeer antler
    Spear throwers came into use about 18,000 years ago in western Europe. They consist of a straight handle with a hook at one end. The bottom of the spear fits against the hook and the spear shaft and spear thrower handle are held together with the hook end by the shoulder. Launching the spear in this way sends it with more force and speed and across a longer distance than if it was simply thrown by hand.

    The hook ends of spear throwers are frequently decorated with an animal. This example from Montastruc shows a mammoth. It is the only known example which has a hole for an eye (which probably held an insert of bone or stone). The hook is also unusual because it is an ancient repair. The original hook carved from the antler broke off and was mended by cutting a slot on the back and inserting a bone or antler replacement. The mammoth’s tusks appear on each side of the handle, most of which was broken off in ancient times.

    A. Sieveking, A catalogue of Palaeolithic ar (London, The British Museum Press, 1987)

    But NONE, ZERO, ZIP spear throwers have been found associated with Clovis sites, See —


    This hunter is preparing to attack the mammoth with the ingenious and lethal Clovis composite spear system, shown in Coming Into America. At the tip is a large but thin, razor-sharp barbed stone point, its fluted base set into a short, hollow and barbed bone holder, which has been jammed onto a bone or ivory foreshaft, which in turn is bound to a long and heavy wooden spear shaft. The spear is to be launched with the aid of a spear thrower or atlatl, in this case a loop of leather, which acts as an extension to the throwing arm. Tremendous force can be generated with such a system, sufficient to penetrate even the tough hide of a mammoth. After the shot is taken, the shaft with foreshaft will fall away, or must be pulled out by the hunter, leaving the barbed spear point and bone holder in the animal. The hunter can then reload and take another shot.

    Excavations have yielded many Clovis spear points and bone or ivory foreshafts. Bone spear point holders have also been found, but no wooden spear shafts have survived. However, archaeologists believe that most Clovis projectile points are too large to have been used as arrowheads, and must have been intended for spears. No Clovis atlatls have been found, but the spear-throwing technique was in use at least 8,000 years ago and there is no reason to think Clovis people could not have used it. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine bringing down an animal the size of a mammoth without being able to generate the kinds of impact forces that atlatls made possible.

    But the Clovis research community can’t see any other use for these Clovis stone points in hunting Mammoth without spear throwers.



    So maybe the Clovis people didn’t hunt Mammoth?

  37. Trent –


    The earliest secure data concerning atlatls has come from several caves in France dating to the Upper Paleolithic, about 21,000 to 17,000 years ago. The earliest known example is a 17,500 year-old Solutrean atlatl made of reindeer antler and found at Combe Saunière (Dordogne), France.

    Dennis Stanford has pegged Solutrean points as the immediate precursor to Clovis points. With the dates of ingress into the Americas pushed to at least 20,000 ya, the Solutrean-Clovis tie is all but certain, especially since most Clovis artifacts are in the Eastern USA – NOT the west as is commonly believed and pushed by the Asian-influx crowd. (Though 90% or more of DNA shows Asian haplotypes, if a YDB impactor did occur and DID wipe out Clovis, then certainly a bottleneck occurred in humans at that time. No matter how many Clovis artifacts have ever turned up -in the thousands – I for one have never yet heard of a CLovis skeleton. Maybe I missed it. But if it exists, I’d sure like to see the mtDNA tests on it!)

    The point here is that this atlatl info suggests that if Clovis points came out of Solutrean in the 20kya-17kya period, we SHOULD see some Clovis atlatls or atlatl darts.

    LOL – though it is a little late in the game, at 17kya-20kya, the thought occurs to me that perhaps the Neandertals abandoned Europe to the Cro-Magnons, by taking to the sea and making their way to N America, and taking with them some Solutrean tech that they picked up from the enemy. Don’t laugh! 25 years ago I predicted that the time gap between Solutreans and Clovis would close up. And it did. Hard evidence – like the super close similarities between Solutrean points and Clovis points – have ways of proving themselves out over arkies’ half-assed thinking.

    Yes, Neandertals went extinct at about 30kya. As far as we now have evidence. Keep your ears to the ground. 25 years from now that may not be the latest. The Neandertals were in the same regions as the Solutreans. Neanderals went extinct. Clovis man went extinct. All within about 17kya of each other. BOTH were connected to the Solutreans or their geographical area.

    Is it possible that they were one and the same? Probably not. But keep the idea in mind. . .

  38. who wrote that — sounds just a little dramatic —

    this whole thing just plain “stinks”

    why not — they have found pre-clovis in the tip of South America from SE Asia — they did not row there and they certainly didn’t come from Northern Russia. And we should look at who??? was a leader in the trashing of Thomas D. Dillehay.

    I fail to see any reason why the “from Asia” should not be dumped in the dust bin. On the ground, nothing makes sense. Now you look at “google earth” and set the ocean depth to pre-impactor dates and the distance from Europe and N. A. pretty much goes away.

    I think the “clovis barrier” stuff has way more to do with the “marriage problems” that Smithsonian people came up with and they “matched” (so they say) with the “marriage practice” of India in the 19th century. It became a “religious” thing. This comes from the books I’m reading on “manifest destiny”. They state very loudly — nothing from Europe or Africa before Columbus. NOTHING and this means EVER. Problem is, thinkers (including the Smithsonian) and guys like Meltzer went onto steroids and here we are. Look at the people who were trashing Thomas D. Dillehay. That’s right — Meltzer himself.

    Really, what is his stake in this anyway.

  39. sorry for the italicized previous post — must have set something wrong.

  40. damn it — is was referring to the comment about it being “ingenious and lethal Clovis composite spear system” —- sounds just way to dramatic.

    makes them sound like the Clovis were masters of the bow and arrow ?????

  41. With respect to the solutrean hyp, there are a few things to remember.
    1) the willow/laurel leaf blade pattern in north America predates the pattern in Europe. If the dating of the cinmar bipoint is correct, then it predates the appearance the pattern in Europe by a couple thousand years.
    2) Solutrean was intrusive into western altantic Europe, there is no technologically related preceeding culture in the area. The distribution of solutrean sites illustrates this.
    3) The solutreans were certainly a semi maritime culture, they hunted seals and walrus, they gathered limpets and used them as “trail” food when venturing inland to hunt. When wrapped in wet seagrass, limpets will lived for several days.
    4) There are obscure facets of material culture that solutrean and Clovis share, such as cacheing goods, bas relief stone carving, and the basic layout of a campsite share many hallmarks.

    After reading Stanford and Bradley’s, “Across Atlantic Ice”, and whatever solutrean literature, I could find in English, I am of the opinion that Stanford and Bradley have it half wrong.
    I believe the influence was from NA into Europe, not the other way around.
    This helps explain some odd things about European genetics and languages, such as the presence of native American y DNA in European groups, with the highest rate in scandanavia.
    And the presence of native American mt DNA c in prehistoric burials among these same early northerners.

  42. Steve,

    Regarding your last comment on Neanderthals,

     Are you aware of Austin Whitall’s blog, “Patagonian monsters”, if not here is a link to some pondering on Neanderthals in America.


    Also are you familiar with the blog of russian anthropologist,Dr.  Herman Dziebel, it’s a less than traditional view on human dispersals. He takes the view that cultural modernity arose in NA and then subsequently spread to the old world.


     That being said, the newest work in genetics shows that Native Americans have the highest percentage of Neanderthal DNA, followed by east Asians then Europeans.

  43. Barry, in spite of the web page beginning with, “I can honestly say I’m having fun with the teachings I receive form the ancient ones,” I read a bit further. I was massively yearning NOT to. But I stiffened my upper lip and read on.

    I am coming at this with a LITTLE bit of sailing experience, plus a little of reading on sails and sailing.

    The author DOES have a point. Yes, those look like some sort of sails on those rock paintings.

    Now, let’s stop and think about things here. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a large tent or sheet of plastic or cloth in a high wind would know that the bigger the “sheet” or tent”, the more force is “collected.”

    I once tried to manage a plastic sheet over a quonset-style greenhouse in a high wind. The wind grabbed the sheet and I was too stupid to let go. It lifted me off the ground and carried me about 100 feet before letting me back down. I was probably lucky.

    If Solutreans were anything nearly as adept at stitching hides together as, say, Eskimos, or perhaps Iroquois, then sooner or later they would have encountered the results of high winds on those stitched sheets/tents. Let’s give them credit with realizing what WE might realize: With that much force you could do some serious work. I use work there in the engineering meaning of it: To move something from point A to point B.

    Now, let’s also give them credit again, and say that they DID have stitched together boats of some sort that they paddled around. First, they would also have had to invent the paddles. No one puts that above their capacity, I don’t think. You can’t have boats if you don’t have ways of propelling them, do you?

    It does NOT take Albert Einstein to at some point think of using that wind force to make moving the boats easier. Fairly primitive people did that all over the world, in time.

    So, maybe they DID use sails. Unless we give them no credit at all for having practical minds, we have to consider what they could have done with brains as big as ours and hands that were just as well-suited to manipulating objects as we are.

    Now, what they would NOT have had is the ability to tack into the wind. Not without centerboards or deep keels. That IS a toughie, and it probably only came about by accident, even in known human history. The keel/centerboard is necessary in order to keep the boat from side-slipping when turned across the wind. In other words, even turning the boat didn’t turn the direction of travel – not with a shallow keel.

    Even the now-famous Chinese ships of the early 1400s had to sail WITH the wind – called “running with the wind.”

    What did that mean? That they could only go where the winds were blowing TO. (This is one reason why early sailors in the Indian ocean had to wait for the monsoon winds to return from where the normal winds had taken them. Only when the winds reversed could they go the other way.)

    So, what winds did Solutreans have to get them across the Atlantic, with its ice sheets to the north? I don’t know for sure. But I think if the land positioning was the same then as now, vis-a-vis the poles and the Earth’s rotation, the winds still would likely have come out of the west or southwest. But there were also the katabatic winds coming off the ice sheets.. If those came from the morth, that still isn’t the right winds to push them westward.

    So, even with sails, if they didn’t have easterly winds, I would wonder if they could have used sails to travel westward. Perhaps they DID, though, for parts of the journey. Maybe paddling when the winds weren’t helpful, but if the local coast turned southwestward they could get some help from sails.

    Bear in mind, too, BTW, that sails made out of hides would have made the boats top heavy and easily capsized.

    Overall? I’d say SOME level of sailing was possible or probable. Necessity is the mother if invention, and all it would take is a Solutrean who got tired of paddling and who thought there must be a better way. Going west to America may still be a real stretch, though. I’d put the odds at 75% against it. Based on the direction of the winds. Going the OTHER way? I think that would have been a piece of cake.

  44. David –

    YES, Meltzer is a died-in-the-wool Clovis Overkill guy. His whole career is based on Clovis First and Clovis the mammoth killer.

    Thus, Meltzer MUST crap all over anything he can, to save his whole career. It WAS bad enough if he was part of the slam-Dillehay group.



    And the YDIH came along just in the early days of that transition. Meltzer tries to crap on the YDIH as much as he does everyone who doesn’t go for the “Clovis First/Clovis the mammoth killer themes.

    So, basically, then, Meltzer is YESERDAY’S NEWS.

    Do we remember who it was who battled against Galileo? No.

    40 years from now no one will remember that Meltzer even existed.

  45. CevinQ –

    Those are some amazing points you made there about which direction the migrations went.

    I think I’ve mentioned it before, but the linguistics is really an eye-opener. The NUMBER of variations on the languages of the “Native Americans” has led linguists to scratch their heads and ALSO wonder if the migrations weren’t somehow the OTHER way around. Too many variations to have occurred in the time since 15,000 ya or so. If I recall, they posit a bare minimum of 50,000 years for that many variations – and very likely even MORE time than that.

  46. I saw where I commented this above:

    “There is an almost equally sharp increase in the downwardness of the slope about 1480 years later. That also might be not significant, but that might denote the end of the YD stadial. If so, that is the longest length I’ve seen given for the YD stadial. I’ve heard of 1,000 to 1,300, but not more.”

    I missed something there!

    1480 years is RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the Dansgaard-Oeschger events and the Bond events average of 1470-1500 years between events.

    THAT I do not think is a coincidence. I think it is significant to maybe like 99% certainty.

  47. CevinQ –

    Wow. Your links at 6:55am I need to read and digest. Interesting stuff!


  48. Steve… I’ve done a bit of sailing and am familiar with the problems you mention. But combine basic watercraft ability, sea level hundreds of feet below what it is today and maybe changing wind patterns. Or start your journey far enough south to get the prevailing westerlies and end up in the southeast? I’m still trying to figure out how the 1-2 foot ash layer near here got here from a Long Valley Caldera eruption(57KYA). I’m 400 miles south of Long Valley and the prevailing winds here (SoCal) are either east or west. I believe it would have taken many years of prevailing north wind to deposit so much of this stuff here.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/13366529404/in/set-72157642827885173/

    Is anyone aware of any cave/rock art attributed to Clovis?

  49. Barry,
    The eruption at long valley was one of the largest since homo has been walking around.
    Where I live 70 miles upwind, and on the other side of the sierra, the ash layer is something like 16′ thick.
    The eruption also threw rocks weighing more than 20lb as far a Nebraska. In fact in places in Nevada, hundreds of miles from long valley, huge boulders from long valley are strewn across the landscape.
    The deposition of that layer would have only taken as long as the eruption itself.
    And yes Clovis practiced bas relief rock carving, but Clovis stayed away from caves, for the most part, and it’s likely because they would have been occupied by the huge short faced bears, bears so big that in caves in California they left claw marks 17′ up on the cave wall.

  50. Cevin… sounds like you live near Dennis. Can you give me any examples of Clovis art? I would be very interested in seeing it.

  51. Barry,
    I do live near Dennis, and the only example I can find on the web of Clovis art would be the Vero beach carving. I’m trying to remember where I saw some bas relief carvings, it was probably sketches in a paper.
    There are examples of smal inscribed stones from many Clovis sites. There are also some examples of small figurines, but there association with Clovis is unproven and they may be from later people.

  52. Plus those ice surfing mammoths had really big skins, so no stitching required…

  53. Very interesting stuff at Vero Beach and this might help answer Steve’s earlier question re Clovis bones… assuming this was a Clovis site.

    “It was originally found near a location, known as the Old Vero Site, where human bones were found side-by-side with the bones of extinct Ice Age animals in an excavation from 1913 to 1916.”


  54. actually, I lived in the Fresno area — recently moved to the east bay. explorer the country around Mono Lake and Mammoth — if there is country to see —- go.

  55. The Gault investigation site on the web makes a specific statement to the effect that the Clovis people living at their site were not primarily mammoth hunters.

    They were turtle eaters.



    In addition to what has already been mentioned, here are several more examples of the kinds of evidence from Gault that reinforce this view. Among the bones found in the Clovis deposits are turtle bones, burned frog bones, burned bird bones, and small mammals yet to be identified. In Clovis faunal assemblages across North America, the most commonly identified animals are not elephants—they are turtles. And the Clovis diet was not based on animals alone. This, of course, is obvious anyway because humans can’t live for long on just meat. But at Gault, use-wear studies are already finding evidence of a wide range of contact materials including the stunning example of the Clovis blade with the highly developed use-wear signature of grass cutting. While grass-cutting may not have been for food (the tall grasses of the Black Prairie are ideally suited for thatching and bedding), it is another indication of the diversity of behaviors that are being documented at the Gault site.

    It should not seem surprising at all that Clovis peoples were more than one-dimensional. They were, as we are learning at Gault and elsewhere, much more interesting people who adapted to a wide range of environments and climates and behaved like generalized hunters and gatherers of the later Archaic cultures of North America. Contrast this with Folsom culture, the quintessential specialized big game hunters of the Plains. All known Folsom sites occur within or near the Great Plains and prairies of the midcontinent. And all of the Folsom sites with animal bones have extinct bison bones. No Folsom caches are known, suggesting perhaps that Folsom peoples were so mobile and so focused on “encounter” hunting strategies, that they did not plan ahead by caching materials for the future. Folsom peoples did not make much use of the prismatic blade technology, perhaps because blade cores are heavy things that don’t travel well. The ultra-thin Folsom bifaces are light and the thinning flakes struck from them well suited for making Folsom points and other artifacts. Clovis is anything but Folsom-like.

  56. Trent
    That is very interesting, the archeology record shows that in the north plains of Canada, the Clovis were primarily horse hunters while at the Witt site, in California, they appearntly ate everything. All local mammals are represented in the midden along with all of the larger fish, freshwater shell fish, but there is a lack of water fowl, even though the site is on an immense wetland.
    From what I’ve read of the Gault site, I think the focus on turtles was more a situation of expedience. The site is at the confluence of several spring fed streams, that in historic times have never ran dry. Turtles are relatively easy to catch and with all the water near the site I would expect they would be plentiful.
    There is also an inexhaustible supply of very high quality stone for tools.

  57. Trent –

    Oh, Dude, great stuff!

    Trent and CevinQ –

    Now, think about those turtle and other meat choices – WHY on Earth would anyone chase after 5,000 lb mammoths and mastodons and other megafauna when such easy to catch animals as turtles area around? Do the anthros actually think the Clovis people were freaking idiots? Besides, from what I’ve been told, turtle meat is really, really tasty! So, we choose: risk our lives to bring down more meat than our families anc eat in a year (and probably have most of it all spoil)? Or tackle that fastest and most evasive animal of all (the turtle)? /snarc

  58. Speaking of ice age hunting, The book “Ice Age Hunters of the Rockies” by Dennis J. Stanford and Jane S. Day, and The “Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples” by Tim F. Flannery, contend that American bison evolved from long-horned bison (Bison priscus) due to hunting pressure from primitive Americans (Clovis & Folsom Man) which forced a behavior change, from more solitary males and small groups of females with young, to very large groups aka herds.

    This means that the immense herds of American buffalo (bison bison) simply could not exist in 12,800 BC. For the simple reason that the Great Plains didn’t exist before the YDB/Tusk.

    Bison were then the larger long-horn Priscus variety which foraged in small groups depending on their size for protection from carnivores, and in pine forests as opposed to open prairie.

    Large Bison bison herds that were viable for self-defense and detection of two-legged predators — with or without spear throwers — were not possible prior to the Tusk.

    Neither book mentions the Tusk, but it is pretty clear that once the YDB event happened and cleared the forests. The opportunistic survivors of both Man and Bison began a co-evolution arms race that altered the biology of the North American continent.

  59. I’m just a little more then cautious over this “they evolved”. I don’t think the animals got together and said something like “hey guys and gals lets do this instead”. This argument “for protection”, I think, is invalid also. What better way to get “meat”, then to stampede a herd over a series of ditches you have dug. I figure all you need is about 5 buffalo to get trampled in the ditch with broken legs. The hard part is done. Stanford and Day and Flannery are working very hard at finding out what happened in this time frame. They are also bucking the paradigm. Since most of this was in the Plains area, no one seems to be talking about the use of “fire”. Upwind, this was a very deadly tool the ancients used. Listed at the end is a link to the different “cats” that lived in this time frame. All of them were bad news to the little human. These cats also hunted “single” game. So to say “the humans did it”, I think is not right. If you were a single animal, what would you be afraid of — a couple of humans running around with clovis points or any of the below (#6, #5, #3 or #1). ALL of these cats weighed in at over 1000 lbs.

    The question of turtles — I know people in the southeast, and yes, they still eat turtle. Its free. They also do that fishing in the Mississippi over those really big catfish. Its also free. Point being — to base ALL of the research on a bunch of elephants is just so far out of line. Is there one here who is willing to say that the elephants didn’t get caught in an animal trap — get their legs broke — and then the ancients just walked up and helped themselves. A person must remember, if they did go after the elephants, what else was also trying to help themselves to the rather big feast. I have a few suggestions.

    1) dire wolves
    2) saber tooth tigers
    3) short face bears
    4) other bears


  60. David,

    Ever hear of the term “Sod Buster?”

    North American grass plains required horse, oxen and steam tractor pulled steel plows in the 1860’s to 1890’s to “Bust sod” for planting, before the frontier closed.

    Early on it took steel shovels and pick axes to get plows bitten enough into the soil for the available draft animals to do their job.

    Steel tools are a little short for grass land trenching in the paleolithic.

  61. One of the features of the Gault find that interests me is the indication of the use of stone tools to cut lots of grasss.

    The site I linked to mentioned ssaid the following:

    “But at Gault, use-wear studies are already finding evidence of a wide range of contact materials including the stunning example of the Clovis blade with the highly developed use-wear signature of grass cutting. While grass-cutting may not have been for food (the tall grasses of the Black Prairie are ideally suited for thatching and bedding), it is another indication of the diversity of behaviors that are being documented at the Gault site.”

    The thing I find short sighted is the lack of mention of cloths or textiles, which was the first thing that struck me when they mentioned grass cutting.

    Clovis cached food and other objects.

    Where were the woven grass baskets, gords or other containers to move them?

    Where are the cloths and other textiles that would have gone with them?

    Wikipedia’s article on the history of clothing textiles shows dyed flax fibers have been found in a prehistoric cave in the Republic of Georgia and date back to 36,000 before the present and The earliest evidence of weaving comes from impressions of textiles and basketry and nets on little pieces of hard clay, dating from 27,000 years ago and found in Dolni Vestonice in the Czech Republic.

    Most interesting of all is the fact that the body Louse genetically diverged from the head loust 107,000 years ago.

    The body louse only lives in the cloths of human beings.



    I see no reason that Clovis culture could not have nets, belts, baskets and clothing made from or stiched together with woven grass fibers.

  62. Trent,
    Are you saying that, at Gault, the classic overshot struck, base fluted Clovis point, was used for cutting grass? Huh, that’s very interesting. One would think that task would be filled by the ever present crescent. In fact, I was quite surprised that the crescent was used a diagnostic indicator for a Clovis presence, seeing as how they are a decidedly western stemmed tradition tool, and have been found in association with wetland habitations, in the great basin and California.
    In those areas crescents were used to harvest sedges and tules, for both fiber and food.
    But not all crescents are sickles, some are far too delicate and have features that would make them hard to use in this fashion. The butterfly pattern, in my opinion since I used a point that looked just like that , is for hunting waterfowl, particularly birds that flock.
    I agree with you whole heartedly on the subject of textiles, baskets and matting. I’ve been trying to find the reference to the finding of a spindle whorl like object at a solutrean or gravettian site. And don’t forget the use of hair to make cordage or fabric, and I belive that very large and delicate points found are, in some cases, razors for shaving hair from game animals.
    I’ve also read of a site in Spain or France that had several hundred feet of rope made from human hair, the site is coastal and may have had some association with fishing.
    I also wish I could find the quote, but I have read in some paper, that at the turn from paleo to the archaic period there are two distinctly “traditions” in north America.
    One makes bark cloth , matts baskets, and wore woven fiber sandals, the other used animal hide for bags ,tents and moccosins.
    The hide users, whom are found for the most part in the plains and eastern US are descended from classic Clovis, while the basketmakers are derived from the western stemmed tradition.
    I believe that those divergent cultures met up here in central California, and gave rise to the chumash and yokuts people.
    The western most Clovis site, farpoint at Malibu, is directly under the oldest known chumash site, and the yokuts have the diverse language of all north Americans, more than thirty different languages within a couple of days walk in a terrain that has no natural barriers to movement.
    And unique among central cal Indians the yokuts wore hide moccasins.

  63. >>Are you saying that, at Gault, the classic overshot struck,
    >>base fluted Clovis point, was used for cutting grass?

    At the risk of being a bit pedantic, _I’m_ not saying that.

    The objective evidence in the form of the wear usage found on a Clovis blade unearthed at Gault, Texas is.

  64. Trent –

    I agree about the textiles. Clovis has the same weakness that all anthropology and archaeology have – they can only study what has survived the millennia. That so much is extrapolated (speculated/conjectured) bugs the hell out of me. I think they feel they HAVE to come to conclusions, even without adequate evidence, so they come up with some doozies.

    Yes, grasses are as likely to have been used for weaving as for eating. WHY they mention “thatching” but don’t also mention clothing or baskets is ludicrous. The tech is the same to thatch as to weave. And the SIZE of grass stalks would normally be much more conducive to smaller weaves – meaning baskets and at least rough clothing.

    Hell, at 13,500ya weaving should have reached every corner of Asia, so if nothing else, the First Americans should have brought that with them. It didn’t have to be reinvented in the Americas.

  65. Steve,

    We have genetic evidence from a human parisite — the body louse — which only lives in human cloths, that it has done so for 107,000 years.

    This sure as heck beats tree rings and ice cores in terms of evidence of when humans had a particular techology.

    So why can’t the anthropology and archaeology communities see objective evidence staying them in the face?

  66. Trent and Steve,
    With regards to textiles and clothing, if the current paradigm of the colonization of the new world is correct, then one would think that said colonizers would all have the same cultural kit as those of the home populations.
    So, why is then that certain new world groups, widely separated on three continents, never developed clothing beyond rudimentary skin garments, such as strips of small animal fur knotted together to form a sort of blanket, never developed shelter beyond a crude brush wind break even in the harsh conditions of Patagonia or Tierra de fuego.
    Or in these same areas certain groups never developed lithic technologies past simple pebble tools, even though their erstwhile old world ancestors had very advanced tool making skills.
    Also when one looks at the skeletal morphologies of these same groups, they are widely characterised as “archaic”.
    Could it be these people might have not been AMH, but maybe were Hsn, or even HH.
    There are other tantilizing clues that show it may be the case.
    One is the fact that native north Americans have the highest level of Hsn DNA among modern populations.
    Hsn was blood type O, and blood type O is predominate among native north Americans.
    Recent studies have shown that native Americans (modern Mexicans) inherited diabetes from Neanderthal.
    Also these very primative groups were also language isolates

  67. Cevin Q,

    The Aztecs had woven/quilted cotton armor. The Aztecs, Mayas and Inca all traded high end dyed cotton textiles — better than much found in contemporary Europe — as currency.



    Peoples and cultures have natural rises and falls based on climate, disease and human warfare.

    We have no idea of the textiles of the corn growing and mound building cultures of the Mississippi Valley Indians had because of the half dozen highly communicable diseases Hernando De Soto’s search for the fountain of youth brought to them _simultaneously_.

    That and the wonton destruction of the few remaining mounds by early so-called archaeologists looking for the lost tribes of Israel.

    See also Easter Island.

    As for this —

    So, why is then that certain new world groups, widely separated on three continents, never developed clothing beyond rudimentary skin garments, such as strips of small animal fur knotted together to form a sort of blanket, never developed shelter beyond a crude brush wind break even in the harsh conditions of Patagonia or Tierra de fuego.

    You have studied the tropical tribes in the Philippines, Yes?

    The traditional costumes of the Tagbanwa were fashioned from the bark of trees, beaten pulpy and dried, even up to modern times.

    A lot of peoples just don’t change unless forced to by events.

  68. Trent,
    What i was getting at, is that while they were doing their thing, other groups in the Americas were roughly at the same level. And throughout the Americas you can see the progression of development through time. Like from pre Clovis to Clovis to Folsom and so on.
    But there are a handful of groups, in the new world, that are particularly archaic, in both culture and physiology. It’s almost as if their ancestors had been here before certain aspects of cultural modernity arose.
    Basically what I’m trying to say is, there is food evidence that an archaic homonin, such as Neanderthals or homo Heidelbergensis, or maybe even homo erectus made it here long before, or maybe anatomically modern but not culturally modern humans.
    The divergence of the basal male lineage, has been pushed back to 200+k years ago, and depending on which mutation rate one uses it could go back to almost 300k. That give plentyof time to make it to the new world.
    And I’m actually part phillipino, so I am somewhat familiar. I used to watch my aunts make brooms and weave mats.
    Bark cloth has been used by untold numbers of groups, around the world. The ancient people of central cal made a woven bark cloth and 8000 years later it was still made the same way in the same places.

  69. Steve,
    Ive just finished read your Clovis post, on the feet2the fire blog, and I’ve got a couple of comments that pertain here.
    On the apparent correlation between ancient sites and modern ones, there absolutely a correlation, but it’s not due to any percieved preference due to climate, terrain, game or other needs, except for water
    The finding of sites is correlated to the activities of modern man, ie , agriculture and construction.
    Therefore Clovis sites tend to cluster near modern habitations, as that is where roads are being dug or fields plowed, and really has nothing to due with historic population distributions.
    Just read a paper on that last night, fascinating stuff.

    As far as the lack of sites in Appalachia, socio-economic factors likely play a role. Factors such as coal mining and the construction of the Tennessee valley project, which inundated the best candidates for early sites. The very same thing happened in California, with the gold rush and the massive hydrology projects that have dammed every river in the state.
    Where gold occurs happens to be in the most desirable zone for living, so most of Californias early history was ground up and washed away with the gold rush.
    When this area was first heavily settled in the 1870’s, there are accounts of local ranchers finding dozens if not hundreds of Indian remains, wrapped in mats or barkcloth, tucked away in the low caves of the river bluffs. They stacked them like cord wood and burned them, since cremation was the tradtional method for their yokut ranch hands.

  70. I’ve spent a lot of time searching for and hiking along the old indian tails that follow many of the creeks and streams of the Seirra Nevada in California.

    The local Indians were hunter-gathers who lived like snowbirds. They migrated up into the mountains in the spring, and summer, and wintered in lower the elevations in the foothills. Much acheological evidence of their time here may have been erased in many places. But the mortor holes in the rocks where they camped, and prepared food give ample evidence that not all of the old indian sites have been molested.

  71. we also must not forget what the Inca’s used for their “bridges” —- grass

  72. David,
    Yes they did, and the modern Andean people still do.
    I imagine you’ve seen that Nat geo doc. on the bridge building. If not and for those that are unaware, a film crew was in a remote mtn village and were told that a new bridge was going to be built across a canyon. The span was a few hundred feet and several hundred to canyon floor, and was a three rope suspension design, two upper ropes and a single lower treadway rope. The main ropes were maybe 3″ in diameter and the suspension ropes 1″.
    People from several villages showed up on the appointed day, and the women and children started cutting grass and weaving rope, while the men dug out the abutments and made anchor stones. It took about a week to weave the rope. They used a bow and arrow to shoot a small line across the canyon and hauled the main ropes across. When all three were properly tensioned and anchored , the sketchy part started, tying off the suspension cords to the main ropes.
    It was an amazing process. I believe the bridges last a decade
    or so.

  73. Oh Boy, does this put Archaeologists preconceptions on parade —


    Jadeite is a very hard and durable material. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, where the maximum hardness is number 10.0 for a diamond, a steel knife blade has the hardness of 5.0; jadeite has a hardness number of 6.5 to 7.0. The Mohs scale indicates that the jadeite material from which Maya tools were fabricated is harder than iron or steel. Thus, the Maya tool making technology elevated the society out of the “Stone Age” and beyond the “Iron Age.”

    Examples of jadeite tools are not found in royal tombs. These tools belonged to the artisans and not the elite and they would have been passed down through families of artisans as would the techniques for producing them. They will not be found by archaeologists in contexts similar to other artifacts because they were not used or prized by the Maya elite.

    I wonder where else this “jadeite” is found and whether Archaeologists bothered to look for tools made of it.

  74. this is one of the reasons I have “quit” other sites. They absolutely refuse to acknowledge things like this. My thinking has always been — “if it doesn’t fit, then maybe its wrong”.

    Case in point, your post regarding “jadeite”. So what did the Maya’s use to “shape” these tools. If they refuse to answer, its simple, — they are “discredited”. No way around it. I refuse, as a layman, to accept a non-response to a fair question and still be required to accept the credentials of this person. And don’t go cherry picking on me. When O’Kon first came out with this research, he was just plain trashed, made fun of, the list is endless of what they did to him. Sound familiar.
    Also, read up on Chris Dunn and his work about “Megalithic Precision at Sacsayhuaman”,
    “Ancient stonework next to more recent repairs on the Pasaje Ahuacpinta”.

    Maybe I’ll have enough money to go one of his tours. Isn’t it hilarious that “established” archaeologists and historians don’t touch these tours with a 10′ pole. So tell me exactly — how did they 1) cut the stone, 2) move the stone, 3) fit the stone, 3) alignment of the stone, and 4) how, when and why was the site destroyed.

    I think the meteor that destroyed the Northern hemisphere and something to do with this. AND if I win the lottery and have millions and millions, I will be funding a whole of research on this stuff.


  75. Trent,
    Man, did you just open a giant can o worms..

    “The discovery of a 3,300-year-old tool has led researchers to the rediscovery of a “lost” 20th-century manuscript and a “geochemically extraordinary” bit of earth.

    Discovered on Emirau Island in the Bismark Archipelago (a group of islands off the coast of New Guinea), the 2-inch (5-centimeters) stone tool was probably used to carve, or gouge, wood. It seems to have fallen from a stilted house, landing in a tangle of coral reef that was eventually covered over by shifting sands.

    The jade gouge may have been crafted by the Lapita people, who appeared in the western Pacific around 3,300 years ago, then spread across the Pacific to Samoa over a couple hundred years, and from there formed the ancestral population of the people we know as Polynesians, according to the researchers.”

    “The jadeite in the rock is different from the jadeite jades found in Japan and Korea at the time. It’s missing certain elements and has more-than-expected amounts of others; the stone came from another geological source, but the researchers aren’t sure where. The only chemical match the researchers knew of was a site in Baja California Sur, Mexico.”

    It’s actually two cans o worms, the first is how did a piece of Mexican jadite end up in a lapita settlement in PNG.
    Second can of worms is that the compendium of evidence clearly shows that the lapita were not the ancestors of polynesians, they did contribute to modern polynesians as the polynesians moved west into eastern Polynesia.
    One interestng thing, dusting the neo/meso lithic, ground adzes or axes, made from jadite and other stone, appear in the record. Mostly the implements were associated with a newly established elite class. They show up in PNG with the lapita, in the gulf coast of NA, in the area that would be known as poverty point, and they show up in Europe as well.

  76. David,
    They jadeite was ground, to shape it as it easy that through percussion flaking and doesn’t take the same skills. I find it fascinating that after more than a million years of chipped/flaked stone tool Mfg, ground tools show up all over the world during the holocene.

  77. >>So what did the Maya’s use to “shape” these tools. If they refuse to answer,
    >>its simple, — they are “discredited”. No way around it.


    That they cannot think of the answer to that question means they don’t want to.

    The answer is simple, other Jadeite. Artisans spending time to do that grinding and passing both the tools and the secrets to make more tools down to their family line.

    >>…the first is how did a piece of Mexican jadite end up in a lapita
    >>settlement in PNG.

    The answer here is maritime trade and travel.

    The trees of the Paleolithic were a lot bigger. If you have fire, Jadeite axes and/or gouges, plus giant redwoods. You can have small ship sized canoes.

  78. CevinQ:On the apparent correlation between ancient sites and modern ones, there absolutely a correlation, but it’s not due to any percieved preference due to climate, terrain, game or other needs, except for water
    The finding of sites is correlated to the activities of modern man, ie , agriculture and construction.
    Therefore Clovis sites tend to cluster near modern habitations, as that is where roads are being dug or fields plowed, and really has nothing to due with historic population distributions.
    Just read a paper on that last night, fascinating stuff.

    I guess the first point would be to ask for a link to that paper.

    Then, I’d suggest that there are as high of density of roadways and farms north of the SE zone shown in the maps on my site. Ergo, I don’t know if the map and that guy’s point about modern habitations, etc. applies at all. Yes, they get less dense out past the Mississippi River. MANY an artifact was found north of the Ohio River having to do, for example, with Indian mounds and “clay tablets” with weird writing on them – on up into NY State where Joseph Smith found the Mormon tablets. (And let’s not go off on that tangent if we can avoid, it! LOL) Even bones of giants were found there – by the same groups of people this paper seems to point at.

    I don’t see any reason that there should be that sharp demarcation on the map toward the north. The SE does not have any monopoly on farms and human habitations and road construction.

    From what you’ve presented of their paper and findings, this evidence seems to have a disconnect with reality. Fly over those states sometime in the Midwest and Northeast and you will see that the farm density is quite high. Human habitation even more so – the population density north of the Mason-Dixon Line (the approximate line of demarcation) is generally higher than it is south of it.

    CevinQ:As far as the lack of sites in Appalachia, socio-economic factors likely play a role. Factors such as coal mining and the construction of the Tennessee valley project, which inundated the best candidates for early sites.

    Color me confused. I look at the maps and do not SEE any “lack of sites in Appalachia.” Appalachia runs down into Georgia, and Georgia is quite a bit less prosperous than most of the states north of it – especially rural Georgia being a really, really backward and poor area. And yet, lots of sites are in Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas. I also do not see any lack of sites in the Tennessee River valley. I see a GREATER concentration in those areas. I do agree that dammed up areas are lost to us for a long time to come. But at the same time, the dams only take up so many linear miles of river bank. The remaining ones should allow for some extrapolation of density up and down the river banks, if one wanted to do that.

    DO please post that link for that paper, could you?

  79. The jadeite discussion got me to thinking of Chris Dunn, and there David goes and mentions Chris by name and with links.

    Copper has a Mohs hardness of 2-1/2 to 3. The Egyptians used diorite and other quartz extensively, and they all have a hardness of 7, slightly above jadeite.

    Chris Dunn used to lecture about the arkies’ fantasy about ancient Egyptians using copper chisels, and he would BRING a copper chisel and a piece of granite and pass them around. With a hammer, no less. He’d ask people to take the copper chisel and make ANY kind of a mark on the granite, if they could. What happened? Of course, the tip of the copper chisel mushroomed. The granite? Not a mark on it.

    Chris also posted that EXACT image of the laser-cut granite on his Facebook page for a while. (Maybe 3-4 years ago, I am thinking…) He had tested the idea, and he found it exactly as that photo shows. He posted it to show how utterly UNLIKE laser cuts are from diamond cuts or ANYTHING EVER FOUND IN EGYPT. He effectively ruled out laser cutting of stone in Egypt for all time. The photo DOES represent exactly what a laser does – it melts and turns the granite into a slag-like mess – nothing like the smooth and EXTREMELY FLAT surfaces that are found all over Egyptian sites. Some VERY hard-headed people came on that Facebook page and tried to shove the idea down Chris’ throat that YES, lasers (and mirrors) can cut granite and do a nice job of it. They were wrong. Chris had a video about it, too, and folks, lasers were NOT used to cut stone in ancient Egypt. I was part of the discussion on Chris’ side. Even with the proof right there in front of them, they denied the evidence of their own eyes. Mirrors – using light energy, would do the same thing, make slag. Those people were so insistent – in spite of being 100% wrong – that Chris closed down that entire Facebook page. There really ARE some idiots out in the world – some of them not even called archaeologists.

    Hahaha. . . The other Chris Dunn link (/technotour.html) if you scroll down shows what they call “H-blocks” at Puma Punku site in Bolivia (at Tiahunaco). Chris had THOSE on his Facebook page, too, and there were a LOT of speculations about how THOSE were made! These kinds of mysteries can rally separate the sloppy thinkers from the solid thinkers, I have to say. . .LOL

    And one last thing, while I am talking about Chris. Brien Foerster is shown on that tour brochure/site heading. Brien is a wannabe ancient mystery guy. He latched onto Chris and David Hatcher Childress before either one of them could figure out that he was a total lightweight. Chris has confided in me that he will never do anything with Foerster again. Foerster basically has nothing to contribute. At all. If you trust me on anything, trust me on this one… Brien IMHO is kind of a numb nut.

    So, if you want to go on one of those tours, go on one with Chris Dunn. Those are the best. David’s are good, too – but Chris knows his stuff better. You WILL learn from him. I actually helped David this spring with a tour here in Mexico and toured with them as a kind of guide myself – but I do not consider myself any sort of expert. Just well-informed and always curious and helpful.

    Chris Dunn is NOT an alternative researcher. Chris is a top flight engineer AND master machinist who is studying those past artifacts from the point of view of engineering. That is an avenue archaeologists so far are incapable of following. His approach is hard science. The arkies’ is not.

  80. It appears that there is a unique trapped gas signature for the impact between Earth and the Object that formed the Moon.

    There implications in that for fingerprinting continental drift.

    Part of infant Earth survived moon’s shocking birth

    10 June 2014 by Marcus Woo


    Xenon clock

    The team argues that the energy of the impact was not evenly distributed. The side that was struck by Theia melted, releasing trapped gases in a way that created the imbalance. Meanwhile, the rocky part of the planet far from the collision held on to its specific mix of gases. Over time, that rock spread out and formed its own layer within the mantle.

    “We think that the observations we have made provide some of the cleanest evidence that the Earth didn’t completely melt,” says Mukhopadhyay. He described the results at the Goldschmidt 2014 conference in Sacramento, California, this week.

    The team also saw differences in the mix of xenon-129 and xenon-130 in the layers. The deep mantle has a lower ratio than that seen in the shallower mid-ocean ridges. Because xenon-129 comes from the radioactive decay of iodine-129, its presence and abundance can be used like a time stamp of rock formation.

    The xenon signature suggests that the deep mantle separated from the shallower layer about 4.45 billion years ago, providing a window into the early stages of Earth’s formation. “That is really exciting, because we can now probe these different stages,” says Mukhopadhyay.

  81. General Comment on recent comments:

    It is very good to be bringing up all of these “side issues.” The ones the arkies ignore and hope will just go the hell away.

    This particular thread may not be THE place for them, but we really don’t have any better threads to submit them under, so I hope George doesn’t get mad that we go off on tangents a bit.

  82. [that Chris closed down that entire Facebook page]

    I’m convinced that is their purpose. They are being paid or something to do nothing but trash real cutting edge science in trying to solve the ancients. They do not want it solved.

  83. Steve,
    I have tried to find that paper on Clovis site distribution, haven’t yet, but did run across this,

    “There are 41 known localities containing mammoth remains from the Colorado Plateau: 24 in Arizona, 12 in Utah, 3 in New Mexico, and 2 in Colorado. Of the 41 localities, 13 (32%; Arizona and Utah only) have yielded radiometric dates (14C and U/Th); 10 (77%) of these have been the result of our investigations. The four youngest radiocarbon dates produce a weighted average date of approximately 11,270 ±65 yr B.P., the youngest directly aged mammoth remains on the Colorado Plateau. Mammoth remains are recovered predominantly in alluvial regimes, in addition to alcove, cave, and spring deposits. No direct association of Mammuthus and the Clovis hunters has been reported from the Colorado Plateau. Dietary intake, recorded in dung remains, included predominantly graminoids, in addition to various woody shrubs and trees that currently grow at higher elevations on the Colorado Plateau.”

    I was sure that there were kill sites in that region,
    then again, it wasn’t Clovis that occupied the region.

    My bad about the gap in sites, I was flipping between pages and was looking at the map for mammoth/mastadon sites, and there is a gap in the what looks like the tennese valley area. I could see the terrain limiting those species.

  84. CevinQ –

    That map for Clovis sites 13,000 cal BP came from http://pidba.utk.edu/maps.htm, The Paleoindian Database of the Americas. Out of the University of Tennessee Knoxville.

    The map is at http://web.utk.edu/~dander19/clovis_continent_647kb.jpg

    Oh, boy… If you care to look at this map of Folsom points from 12,000 cal BP (at http://web.utk.edu/~dander19/folsom_continent_580kb.jpg)

    NOTHING I have seen illustrates that Clovis was completely gone as much as this particular map.

    Why? Look at the map of 13,000 ca BP vs the 12,000 cal BP map. All those Clovis points in the SE USA at 13,000 ca BP, and essentially NOTHING at 12,000.

    Folsom shows up where the mammoth kill sites were (whatever that means, since the dates are all wrong).

    And 1,000 years after Clovis was all over the SE USA, not only are there no Clovis points there, but no Folsom points, either.

    As Firestone said, Clovis disappears from the planet at 12,800 ya. Right when the mammoths and megafauna do, too.

    WTF are the arkies THINKING? They call Clovis the mammoth exterminators, but they can’t even SEE that Clovis themselves didn’t outlast the mammoths?

    In all my born days, I’ve never held arkies and anthros ins much low esteem as at this minute. Whatever they are doing, it isn’t science. And especially the ones who missed THAT.

    And since the Folsom sites are in the very region pretty much 100% overlap) as the mammoth sites, the real question has to be how mammoths in that area died 1,000 years earlier.

    In trying to come up with some scenario in which all of that fits into, the first thing that comes to mind is this:
    Perhaps a FEW mammoths and Clovis hunters survived while wandering out west and then desperate Clovis hunters killed the last remaining megafauna off after running out of all other food sources out in what would be known as the Great American Desert? (Desperation could explain why anyone would hunt something as big and dangerous as mammoths and sabre toothed tigers. I’ve never understood why anyone would do such a stupid thing – with tons of meat that could not be eaten before it went rotten.)

    Why is Folsom out west when Clovis was back east? Was something different in the landscape?


    That E-W demarcation line for Clovis also needs some explaining.

  85. Since the Overkill hypothesis is based on sites that have both mammoth bones and Clovis points, should we ask if the reverse is true?

    A = Mammoths
    B = Clovis points

    If A and B are found together, and then subsequently A and B are then found to no longer exist, WHY is it assumed that B exterminated A? Why couldn’t A have exterminated B?

    To hear the tree huggers tell it, it is because: HUMANS ARE EVIL, AND MAMMOTHS WERE JUST HUGGABLE ANIMALS MINDING THEIR OWN BUSINESS. (S-l-i-d-e to the far end of the bench. . . )

    As the kid said in Kindergarten Cop – “It could have been a tumor.”

    To which Ahnold the anthro would replay, “It wasn’t a toomah!!!”

    Alternatively, of course, it could have been aliens.

  86. ROFL… Imaginining mammoths killing off Clovis dudes is pretty funny.

    Maybe the starving and delusional mammoths out in the Great American Desert saw Clovis hunters as mirages of trees and ate them. And maybe that is why there are not Clovis bones remaining, even though mammoth bones made it in the same environment.

    As to Clovis points found in mammoth ribs – maybe the Clovis hunters fought back! I would if some big a** herbivore looked at me like I was an elm tree. /snarc

  87. >>It is very good to be bringing up all of these “side issues.” The
    >>ones the arkies ignore and hope will just go the hell away.
    >>This particular thread may not be THE place for them, but we really
    >>don’t have any better threads to submit them under, so I hope George
    >>doesn’t get mad that we go off on tangents a bit.

    Steve Garcia,

    There are three “side issues” that seem hopelessly entangled with the Tusk on a quantum level —

    1. Impact science — Specifically resistance to the concept of human history era impacts. Google maps and cellphone camera video are proving hugely subversive here.

    2, Anthropology and Archaeology — Clovis specifically and these communities dominance by the personality politics causing resistance to change. Hard engineers and internet video/pictures are proving hugely subversive here.

    4. Gradualism vs Catastrophism — which underlines 1 & 2 above.

    George Howard’s choice is how to develop his site in light of that. Having posts that serve as lightning rod for “side issues” or letting “Topic drift” happen is his editorial decision.

    Letting things flow works, as long as we all play nice.

    Playing topic cop sucks, both observations are from my experience.

  88. >>That E-W demarcation line for Clovis also needs some explaining.

    Steve Garcia,

    Try — “Catastrophic Flooding,” Repeated Catastrophic Flooding.

    Assuming the Tusk destroyed a large part of the North American glacial plate, you are looking at a huge pulse of flood water down the entire Hudson and Mississippi River valley systems that will also back up from the Mississippi into the Tennessee River in a matter of hours to days.

    After that you will have a huge number of temporary ice damns from the initial tusk flood that will send further additional pulses of flooding down the same river systems at irregular intervals for literally decades afterward.

    If the Folsom culture included Clovis survivors, the tales of the sky gods anger with those living east of the Mississippi would certainly make the West appeal to Folsom peoples.

    The scab lands created by those floods would be covered by the extended glaciers in the North and 10K years of alluvial deposits south of the furthest glacial advance.

    This scenario should be verifiable via finding a layer lot of boulders buried under deep layers of Mississippi alluvial deposits at some point south of the furthest glacier line.

    Assuming anyone bothered to look for it.

  89. Trent –

    More or less in the order you spoke of them…

    (You had a few typos I found amusing, btw…)

    I like your 3 “side issues” list. It sounds about right. And the “topic cop” point is well made. I agree. And George IS letting us run with it. AND, yes, we are being civilized. And all the side topics are pertinent, too, and I am sure he sees that. The tentacles may not even stop at those three, but those are the main ones.

    The pulse down the Mississippi – Actually, the geologists have long since been looking into the OPPOSITE – a surge out the St Lawrence, due to Broeker’s hypothesized oceanic conveyor shutdown. That surge was supposed to DIVERT water AWAY from the Mississippi. In the end, as pointed out by our Rod Chilton and others, that St Lawrence surge was found to have never happened – in spite of a measurable change in the effluent out of the mouth of the Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico. I honestly can’t recall which way the measurements went – up or down – but there WAS a change at the YDB. Check into that if you want to.

    Scablands? On the Mississippi? While it seems possible, I have not run across any mention of such. At the same time, I am a Mississippi River boy to some extent – grew up less than a mile from the river. I know that there are high bluffs on either side of the river, some miles from the current shore. These exist at many places along the river’s course, in some places called “palisades.”

    Those COULD, if looked at from a catastrophist’s POV, be viewed as remnants of a scabland-type surge. It might be worth considering. The mainstream – gradualist – POV is that those bluffs represent millions of years of gradual erosion – and the width of the valley simply the remnant of the meandering of the river between the bluffs for all that time. While their view makes sense from their POV, that may not be correct, after all.

    Speculating here, but a scabland-type surge down that valley would look VERY different from what is found out west, IMHO. In the west it scoured a desolate and mostly dry environment. That is the opposite of the Mississippi River valley, where erosion would be hundreds or thousands of times greater. Such erosion would erase most or all lower elevation evidence. Only higher-up evidence would remain – and even that subject to substantial rainfall over millennia. Rainfall and annual FLOODS. The river doesn’t have many floods anymore, due to the Core of Engineers and their efforts to tame the river. But look up the history of the river, and you will find that the floods were quite severe and quite common until man stepped in. Several severe ones per decade was not unusual. Erasure of evidence was near total.

    As to backing up from the Mississippi to the Tennessee River, the Tennessee empties into the Ohio, not the Mississippi.

    As to ice dams, mostly I think they are given WAY too much press and that they were much less of a factor than we are led to believe. Lake Agassiz? Yeah. Lake Missoula? Yeah. Others? I’d need to see a lot of evidence to conclude that they existed. Even one of my favorites, the Kankakee Outflow, yes that happened. But why? I am still looking into that as a possible direct result of an ice sheet edge impact ice push instead of an ice dam break.

    The Folsom including some Clovis survivors was a new thought in that comment, but it does seem to make a bit of sense. After all, Folsom points also are fluted. That suggests continuity; it is NOT likely that Folsom reinvented fluted points on their own. Why not? It took humans hundreds of thousands of years to develop fluted points the first time. To have someone else come up with them completely independently only 1,000 years later is not possible.

    More speculation, but perhaps reasonable (and feeding off what you said) is that perhaps the Mississippi DID have scabland-like scouring floods at the YDB. Clovis hunters caught on the western side may have survived and gone up-river. This is shown in the maps, or could be an interpreted that way, hypothetically. It would be very interesting to see the dates from Clovis sites along the Arkansas River and Missouri River. I wonder if they lasted a BIT longer there than farther east. That possible remnant of Clovis could be the seed of Folsom. The Folsom points had flutes that extended most of the length of the blades, whereas Clovis had much shorter flutes. That could have begun as an accident (perhaps by an apprentice), but seen as one they liked and therefore kept.

    The utter LACK of Folsom east of the Mississippi except up north (and then not many) suggests that the wider river for most of its length was an impassable barrier, so they could not go in and repopulate. Looking at the Folsom 12,000 map, it seems entirely reasonable that the Folsom incursions east of the river happened at the uppermost forth and then began migrating south before petering out for unknown reasons.

    As to a layer of boulders under the Mississippi alluvial soil, there really aren’t many sources of boulders north of the Mississippi. The ice sheet was on the Canadian shield, and south of that is a LOT of gravel, with boulders relatively few and far between. The Canadian Shield is still pretty damned intact, so I wouldn’t see that itself as much of a source. The vast majority of the Mississippi basin is just dirt hills or dirt plains/prairies, a lot of it with gravel underneath.

    Could there have been boulders ripped off the bluff walls during a scabland event? Yeah, most likely. But nearly what is seen out west. IMHO.

  90. I guess I could ask — what is the definition of “desert” on this map — I thought that was major buffalo country and I don’t remember Lewis/Clark stating they went through “desert”. The date on that map doesn’t match the description.

    Maybe “desert” was more of a sagebrush environment but still the “short grass plain” was quite extensive.


  91. Steve Garcia,

    For the Tusk hypothosis to be of any use, it has to have certain logical predictions that can be proved out.

    A lot of water down the Missippi watershed would be one of them.

    So how would we find the evidence for that?

    “On to Vicksburg” has got to be a rallying cry for geologists who think the Tusk is real as well as for the Union Army in 1863.

  92. Steve Garcia,

    Go to this link:


    And look at the 1911 map of United States “moderate wetlands” and “swamp lands.” Specifically see the map above this text passage —

    “This graphic (above) depicts swamplands (black), and moderate wetlands (hatched areas), as they were surveyed in 1911 for the lower 48 continental United States. Note how the dense swampland distributions cling to the Mississippi river – and widen out, proportionally increasing with the gradual decrease in the elevation of the Mississippi River’s total course.”

    If you were looking for a route for a YDB event mega-flash flood, and associated ice damn back ups, it would look like that swampland routing on that 1911 map.

    In addition, you can almost draw a line between the Indiana Swap areas and the Ill. river swamp areas connecting to the Mississippii watershed as well.

    When you superimpose that 1911 map on your 12,000 (Folsom) and 13,000 BCE (Clovis) site distribution maps, the idea of flash flood killing jumps out at you.

    This is also useful from the end of the blog/link:

    So – in summary – here are the Rules Of Rivers.

    #1, Rivers always flow from higher to lower elevations.

    #2, Wetlands, swamps, and marshes are generally found in flood plains.

    #3, Floodplains are generally found where rivers are thickest, and where they branch out – and in the shallows of lakes closest to the shoreline.

    #4, Rivers are thickest – and branch out – in areas of uniform lower elevation in comparison to the surrounding terrain – typically in the lowest regions of valleys, or areas that are generally flat or depressed terrain.

    #5, Warm, humid areas will have more swamps and marshes than any other – irregardless of whether or not they (other areas) fulfill the prior criteria – due to greater rain fall.

    #6, There are really no set rules on where a river will begin or end – but generally the longest and widest rivers (like the Mississippi river, The Amazon River, The Brazos River, The Nile River, The Danube, etc.) – either start, end, or start AND end at delta spillways into larger lakes, seas, and oceans.

    #7, Most of your vegetation distributed on a given land mass will be associated with an adjoining body of water, i.e. Forests and swamps will be most numerous and dense along and around rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and coastal sea shores. Wetlands, Marshes, and Swamps are often found at the forking areas / branching origins of multiple river systems that connect or branch off of each other – and along / atop the shallowest areas of freshwater seas, lakes, and ponds in locations along shores that are nearest dry land.

    #8, Civilization LOVES water. Towns, cities, hamlets, villages, settlements, and camps will nearly ALWAYS be close to some kind of water source. Human civilization first began next to a river. The more geopolitical boundaries (political borders) a body of water intersects – the more settlements will be situated near it as a trade artery. The largest / longest body of water within any political division will have the highest concentration of civilized settlements (more accurately – POPULATION) within that division.

    I would add that _hunter-gathers_ also like rivers because getting food there is easier (See Clovis midden piles filled with turtle bones).

    In a post-YDB event mega-flash flood situation, where there is debris and ice damns in the small and large tributaries of the Mississippi. You would have years, or decades of irregular and large flash floods killing the hunter-gatherer Clovis tool using culture survivors the way that the multiple & repeat tsunamis and ashfalls of the Thera eruptions destroyed the Aegean Bronze Age Minoan civilization on Crete.

    Except in the Clovis case, they had far smaller reserves of human knowledge to draw upon than the Minoans, and they mostly went extinct…those who didn’t become part of the Folsom big game hunting culture west of the Mississippi.

  93. I want to make one point, Clovis did not go extinct. Theye were driven from their ancestral home range and travelled quite widely.
    Clovis shows up, hunting mammoths and everything else including fishing, in central cal, 600 yrs after the onset of the YD, curiously enough they occupy a camp that was abandoned by calfornians at the onset of the YD.
    They make it Malibu by 11k years ago, Mexico by 10k, points very similar to suwanni and Simpson points show up in central American and northern south America 10k years ago.

  94. Trent –

    To be honest, I wasn’t looking for a “YDB event mega-flash flood” myself, but now that it is brought up, yes, it would seem that something had to be happening with the Mississippi basin.

    Right now there is a mini-continental divide that I don’t think most people are aware of. Amazingly, it is very near the south edges of the Great Lakes – Michigan and Erie in particular. They did not have to dig very far to create a canal joining the Des Plaines River (which flows to the Mississippi) to Lake Michigan. The crests of the mini-divide is only about 5-10 miles in from the lake shore. Similarly, Lake Erie has a “berm” paralleling its south shore. That mini-divide is said to be comprised of moraines – gravel “piled up” at the southern extent of the ice sheets. At least in Illinois and SE Wisconsin; at the eastern end of Lake Erie it is mostly shale – completely different. But most of northern Ohio I believe is also a moraine. Not sure. The moraines are – perhaps by coincidence – much like your descriptions of swampy areas – boggy, etc. Chicago itself used to be a swampy area.

    As to the possible mega-flood down the Mississippi, I am open to it. I am not sold on it, but I am open to it. But the slope of the land is REALLY REALLY low in the upper Midwest. In fact, Illinois, though 1200 miles inland, is the third lowest state in the USA. The mega flood would NOT have had a lot of help from the terrain for its “push.” And we have to talk about Illinois if ew are talking a Great Lakes impact and a mega-flood down the Mississippi. But Illinois itself does NOT have much evidence of a big flood. Any flood would have spread out over the land as opposed to a gully washer down a valley. Chicago, near the headwaters, is about 850 feet elevation, and by water is about 1700 miles away from the Gulf. That comes to about 6 inches of slope per mile. So, A. The water out of an ice dam is going to spread out, and B. It is going to slow down, and C. It is going to take a long time to un-flood.

    Just like my point that ice sheets don’t move over flat ground, floods on flat land also don’t go much of anywhere. Floods in the Midwest are bad as much for their duration as for their crest heights.

    At the same time, yes, Vicksburg is on a bluff. Points along the river are like that. And I think it is worth considering that perhaps those bluffs got scoured out by a mega flood. It may not be LIKELY to have happened, but it might prove informative, at the least, to look into it. To come up with evidence for such a scenario, it would be necessary to find evidence others have found and interpreted other ways. Like this paper, which doesn’t mention carbon spherules, but the age and other features suggest strongly that the Brady soil is something that they don’t expect.


    FYI, as to #6 o the list, the Amazon has three sources. I’ve been to one of them, in Peru. #6 doesn’t fit. It was as small swampy area with a spring bubbling up. So it os one of the exceptions to the things outlined.

  95. Steve Garcia,

    Geology is not a constant.

    This mini-continental divide is a function of the farthest extent of the last glaciers to reach that far.

    If it is from the farthest extend after the YDB event, then necessarily glaciers were on top of the rock/boulders in the lowest areas of the mega-flash flood, aka where the moraines were deposited.

    So the geological question is what was the ground like before it was confounded by the post-YDB ice age?

  96. Steve Garcia,

    To put it another way, you have to look under the thickest moraines deposited by the last post-YDB event ice age to find evidence of the YDB event mega-flash flood because the moraines are where the most unit volume of water moved over time.

    That water volume is what deposited the moraines in the first instance.

  97. Ternt –

    If I follow you, you are saying that there should be two moraines – one from the LGM and the other from the YD stadial.

    Now I am going to throw something in, a repeat of things I’ve said before:

    Ice sheets, IMHO, cannot move over flat ground.

    If I am correct, then the idea that the moraines – that DO certainly exist – come from the ice front plowing ahead and carrying rocks and gravel with them until the ice behind can’t push them any farther, or until the ice starts to all melt back, all of that is interpreted wrong.

    I repeat: Ice on flat ground acts differently than ice in mountain valleys. Gravity is insufficient to overcome the friction and irregularities.

    Now, one question will be, then, “How did the ice get south into Illinois and Ohio and Indiana, if it didn’t flow there?”

    There are two possibilities.

    1.) What the pre-gradualists interpreted the evidence as:

    A mega-flood. Water can do ALL of the things assigned by Agassiz/Lyell gradualists to ice moving. It is all in the interpretation of the evidence. One paradigm gives one interpretation. The other one gives an entirely different interpretation.

    2.) The polar ice cap simply was farther south because the geographic pole was further south (in or around Hudson Bay).

    Like polar Antarctica, which is ice piled up on a continent, a north polar region ON Canada would build up an ice cap. The present North Pole cannot build up ice, because the ocean currents keep moving the winter’s ice elsewhere. Thus, the North Pole does not have an ice cap. But one over Hudson Bay would. And, I think, DID.

    I am not the first to think this. The geomagnetic evidence argues for polar movements – poles in different places. Because of the insistence that everything now is as it has been for millions upon millions of years, it is not allowed to interpret the geomagnetic evidence as anything but a wandering magnetic field.

    But that is only ONE interpretation of the evidence – the Uniformitarian one.

    As catastrophists, we need to look at these things as if Uniformitarianism is WRONG – and then understand that the Uniformitarian interpretations are WRONG. Perhaps ALL of them.

    Thus, we have to break out of THEIR box and think of all the ways things might be interpreted differently from a catastrophist’s point of view.

    And ice ages is one of them. It is based on glaciers flowing in the Alps. WTF does THAT have to do with what happened on FLAT southern Canada and FLAT northern USA?

    Isostasy? IMHO that is a figment of their imaginations. Continents move up and down all the time, over long periods of time. Just because right now Canada is moving up means that they are measuring it in the middle of an up-moving period. That makes it a little like global warming, in which temps are rising as we come out of the Little Ice Age 200 years ago. OF COURSE temps are rising! We are coming our of a freaking ice age, people! If it wasn’t getting warmer, we would still be IN the Little Ice Age.

    So, will we catastrophists be wrong on some of our interpretations? Probably, but SO WHAT? THEY are wrong about so much it is a joke.

    – – – –
    I don’t expect anybody to agree with me, but it would be nice to have someone who wanted to help look into it – as a possibility. If not, I will continue patiently observing new evidence that others find, to see how it fits.

    If I had a billionaire patron, I’d go getting the evidence myself – and give him all the credit.

  98. Steve Garcia,

    Moraines as the leading edge of a glacier are like the debris from a wave on a beach.

    Moraines from a megaflash flood would be like an arrowhead and shaft, followed by a build up of additional stone on the “arrow shaft” of flashflood route, because water and ice will flow that way.

    Over time, the “Arrow shaft” would not compress under the weight of the glacial ice anywhere near as much as the surrounding soil because that is where the stone and gravel are.

  99. Steve; I been catching up on my tusk reading. Was gone for a week hoping to be able to bale some hay except for the nonseasonal monsoonal rains. (Must be global warming) I read in a couple of the last postings about the flooding theories being presented her and thought about the relief maps I sent to youa while bac. The dam you’re referring to is the Valporasio Morraine and on the maps you can plainly see a washout between Chicago and say Gary Ind. going to the South Southwest. Did this happen before the Kankankee Torrent or after I don’t know. When looking at the map you also note a major outflow-alluvial fan on the west side of the state. What caused that? The Kankankee Torrent created the Illinois River Valley and then turned south aways above Peoria following the ancient Mississippi river bed. Also in my relief map perusings I have noticed that there flow markings that run from the approximate Lake Aggazzi region south through North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and extreme north eastern Missouri and then into the Mississippi Valley. The main stream thinking is that this doesn’t mean anything but they have been wrong once or twice I think. Steve I also sent you a pic and an article about the movement of continental glaciers and the author agreed with you that they don’t plow along but his idea and the pics supported his idea, is that the ice is not ridgid solid but more plasticene and flows like tar or honey just rolling over itself until it can no longer sustain it’s momentum. I agree that the morraines were formed when the ice sheets were broken up violently and pushed outwards thus gouging the earth and forming these ridges. I’m going to go back on those maps I have and try to draw lines from the edges of the morraines back to a common point and see what that produces. Wish me luck.

  100. Trent; I I don’t think your arrow and shaft idea is correct. I believe that it’s more like taking a sheet of ice and placing it over a couple feet of mud then taking a bowling ball and smashing the ice. The intial impact will send the shattered ice into the mud but the rebound effect will cause the ice to tip in the opposite dierction and push up the mud on the outside of the ice footprint. Also some of the mud from under the ice will be pushed to the outside of the footprint. This is kind of simplistic but hopefully will get the point out there.

  101. Trent and anybody else…

    I know that moraines are left behind at the leading edge of glaciers in mountain valleys. No one disputes those.

    I’d like someone to show me one place in the arctic where an ice sheet exists on flat ground RIGHT NOW, going all the way north that we can. They don’t exist. An ice sheet that can be shown to move is even less true. Even though it is much, much colder in the utter north of Siberia and the Yukon and Alaska than glaciers the top of the mountains in the Andes near the Equator, there are not any ice sheets anywhere; glaciers, though, exist ONLY in mountainous regions.

    In the far north there is permafrost, and that is the closest they get to ice sheets.

    There is a disconnect in people’s thinking, that ice sheets and glaciers are the same thing.

    Here is one for you: No one alive has ever seen an ice sheet. No one in the 350 year history of science has ever seen an ice sheet.

    In Antarctica? Those are glaciers, not ice sheets. They are in mountain valleys. Same thing in Greenland. They are in valleys, mountain valleys.

    Canada – where the ice sheets supposedly existed – is flat. PLEASE, all of you, this next bitter winter spray some water on your back lawns and put markers in the ice. Spray more water on every week, to make it thinker. Watch how much the ice does NOT move. Do it somewhere that has no grass, just rough ground. Watch how it does not move over bumps, nor slides across roughened ground. (I don’t think it will move over smooth flat ground, to be honest with you.)

    The Uniformitarians invoke a reality in the past which does not hold true in the present, contradicting their own dictum that “As in the present, so in the past.” They violate their own rules of science. Ice cannot move on flat ground. Period. How simple do I need to state it?

  102. Jim – If I am not mistaken, Trent is pointing out “chevrons” that are markers on beaches around the world that are thought to be markers of tsunamis. Those are arrow-shaped.

    Trent, am I understanding you correctly on that?

    Even though chevrons do exist, with a large enough mega-tsunami, they won’t exist. Look even at the Sumatran and Japanese tsunamis. The waves blow right over the beaches. The sand is completely scoured and carried inland with the other debris.

    I may be mistaken on this, but even with the scablands, there are no arrow-shaped “moraines”. The “slosh” from the flood overwhelms.

    I think it is a function of both the volume of water and the velocity. Glaciers have no velocity.

    Trent, when you equate water flow and ice flow, I don’t think you are correct. I don’t see it that way. Ice does not and cannot move rapidly, unless carried in a river or on top of rising water.

    (The ONLY exception I would make to that is that on at least one lake last winter (in Minnesota I believe) the ice in a lake expanded and pushed UP into people’s back yards.

    If someone wants to argue that the ice sheets in Canada were expanding from the cold as ice will do, that is another story altogether and not part of anyone’s ice sheet dynamics that I’ve ever heard of.)

    I seriously would like someone to show me one actual historical/scientific observation of an ice sheet at all, much less one moving over flat ground.

    From what I know from engineering, the friction and “mechanical” resistance to the flow are much more than the side thrust available. And I HAVE worked on projects where we had to take friction and roughness into account. Until a certain level of side vector thrust is reached, NO movement is possible. A surplus of side force must be applied.

    It is basic friction theory. And the Law of Inertia: An object at rest or in motion will remain at rest or in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. And the unbalanced force in a friction environment ALSO needs to exceed the “breakaway force” before motion can occur.

  103. Steve; I ran some lines outward from some of the side, center, and noticeable high points on the curves of the morraines. The Valpo morraine appears to converge out in lake Michigan. The lines from most of the Illinois Morraines converge back into Michigan leaning towards Saginaw Bay. The lines coming out from Indiana Morraines appear to converge back towards lake Erie or southern Lake Huron. All this was done with straight edge thrying to maintain a 90 degree angle from the target points. About the best I can do with a pencil, ruler and paper.

  104. Steve now that is Cool
    so it seems ice sheets are of the same thought family as ice loving mammoths.

    But people know there are Ice sheets and they see those all the time
    they form only over water.
    and they only float on water.
    they might be able to form on lakes kind of too..
    but no Ice is needed to make sand features.
    Now it is well known that any amount of moving water forms beaches way faster than glaciers.
    Could it be that is most likely why the creators of time like glaciers and use their “proof of glaciers” even on flat ground ?
    Maybe that is why they do not like not oceans where they do find water features…
    One very slow moving glacier creates lots of time.
    and very very very slow moving glaciers that are on flat ground would really make time!

    Because it seems water can do in a day what glaciers on flat land take ‘ millions and millions of years’ to do..

    Like I said before the truth is that sand features only proves water movement! not ice.
    But NOW water features can prove things , really LOTS and lots of things these so called “scientist ” won’t allow to be be true in anyones mind including their own.

  105. Jim,

    Orders of magnitude mean things.

    It wasn’t a bowling ball with ice.

    It was a hypervelocity impact that mostly vaporized the impactor, a fair part of the impact area and a great deal of the ice.

    The ground and steam condensed into very hot mud/water-rain that landed and melted more ice that mixed with the ground to make a mud flow of biblical proportions.

    Some of that mud flow went back into the impact crater taking ice on top of it. It was a lower area, after all.

    Most didn’t.

    That mud flow went down the Mississippi river valley system scouring deep beds and pulling huge amounts of ice and rock.

  106. With regards to chevrons, Steve, as I understand Abbots work chevrons form where the coastal topography permits, when the wave is big enough. The debris that’s scoured up by the wave front as it moves along the sea floor, and is being carried along in suspension with the wave front, drops out when the wave front reaches it’s maximum run-up.
    Jim, Trent,
    Both your ideas concerning an ice sheet impact are valid, it’s just a question of which direction you choose to go with the basic assumptions that have to be made.
    Assumption #1 composition of the impactor or impactors ,
    metallic, stony, c chondrites, water ice , ammonia, dust or any combination of the above.
    #2 objects velocity, is it an actual comet haullin a in at 75 k per sec , or a piece of orbital debris crawling in at 10k per sec. So either scenario could be valid and an almost infinite combination of those scenarios.
    Either way steam is going to be a big factor, and as that steam condenses it will rain out over a wide area. I’ve read some work that’s says it should it should start to snow out after a couple of days, depending on how much water is thrown up and how high.
    I know some posters here have a dim view on first nations accounts, but a very common motiff, across language families, is that the world burned, then there was the deluge and flood, then a period of cold and starvation.
    In the mythos of meso America the deluge comes in the form of resinous black rain, that sure sounds like the black matt deposits, and Wiess and Courtys, amorphous carbon layer in Syria at tel leilan.
    I assume that everyone has read Siefert and Lemkes paper on Akkad, it has a good model on what one might find in a shallow water/mud medium for smaller impactors.
    I think that the modeling for a pyroclastic flow or a lahare are closer to what one would find with the impacts being discussed here rather than flashfloods or glacial lake drains.

  107. Trent; When I read your post I didn’t realize you were talking about the sand chevrons from tsunamis and went in a differnt direction. My take on the ice impacts is that the ice was already in retreat and therefore in very poor condition. Now add to that an impact of even medium proportions and I believe, like you stated, that either a land hit or an airburst caused massive melt waters and debris lifting into the atmosphere. The super heated steam is like a laser cutting anything down in it’s path. Most everything would be vaporized by the impact heat blast or the steam blast. The ice itself would shatter like a car windshield over hundreds of square miles and be quite mobile when mixed with the enormous amounts of mud and water generated.This slurry would then be driven by the force of the impact and its own volume away from the ice out over dry land to be eventually funneled back into one of the major river valley complexes causing further erosion but later deposition. If there was more than one impact on the ice sheets that only compounds the situation. I live in an area that has “glacial” morraines and I have seen where consrtuction has cut through a morraine and they are not at all structured. There is no layering or anything sugesting they were pushed up into place over a great distance, just a homogeneous blend of clays, sands and some gravels. The low grounds that were scoured out are just a thin layer of soils and sands over the native bedrock (Limestone) If you get chance look up relief maps of Ill and Ind. Type in relief map Ill Or IND in you search box. One of the first selections is a conglomerate of maps look through them until you find the very detailed ones by Shutterbox. These give incredible detail and you will see the flow patterns and colored elevations. You’ll see alot of things you never thought were there.

  108. Gentlemen; Another brain f rt. As I was rereading Cosmic Billards post it occurred to me DAH!! Maybe when the ice sheets formed the sea levels were MUCH higher than now and the ice did indeed form over water. As the ice accumlated the available water level to make snow and ice fell stranding the ice on the continental land masses. The reflective qualities of the ice made melting a very slow process leaving the ice in place for millions? of years. As we are still in a glacial retreat age and world ice is melting we are seeing the sea levels rising. Eventually we should be back to square one and the next ice age begins over the Canadian ocean.

  109. Jim,

    To expand on a question I said earlier —

    “So the geological question is what was the ground like before it was confounded by the post-YDB ice age?”

    We know from the black mat it was a big extraterrestrial impact with a lot of energy. We can reasonable project that energy logically tuned a lot of ice sheet to water.

    Geological evidence shows that didn’t go down the St. Lawrence sea way.

    The only other likely route was the greater Mississippi river system.

    The North American geological questions regards the greater Mississippi river system based on that logical reasoning are the following:

    1. What was the ground like before the YDB event.
    2. What was the ground like after the YDB event.
    3. How do we determine 1 and 2 above given the confounding ice age and 11K(+) years of Mississippi flooding?

    Answering those questions are a reasonable test of the YDB impact hypothesis.

  110. Trent; Good point!! I believe that the Army corp of engineers should havce a supply of borings from various places up and down the Mississippi. It could be the answer is in the cores. The one problem being just where was the River when these events occurred. I believe tighter dating for the events is needed to facilitate core searches. One should expect to find evidence of continental burning in the mud samples, maybe not a black laayer but at least a higher rate of carbon traces. I know dilution is a pan in the butt. Even delta cores should have some stratification where dates can be correlated. I don’t know if spherols or nano-diamonds would have traveled with the flooding or would they have dropped out earlier in the settling process. Possibly looking at areas where 2 rivers have converged in the past would yeild results. Also looking at relief maps of the entire Mississippi valley region should show imagery of where the river has flowed in the past. I think looking in the sands areas south of Cape Geraurdo through Arkanas may be a possibly.??

  111. CevinQ –

    And when the wave is TOO BIG, what happens when the top of the run-up is above the top of the beach? Mega-tsunamis don’t piddle with running up on the sand. As the Tollman’s and Hills and Gota determined, there might be 200 meter run-ups in the case of an oceanic impact. We are talking halfway up many of the buildings on Manhattan. Where will the chevrons be? In someone’s condo bathroom? Do you even call it a run-up when it is up the sides of buildings to the 65th floor and knocks the building down and carries it three miles inland?

  112. CevinQ –

    I am probably the one here who has voiced the biggest problem with original peoples’ accounts, and I think my points have been taken wrong. I don’t think they aren’t correct. I simply think that academics pooh pooh them and that they don’t provide anything useful in the technical sense. To the academics those accounts are NOTHING. Not one academic will be swayed by them. To the academics the accounts are like she-said-he-said stories or like anecdotal evidence – worthless. I actually LIKE the accounts . I just see that they will never be persuasive. Not one iota. The academics see them as beneath them. It isn’t ME. It is them. You could furnish a million accounts, and it would men a damned thing to them.

    WHY? They see them as worse than hearsay. They see them ALWAYS as mis-transmitted myths. Not even worth the hair off their gonads. I am not joking. On a value range of 1 to 10, they assign them a minus 5.

    Dragging those accounts up doesn’t do ANY good. No matter HOW clear the account is.

    And then you take someone like Ed Grondine who takes the accounts and spins the translations anyway he wants to and it makes for ZERO contribution to the overall effort. If you take Ed’ (or any) translation and substitute synonyms for what the translator ended up with, you can get the accounts to say just about anything. The accounts AS TRANSLATED are VERY ambiguous. The fact that they talk of events in their own terms doesn’t help one iota. Then you take the translator’s mindset and throw that in and you have a lot of silly stuff, as far as the hard science goes. YES, the accounts sound clear as WE read the translation – but is the translation anywhere CLOSE to what the original intent was?

    I mean, Ed’s translation of some of the Chilam Balaam talks about one translator (out of dozens) who says that an alligator phrase means the Milky Way. Are we to take that as true? I myself would LOVE it if it meant the Milky Way, because I can take that and run with it and make all kinds of assertions about it. But am I being stupid in doing so?

    Then you have the problem of people translating who are not intimately connected with the culture. Does the translation mean what that guy says? I HAVE NO IDEA. It is impossible to assess.

    So we can’t take a translation into English and automatically think that it means what the translator says it means. Was the writer speaking metaphorically? Or literally? Who is to say? You? Me? I have no idea, and normally neither does anyone here.

    I DO think most of the time the original DOES mean things literally – but with inexact phrasing and names that the translator only guessed at, how do WE here at CT have any clue if it means what the translator says it means? Hell, even HE doesn’t have more than about 50-75% confidence that he got it right. So we cannot go around spouting translated passages as if we know what we are saying. Let’s be realistic.

    All of this may be not nice to say, but dammit, we are not linguists in almost-dead languages. So we are at the mercy of both vague terms (and we don’t know which ones) and translators who may or may not really understand what the passages say. And how do we KNOW the translator knows or doesn’t know? It is just the reality of those accounts. Ed brought one here that was translated by some yokel who spent a couple of years with a tribe. Doesn’t that mean the yokel knows the ins and outs of the language? Who the HELL knows?

    In other words, do NOT take them literally. But also don’t take them metaphorically. Please realize that we here don’t have the capacity to make a decent assessment of the meanings of any passages.

    It would be nice if we did, but we don’t.

  113. Trent –

    “We know from the black mat it was a big extraterrestrial impact with a lot of energy. We can reasonable project that energy logically tuned [sic] a lot of ice sheet to water.”

    NOT necessarily. Do not forget that the YD impact that is hypothesized came at the end of a 5,000 year period of warmth equal to today. What does that mean? We don’t know enough at this point to say, one way or another.

    “Geological evidence shows that didn’t go down the St. Lawrence sea way.”

    At this time that seems completely true.

    “The only other likely route was the greater Mississippi river system.”

    It depends a lot on what part of the ice sheet it hit on. Was it near the very edge? HOW THICK WAS THE EDGE? Do we know? NO. The CENTER of the ice sheet at the LGM was about 2 km. And where was the center? Up near the east side of Hudson Bay – at least 600 km away. But the LGM was at LEAST 8,000 years ago, 5,000 years before the YDB. The ice had been melting for 5,000 years.

    And do not minimize that number. 5,000 years is to us 2500 years before Aristotle. It is the current age of the oldest site in the Americas (that we know of) – Poverty Point.

    Just as the environment of Poverty Point is an unknown to you and me, those 5,000 years after the LGM made the world south of it warmer – but HOW MUCH warmer? How MUCH ice had melted? Was the face of the ice sheet like the calving face of glaciers in Antarctic – vertical and hundreds of feet high? Or was it like the edge of Alpine glaciers presently – that taper to zero thickness?

    Until we have SOME idea of the ice sheet parameters, we cannot go off half-cocked and says this or that about any impact. There may not have been much ice AT the impact site. Maybe enough to attenuate the impact itself, and maybe it DID melt some of the ice. Or maybe it threw all the ice to the Carolinas. How can we know? We can’t. But even if it did melt some, how can we say how much? Was it as bad as the spring thaws on the current Mississippi? Or 2 times as much? 5 times as much? 100 times as much? Do you know? I don’t.

    Trent, all that you say sounds reasonable – but is there any way to test it out? To verify it? If not, it is only a guess. No matter HOW reasonable it seems to you or others here.

    At the same time, I DO know that the scientists have written several papers on this, and THEY look at the Mississippi outflow into the Gulf of Mexico and look for a CUTOFF of the water to the Gulf – that when the Lake Agassiz ice dam broke, it diverted water AWAY from the Mississippi River, and they claim to have evidence in sediments that this is so – even though they don’t know where it was diverted TO. So, THEY see it 180° differently from what you say.

    So we don’t know which way the melting ice was flowing. And we don’t know HOW close to the ice sheet edge the impact was. To make any of this scientific, it would need to be quantifiable – able to have values assigned. PREFERABLY MEASURED VALUES.

    All this is too vague for us to talk in any certainties. We all can speak of our own assessments – but those are all estimates, and we need to keep that in perspective.

  114. Barry –

    Your link is great.

    “”People have assumed that small asteroids are debris from collisions of larger asteroids, so those really small guys would be just single slabs of rock flying in space,” said Mommert, a post-doctoral researcher. “But we found that this one is 65 percent empty.””

    THIS is pretty much what I was arguing some time back, about what amounts to “strengthless” objects. I argued that small objects should essentially NOT be solid, not normally, simply because there is WAY insufficient gravity to create a solid rock. It makes much more sense that small objects are all held together very weakly, almost like dust particles just barely touching each other. I argued that it makes no SENSE that rocks can ever form at ALL in space. My corollary to that is that, if solid rocks are not formed in space, then they must form where gravity is much stronger – enough to have molten rock that can cool into solid rocks. I argued that the standard story of them impacting and sticking together (agglomeration) is bullshit – that it can’t happen, because when they impact at normal relative speeds, the result is pulverization, not agglomeration.

    My thinking is that when we see solid rocks out there, those must have begun as part of WAAAAAAAY bigger planetesimals or planets. Heck, even a rock falling to Earth from a height low enough to not smash it to bits simply sits on the surface and does nothing at all like the agglomeration they speak of. Rocks need to form from internal planetary processes or sedimentation. Sitting on surfaces won’t do it. Probably not even on the surface of Jupiter.

    Ergo, solid ricks cannot have formed out in space. No two objects attracted to each other can – simply by gravitational force – create rocks. All they can do is what this article talks about – become clouds of dust.

    The title of the article is “Unexpected findings: Small asteroids can be flying rock clusters or even clouds of dust surrounding solid rocks”.

    My response is: “No duh!” Like it freaking took rocket scientists to come up with that one.

    My proof? Take two 500 pond rocks and push one against the other – and then wait for the two to merge into one. Tie them together if you want to. Call me in ten lifetimes and let me know how much they are still just sitting there. They won’t have merged with the Earth, either.

    My prediction: These asteroid clouds will turn out to be the most common.

    And think about this: If those are the most common, how did the brains in astronomy not realize this like 100 years ago? And if they didn’t, then how much faith should we put in anything they say?

    Seriously, how could they MISS this? Not even THINK of it?

    Strengthless objects should be the norm, if the planetary nebula hypothesis is even remotely valid. And strengthless objects SHOULD be clouds of dust.

    But now: If dust is the norm, and if we look at dust particles closely, won’t we also see that THEY are solid objects? And if so, how did THOSE solid objects come to form with so little gravity?

  115. George –

    “1.8 CY”? Do you mean 1.8 Mya?

    The cloud hitting Earth – I could easily be wrong, but my First thought is that each dust particle or rock is a separate meteoroid and would be too small to reach the ground without flaring and vaporizing very high in the atmosphere. Each would basically be just like all the meteors that become shooting stars.

  116. That dark layer cries out for so many questions to be asked it’s hard to know what to ask first. So, what do we expect that a “burn layer” might look like before it get’s covered up by a few thousand years worth of loess, and soils?
    Did the extra carbon in that dark layer settle out of the atmosphere somewhat gently as dust and soot? Or is it all that’s left of a complete ecosystem that was violently torched in place? Is it the result of a conflagration, or detonation? Or was it combination of both? Is that layer the mark of a different kind of cosmically induced geomorpholgy that hasn’t been described before?

  117. >>Trent, all that you say sounds reasonable – but is there any way to test it out? To
    >>verify it? If not, it is only a guess. No matter HOW reasonable it seems to you or
    >>others here.

    This is one of the reasons I said “On to Vickburg.”

    Mega-floods leave mega-erosion.

    >>At the same time, I DO know that the scientists have written several papers on this, and
    >>THEY look at the Mississippi outflow into the Gulf of Mexico and look for a CUTOFF of the
    >>water to the Gulf – that when the Lake Agassiz ice dam broke, it diverted water AWAY from
    >>the Mississippi River, and they claim to have evidence in sediments that this is so – even
    >>though they don’t know where it was diverted TO. So, THEY see it 180° differently from
    >>what you say.

    So…are these guys saying the Lake Agassiz ice dam carved the Columbia River, Willamette River, Snake River, river system?

    Megafloods: What They Leave Behind

    …The conventional explanation is that the canyons were formed via a process called “groundwater sapping,” in which springs at the bottom of the canyon gradually carve tunnels at the base of the rock wall until this undercutting destabilizes the structure so much that blocks or columns of basalt fall off from above, creating the amphitheater below.

    This explanation has not been corroborated by the Caltech team’s observations, for two reasons. First, there is no evidence of undercutting, even though there are existing springs at the base of Woody’s Cove and Stubby Canyon. Second, undercutting should leave large boulders in place at the foot of the canyon, at least until they are dissolved or carried away by groundwater. “These blocks are too big to move by spring flow, and there’s not enough time for the groundwater to have dissolved them away,” Lamb explains, “which means that large floods are needed to move them out. To make a canyon, you have to erode the canyon headwall, and you also have to evacuate the material that collapses in.”

    That leaves waterfall erosion during a large flood event as the only remaining candidate for the canyon formation that occurred in Malad Gorge, the Caltech team concludes.

    No water flows over the top of Woody’s Cove and Stubby Canyon today. But even a single incident of overland water flow occurring during an unusually large flood event could pluck away and topple boulders from the columnar basalt, taking advantage of the vertical fracturing already present in the volcanic rock. A flood of this magnitude could also carry boulders downstream, leaving behind the amphitheater canyons we see today without massive boulder piles at their bottoms and with no existing watercourses.

    Additional evidence that at some point in the past water flowed over the plateaus near Woody’s Cove and Stubby Canyon are the presence of scour marks on surface rocks on the plateau above the canyons. These scour marks are evidence of the type of abrasion that occurs when a water discharge containing sediment moves overland.

    Taken together, the evidence from Malad Gorge, Lamb says, suggests that “amphitheater shapes might be diagnostic of very large-scale floods, which would imply much larger water discharges and much shorter flow durations than predicted by the previous groundwater theory.” Lamb points out that although groundwater sapping “is often assumed to explain the origin of amphitheater-headed canyons, there is no place on Earth where it has been demonstrated to work in columnar basalt.”

    The full paper at this link —


    Or heck, the “Grand Canyon” of the Colorado river?

    There are very few other really large water outlets from North America.

  118. This is the abstract from the paper I linked to above:

    Many bedrock canyons on Earth and Mars were eroded by upstream propagating headwalls, and a prominent goal in geomorphology and planetary science is to determine formation processes from canyon morphology. A diagnostic link between process and form remains highly controversial, however, and field investigations that isolate controls on canyon morphology are needed. Here we investigate the origin of Malad Gorge, Idaho, a canyon system cut into basalt with three remarkably distinct heads: two with amphitheater headwalls and the third housing the active Wood River and ending in a 7% grade knickzone. Scoured rims of the headwalls, relict plunge pools, sediment-transport constraints, and cosmogenic (^3He) exposure ages indicate formation of the amphitheater-headed canyons by large-scale flooding ∼46 ka, coeval with formation of Box Canyon 18 km to the south as well as the eruption of McKinney Butte Basalt, suggesting widespread canyon formation following lava-flow diversion of the paleo-Wood River. Exposure ages within the knickzone-headed canyon indicate progressive upstream younging of strath terraces and a knickzone propagation rate of 2.5 cm/y over at least the past 33 ka. Results point to a potential diagnostic link between vertical amphitheater headwalls in basalt and rapid erosion during megaflooding due to the onset of block toppling, rather than previous interpretations of seepage erosion, with implications for quantifying the early hydrosphere of Mars.

    Note that the timing of the mega-flood they investigated was _46,000 years ago_.

  119. This is a clip from the main paper —

    Our study suggests that amphitheater-headed canyons with
    vertical walls in columnar basalt may be a diagnostic indicator of
    rapid megaflood erosion rather than persistent fluvial abrasion
    or seepage erosion. The rationale for this hypothesis is that i)
    basalt with vertical cooling joints and horizontal bedding planes
    tends to break down to large, meter-sized boulders that cannot
    be transported by seepage alone; ii) vertically jointed rock promotes
    persistent vertical headwalls and rapid erosion if a
    threshold discharge for block toppling is surpassed, which in turn
    requires high-magnitude overland flows (18); and iii) the overland
    flow events must be of short duration, otherwise fluvial
    abrasion will tend to flatten the headwall and dissect the upstream
    landscape, as shown in Pointed Canyon. There are a host
    of canyons cut into columnar basalt by megafloods that support
    our hypothesis: Asbyrgi Canyon in Iceland (35), canyons cut by
    the Missoula Floods (20), Blue Lakes Canyon and Devil’s Corral
    cut by the Bonneville Flood (21, 28, 30), and Box Canyon (19).

    28. Amidon WH, Clark A, Barrett B (2011) Snake River side canyons: Ages and process of
    formation. The Bonneville Flood Revisited, ed Crosby BT (Friends of the Pleistocene
    Guidebook), pp 50–61. Available at http://www2.cose.isu.edu/~crosby/fop_flood/
    FOP2011_Bonneville_Flood.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2013.
    19. Lamb MP, Dietrich WE, Aciego SM, Depaolo DJ, Manga M (2008) Formation of Box
    Canyon, Idaho, by megaflood: Implications for seepage erosion on Earth and Mars.
    Science 320(5879):1067–1070.
    20. Bretz JH (1923) The channeled scabland of the Columbia Plateau. J Geol 31:617–649.
    21. Malde HE (1968) The Catastrophic Late Pleistocene Bonneville Flood in the Snake
    River Plain, Idaho, USGS Prof Pap, 596:1–52.
    22. Malde HE (1991) Quaternary geology and structural history of the Snake River
    Plain, Idaho and Oregon. Quaternary Nonglacial Geology; Conterminous U.S, ed
    Morrison RB (Geol Soc Am, Boulder, CO), Vol K-2, pp 251–280.
    28. Amidon WH, Clark A, Barrett B (2011) Snake River side canyons: Ages and process of
    formation. The Bonneville Flood Revisited, ed Crosby BT (Friends of the Pleistocene
    Guidebook), pp 50–61. Available at http://www2.cose.isu.edu/~crosby/fop_flood/
    FOP2011_Bonneville_Flood.pdf. Accessed June 1, 2013.
    30. O’Connor JE (1993) Hydrology, Hydraulics and Geomorphology of the Bonneville
    Flood (Geol Soc Am, Boulder, CO), 90 pp.
    35. Tomasson H (1973) Hamfarahlaup i Jokulsa a Fjollum. Natturufraeoingurinn 43:12–34.

  120. Trent –

    No, there is no one connecting Lake Agassiz outflow to the out west outflow. They say that the ice sheet melt ran down the Mississippi. They DID suspect that when the ice dam broke, that the outflow went via the St Lawrence, causing a shutdown of the oceanic conveyor of Wally Broeker. THAT idea has gone by the wayside, but the Mississippi outflow in the Gulf of Mexico has been well studied. There has been no evidence found in the Gulf for a sudden outflow increase. They were looking for a DECREASE. As I remember reading a long time ago, neither really happened. This paper (http://www.agu.org/books/gm/v112/GM112p0177/GM112p0177.pdf) in Figure 2, shows how much larger the precipitation runoff was compared to the melt runoff, and that the total runoff was a near constant up to the time the LIS was gone.

    I am not siding with you or them, but you do need to be aware of what other work has been done on this, even if I don’t present it very well. Since you seem to be 180° opposite of them, you probably need to find some reason why your idea is more correct than theirs.

    One point I’d make is this: If Vicksburg had experienced such a flow, so would the Gulf sediments just outside the mouth of the Mississippi.

  121. Trent –

    Am I missing something? I thought your argument had to do with Mississippi River outbursts. But all of your evidence you pasted in is from stuff in the Idaho region (more or less).

  122. Steve, Trent ,
    One point I’d started out to try and make but didn’t , in a previous post, is that most any water produced in any impact scenario involving the laurentide ice sheet will be vaporized. A point source megaflood, such as what are produced by ice dam failures are not what we should expect to find. We should see the vaporized ice(water vapor) rising very high into the atmosphere then being spread over a wide area, and distributed by the winds.
    Models show most of that water, after the initial “localized”rain out, should snow out, over a very wide area. From the impact we should see extreme regional flooding, outflowing in all of the drainages. But, that being said if there were ice dammed glacial lakes, could this infux of water push them to failure, thus masking the effects of water vapor rain out?

  123. From my “Life Imitates Tusk” file: I spent an hour this afternoon on a conference call discussing Mississippi River sediment profiles for our project in LA: http://www.restorationsystems.com/projects/jesuit-bend/

    Apparently, our engineers just got a full set of Corps’ cores at Mile 71. Not sure how deep they go, or to what age, but I’m with them tomorrow and plan to get the data. Apparently, it is pretty hard to obtain even these days.

    By the way, Jim Kennett, the leading light of our subject (not Rick Firestone, who I do love), built his YD reputation on soil wash from the YD flood into the Gulf. Here he is: http://bit.ly/1v3Zr4Q

    I’ll shoot Jim an email and ask to read through your commentary and provide any thoughts.

    Love the comments lately. This is the most enlightening place on the internet, thanks to you all.

  124. >>They DID suspect that when the ice dam broke, that the outflow
    >>went via the St Lawrence, causing a shutdown of the oceanic conveyor…

    I think you meant east here, Steve.

    >>..but the Mississippi outflow in the Gulf of Mexico has been well studied.
    >>There has been no evidence found in the Gulf for a sudden outflow increase.

    Simple observation — Gradual sediment deposition rates may not be a good indicator of whether or not there was a mega-flood.

    The assumption here seems to be that there is a one-to-one “Mississippi water out-flow = much more sediment deposition at the Gulf.”

    That is a very gradualist POV.

    The questions at hand are “What would the sediment outflow from a mega-flood look like, where would its various sediment deposit and what would that mega-flood deposit look like in the geological record after 11K(+) years of Mississippi floods on top of it?”

    The baseline assumptions are different.

    The reason I am dropping the Snake river stuff it to point out that water moving fast enough to carve basalt with gravel won’t drop that gravel a thousand miles away.

    You need a certain velocity and mass of water in a certain unit time to do that.

    We also have the issue of the Clovis habitation versus the lack of Folsum (sp?)habitation east of the Mississippi.

    The Mississippi was much more of a travel barrier after the YDB than it was prior to that.

  125. Meltwater megafloods at this time eroded and transported large volumes of clay to the Gulf via the Mississippi River system.


    The nonquartzose megaflood sediments appear to have been derived from clay-rich midcontinental terrace deposits rather than from glacial outwash supplied by the Laurentide ice margin.

    Lots of mega-pulses of water down the Mississippi Valley after the YDB!

    It is nice to see logical speculation rewarded with data.

    Megaflood erosion and meltwater plumbing changes during last North American deglaciation recorded in Gulf of Mexico sediments
    Paul A. Brown1 and James P. Kennett1

    Submicrometer variations in the median diameter of siliciclastic mud in Orca Basin, northern Gulf of Mexico, sensitively monitor Laurentide ice sheet runoff to the gulf during early stages of the last deglaciation. Grain-size data document a prominent pulse of very fine-grained sediment to the northern Gulf from 12.6 to 12.0 ka, corresponding with the well-known sea-surface meltwater spike in δ18O records. Meltwater megafloods at this time eroded and transported large volumes of clay to the Gulf via the Mississippi River system. The nonquartzose megaflood sediments appear to have been derived from clay-rich midcontinental terrace deposits rather than from glacial outwash supplied by the Laurentide ice margin. Sediment grain-size data, in combination with other terrigenous proxies (clay minerals and reworked calcareous nannofossils), indicate substantial variability in deglacial meltwater discharge and associated sediment load of meltwater runoff. This variability reflects changes in continental plumbing consistent with terrestrial records of North American deglaciation.

  126. Trent –
    “>>They DID suspect that when the ice dam broke, that the outflow
    >>went via the St Lawrence, causing a shutdown of the oceanic conveyor…

    I think you meant east here, Steve.”

    Well, that is what the St Lawrence flow IS, is to the east – to the North Atlantic.

    “We also have the issue of the Clovis habitation versus the lack of Folsum (sp?)habitation east of the Mississippi.”

    Yeah, I am the one who pointed that out a few weeks ago.

  127. Trent –

    No link.

    Yes, post-YDB outflows. And in my link, if you read it, in Figure 2, you will see the relative volumes of water – precip vs meltwater. They were able to distinguish the difference. And the precip volume far outweighed the meltwater at any given time. At least that is what their numbers say. Yes, there were increases in meltwater. But even those were hugely outweighed by the precip runoff.

    The funny thing in both of these is that the first 1300 years after the YDB it was an ICE AGE, so melt runoff was REDUCED – until after the Younger Dryas cold period ended. And not only was their colder weather, but the climate also turned much DRYER. Not until about 12500 ya did the melt begin increasing again. Probably aided eventually by the increase in precipitation.

    The YDB impact made for a COLDER climate, NOT one with increased melt runoff. Less melt, less preipitation can only mean reduced outflow down the Mighty Mississippi.

    In terms of “data”, I am not sure that the link I provided is actual data. Model output is not data. With models it is GIGO – garbage in garbage out, based especially on assumptions made that sound reasonable. And when model output agrees with expectation sometimes only means that the assumptions went into the computer code, so of course the results are going to come out in support of the assumptions. So model outputs – yours or mine or anybody’s – may or may not be real.

  128. Oh, and BTW –

    I lived about 1 mile from the Mississippi, in the area known as the American Bottoms. The clay they talk about? I know that clay intimately. We raised veggies in the back yard, and that clay is REALLY fine and REALLY gummy.


    The nonquartzose megaflood sediments appear to have been derived from clay-rich midcontinental terrace deposits rather than from glacial outwash supplied by the Laurentide ice margin. Sediment grain-size data, in combination with other terrigenous proxies (clay minerals and reworked calcareous nannofossils), indicate substantial variability in deglacial meltwater discharge and associated sediment load of meltwater runoff. This variability reflects changes in continental plumbing consistent with terrestrial records of North American deglaciation.

    Just as Firestone et al have to keep reminding people from time to time that most of the ejecta from an impact is target material, NOT cometary material, the same holds true for an outwash scenario: Most of the silt carried with the flow is eroded by the water as it passes through different valleys/terrain. the river beds and banks become the target material for the outrushing water – as it does in normal, gradualist times. So one would FULLY expect the great majority of the sediments in the lower Mississippi and outside its mouth to be from midcontinental erosion – NOT from up by the ice sheets.

    Besides, SOME of the ice sheet gravels will have settled out or splashed out, somewhere upstream. Just as the Scablands have places along the way that have deposits – at least as far as I’ve seen in photos.

    One more thing about ice dams…

    If the Younger Dryas stadial (cold period) was COLDER, then the ice sheets would have been GROWING/FREEZING for those 1300 years – at least a little bit. I mean, the Greenland cores suggest a 9°C drop in temperatures THERE, and probably at least half of that along the edge of the Laurentide. 4.5°C is about 8°F, and that is about 2 or 3 times the WARMING that the global warming folks are asserting for this century. Thus, it is LESS likely that ice dams would have formed lakes, because the melt was less and thus less likely to form ice dam lakes.

    The greatest amount of melt had to have occurred just after the end of the Younger Dryas stadial, when the weather improved even faster than the YD onset happened. A 9°C warm-up – that is going to cause a big melt-off.

    So that should be in your run-off records at about 11,500 ya. Is that when they see the big melt-off? My link didn’t show that. The run-off was spread over several events.

  129. >>No link

    Steve G, it’s the paper whose link George Howard just posted.

  130. Steve Garcia,

    When the paper George linked to talks of “clay-rich midcontinental terrace deposits,” it is talking mud from Iowa and Nebraska.





    The largest deposit of loess in the United States, the Loess Hills along the border of Iowa and Nebraska, has survived intensive farming and poor farming practices.

    See also the same article:

    United States

    The Loess Hills of Iowa owe their fertility to the prairie topsoils built by 10,000 years of post-glacial accumulation of organic-rich humus as a consequence of a persistent grassland biome. When the valuable A-horizon topsoil is eroded or degraded, the underlying loess soil is infertile, and requires the addition of fertilizer in order to support agriculture.

    The loess along the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Mississippi consist of three layers. The Peoria Loess, Sicily Island Loess, and Crowley’s Ridge Loess accumulated at different periods of time during the Pleistocene. Ancient soils, called paleosols, have developed in the top of the Sicily Island Loess and Crowley’s Ridge Loess. The lowermost loess, the Crowley’s Ridge Loess, accumulated during the late Illinoian Stage. The middle loess, Sicily Island Loess, accumulated during early Wisconsin Stage. The uppermost loess, the Peoria Loess, in which the modern soil has developed, accumulated during the late Wisconsin Stage. Animal remains include terrestrial gastropods and mastodons.[28]

    Loess soil forms sharp hills close to the Mississippi River and Yazoo River in western Mississippi north and south of Vicksburg. These deposits are more than 30 m thick (comparable to those in Iowa) immediately above the river valleys, to which they are sub-parallel, and thin to trace thickness within 40 km to the east. Streams and gulleys are incised very deeply and sharply between the linear loess ridges making topography very important in the conduct of military operations for the Vicksburg Campaign.

    The Palouse Hills of eastern Washington and northern Idaho is a fertile agricultural region based on loess deposits.

    Glacial loess from the Matanuska Glacier blown into Matanuska Valley created the fertile soil conditions that motivated the Matanuska Colony resettlement experiment in Alaska during the Great Depression.

    Crowley’s Ridge in Arkansas is a natural loess accumulation point.

  131. And this is another interesting paper from the same internet search.

    I have no idea what time period this represents, but there is a lot of Moraine type gravel in/near Natchez Mississippi —


    Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
    Vol. 42 (1992), Pages 647-658

    Petrologic Discrimination Between the Neogene Formations in Adams and Wilkinson Counties, Southwestern Mississippi

    Kenneth F. Rhinehart, Maurice A. Meylan

    The outcropping Neogene sediments of Adams and Wilkinson Counties, Mississippi, include the Miocene(?) Hattiesburg Formation,the Plio-Pleistocene(?) Citronelle Formation, the Pleistocene Natchez Formation, and Quaternary terrace deposits, overlain by a now erosionally dissected loess blanket that thins eastward away from the Mississippi River. These units can be distinguished both on the basis of outcrop characteristics (which were used to identify them in the field) and petrologic parameters (which may be useful for determining lithostratigraphic relationships between units during detailed geologic mapping, as well as for identifying units in the subsurface).

    Samples of the pre-loess Neogene section have been studied utilizing grain size (sieve and pipette) analysis, thin-section petrography of sands, and X-ray diffraction analysis of the clay-sized fraction. The Hattiesburg Formation consists primarily of clay and silt; the coarsest bed sampled is a fine-grained sand. Smectite is the dominant clay mineral in the Hattiesburg, but kaolinite is the only clay present in all samples of this formation. The Hattiesburg is increasingly siltier southward, and this increase in grain size coincides with a decline in smectite abundance.

    The coarsest unit is the Citronelle, which is commonly graveliferous near its unconformable basal contact with the Hattiesburg Formation, fining upward to sands. This contact is found consistently at an elevation of about 300 feet. Gravel is also present in the Natchez Formation and terrace deposits, and fining upward sequences were observed in both units. The Citronelle, Natchez, and terrace deposits also include beds of fine-grained sediments, the Citronelle even having a relatively well indurated shale. Kaolinite is the dominant clay mineral in the Citronelle, and in most of the samples is the only clay detected.

    Whereas Hattiesburg, Citronelle, and terrace deposit sands can be classified as quartz arenites or sublitharenites, the markedly greater feldspar content of the Natchez Formation gives it a subarkose to arkose composition. Additionally, it is the only unit displaying volcanic rock fragments, as well as the only unit with illite identified in all samples; kaolinite is also abundant in the Natchez Formation. Unfortunately, the Natchez is essentially a local unit, the remnant of a Mississippi River terrace constructed of glacial debris from a northern mid-continent provenance area; thus, the diagnostic characteristics of the Natchez Formation do not have regional applicability.

    Terrace deposits lie unconformably on the Hattiesburg Formation, and likely have been derived mostly from Citronelle, and to a lesser extent, Hattiesburg sediments. Kaolinite is present in all terrace deposit fine fractions; illite and smectite are important but less frequently occurring.

    Miscellaneous sedimentary features that may be useful for distinguishing between units are also present. Lignitic material, calcite nodules, and trace fossils are found within the Hattiesburg section. Large-scale crossbedding, rip-up clasts composed of clay, and manganese oxide-encrusted gravel clasts occur in the Citronelle Formation; and armored clay balls were noted in the Natchez Formation.

  132. Steve, Trent; I was reading the latest postings and a thought came to my head and it didn’t hurt much. If the Aggazzi lake did break and come down the Mississippi Valley it would be tempered by all the major and minor tributaries clean to the Gulf. That would be a lot of loss of traveling velocities and volume. Also the topography of the entire trip is realatively flat giving a lot of room for the flood waters to spread out and slow down dropping rock and gravels further north moving sands and clays all the way to the gulf. If one were to look at tributaries to the Mississippi you might see where some had changed course. If more than a couple were located you might assume that this was the extent of the flood water run ups and look in those areas for hints of out of place debris. On another thread I noticed when looking at George’s link to the recontruction project in Louisianna that there appears to be a wall of MEGA rocks all around the continental shelf in the Gulf of Mexico. I noticed it in the Google Earth image that came with the link. In the original image I saw it in the lower right side of the pic. I then zoomed out and found it surrounds 3/4s of the Gulf. Florida and the Carribean seem to be exempt. I don’t know if this is coral reefing or possibly land mass leftover from the Chixabub impact. The items appear to be larger than most cities shown in Loiusianna.

  133. I see that that link is about Andrew Collins’ book on Gobleki Tepe.

    Coincidentally, I am presently reading one of my Andrew Collins books that I had not gotten around to before, “Atlantis and the Neandertals.”

    I rate the book ONE star out of five. I’d go lower, but most ratings things don’t go to zero.

    I USED to respect Collin’s books. Right now I con’t seem to understand why I did. I myself won’t buy another one. The Atlantis-Neandertal book is pretty crappy – a compendium ala Eric von Daniken or Charles Berlitz. To begin with, it barely mentions Neandertals at all, so the title is completely misleading. The book is just a litany of other people’s work, spilling all over each other (literally, for all intents and purposes) and not staying on one point long enough to do more than a Blue Light Special at K-Mart – trying to attract our attention all over the place, and in the end it looks like a random dump of other people’s work, posing as his own. That is the von Daniken school of attracting attention to everything under the sun, which means that the attention is too scattered to do any good or to teach anything. It is POSSIBLE Collins has gotten lazy. Either that or I need to look at his other books more critically.

    So, at this point, my guess is that the Gobleki Tep book is also a collection of the works of others, with Collins “believing” this and “believing” that – and who CARES what he believes or not? He simply doesn’t stay on one point long enough to have any beef to it, before he runs off to some other factoid that has attracted his ephemeral attention for the next 12 seconds.

    While he touches on a lot of things that I am interested in, Collins presents nothing new in general, nothing original. Others may think so. I don’t.

    There are lots of solid things out there on Gobleki Tepe. My bet is that this is not one of them. And Gobleki Tepe is IMPORTANT. Those bas-relief animals on the columns and T-columns are strong indicators that the civilization underlying Gobleki Tepe is FAR older than the site’s given age of 12,000 years. As old as the supposed date for the very beginning of the invention of civilization, agriculture and the domestication of animals, those dates MUST be set back perhaps another 2,000 years at a minimum. Gobleki Tepe was not built in a day, nor was the technology behind it developed in under one or two thousand years. The site isn’t just hovels and scraps of artifacts like Monte Verde. It is about finished and intentionally designed architecture, about a collection of buildings every bit as complex as Mayan or Aztec or Incan cities – and far more planned as a building group than anything in Europe or Greece or Rome for another 1,000 years. At the same time, Govleki Tepe DOES have something of the same feel of Skara Brae, but re-set in the Mediterranean and much larger.

    If Collins gave Gobleki Tepe the same treatment he gave Atlantis and Neandertals, expect the worst.

    It doesn’t help my estimation of Collins’ thinking that he places a lot of store in what Rand Flem-Ath says. Flem-Ath came up with the most silly “Atlantis is Here” idea ever when he put the lost continent on Antarctica. Collins thinks Flem-Ath is a person to admire. I don’t. Plato may have been wrong about the Pillars of Hercules (I don’t thinks so), but he sure as heck wouldn’t put them near Antarctica.

  134. I have been chewing on the mega-flood idea for the YDB event and what jumps out at me with the idea that evidence shows “clay-rich midcontinental terrace deposits” — AKA mud from Iowa and Nebraska – was what that meant for upper Mississippi wetlands/swamps.

    Heat that can melt glaciers are not going to be good for plants. WW2 use of napalm incendiaries in Philippine rain forests showed that while they were insufficient to start wide ranging fires, as the foliage was too moist. About three days after the burn, all the plants in the immediately adjacent heat affected area outside the burn zone lost foliage to heat damage and the affected plants and dead foliage were very vulnerable to repeat napalm attack.

    Hold that thought.

    Now, going back and looking at the 1911 map of United States “moderate wetlands” and “swamp lands”:


    It strikes me that the “impact burn” that released the water from the glacial ice sheet also superheated/burned down the upper Mississippi wetlands as well.
    The Mississippi for lack of a better word (and before the Corps of Engineers got through with it) “respired” water into its adjoining wetlands and swamps on a seasonal basis. Flood waters went out into those wet areas and much of the dirt and mud of a flood went with them, to be captured by the flora in the wet areas.

    These areas acted as low land buffers for floods and were the first to recover or expand from them after really bad floods.

    If the flora of the upper Mississippi got burned down, or very heavily heat damaged, they would be much less able to hold that muddy water when the mega-flood hit some time after the impact.

    Thus, you would also see a lot more mud from the upper Mississippi than normal because the normal plant

    Now, returning to that “held thought,” if we are looking at a Jupiter “string of pearl” type impact event that “heat pulsed” overlapping areas of North America. That Napalm-style plant heat affected zone would cover huge areas and be subject to any sort of ignition source, like lightning, to set off huge grass and forest fires.

    This idea means that the “Black mat” isn’t simply a singular event.

    It could be the result of a huge amount of heat affected plant mass getting set off by normal, natural, means but with a huge, continent wide heat affects zone for fuel.

  135. Grrr… some text got cut off in my paste–

    “Thus, you would also see a lot more mud from the upper Mississippi than normal because the normal _plant cover was dead_.”

  136. Dennis;Is there any guide lines for identifying meteorites vs other casual daek looking rock. I found a piece of rock while repairing storm runoff in my horse pasture and left it out for a good acid rain wash off. After a good chemical cleaning I noticed it looked like it had been exposed to extreme heat (melting).I took a magnet to it and it was magnetic. It looks like it could be slag cinder but I don’t have any on my property and I know of no one in the area that has any on theirs. The weight is slightly heavier than I would think a stone of its size (2″ dia”) would be. Any help would be appreciated.

  137. Would you believe Neandertal’s in Northern China?


    Neandertal trait in early human skull suggests that modern humans emerged from complex labyrinth of biology and peoples
    Date:July 7, 2014

    Source:Washington University in St. Louis

    Summary:Re-examination of a circa 100,000-year-old archaic early human skull found 35 years ago in Northern China has revealed the surprising presence of an inner-ear formation long thought to occur only in Neandertals.

  138. More “Overkill Hypothosis” anyone?


    Humans, not climate, to blame for Ice Age-era disappearance of large mammals, study concludes
    Date:June 4, 2014

    Source:Aarhus University

    Summary:Was it humankind or climate change that caused the extinction of a considerable number of large mammals about the time of the last Ice Age? Researchers have carried out the first global analysis of the extinction of the large animals, and the conclusion is clear — humans are to blame. The study unequivocally points to humans as the cause of the mass extinction of large animals all over the world during the course of the last 100,000 years.

    Journal Reference:

    1.C. Sandom, S. Faurby, B. Sandel, J.-C. Svenning. Global late Quaternary megafauna extinctions linked to humans, not climate change. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2014; 281 (1787): 20133254 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3254


  139. The Buttermilk Creek Complex in Texas has found a pre-Clovis culture in Texas, pre-Clovis by 2,5000 years

    “These new artifacts comprise what researchers are calling the Buttermilk Creek Complex, and details of its excavation will be reported in the 25 March issue of Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit science society.”

    Artifacts in Texas predate Clovis culture by 2,500 years, new study shows

    Date:March 25, 2011
    Source:American Association for the Advancement of Science

    Summary:Researchers in Texas have discovered thousands of human artifacts in a layer of earth that lies directly beneath an assemblage of Clovis relics, expanding evidence that other cultures preceded the Clovis culture in North America.


  140. Grr…forgot to include this cite —

    Journal Reference:

    1.Michael R. Waters, Steven L. Forman, Thomas A. Jennings, Lee C. Nordt, Steven G. Driese, Joshua M. Feinberg, Joshua L. Keene, Jessi Halligan, Anna Lindquist, James Pierson, Charles T. Hallmark, Michael B. Collins, James E. Wiederhold. The Buttermilk Creek Complex and the Origins of Clovis at the Debra L. Friedkin Site, Texas. Science, 2011; 331 (6024): 1599-1603 DOI: 10.1126/science.1201855


  141. It appears that a child’s bones dated from the Clovis culture had had its genome mapped with “surprising” results.

    “Roughly estimated some 80 % of all present-day Native American populations on the two American continents are direct descendants of the Clovis boy’s family. The remaining 20 % are more closely related with the Clovis family than any other people on Earth, says Lundbeck Professor Eske Willerslev from the Centre for GeoGenetics at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, University of Copenhagen. This surprising result has now been published in the scientific journal Nature.”

    Genome of American Clovis skeleton mapped: Ancestor of most present-day Native American populations

    Date:February 12, 2014
    Source:University of Copenhagen

    Summary:The Clovis people were not the first humans in America, but they represent the first humans with a wide expansion on the North American continent — until the culture mysteriously disappeared only a few hundred years after its origin. Now genome mapping shows that some 80 percent of all present-day Native American populations on the two American continents are direct descendants of the Clovis boy’s family.


    Story Source:

    The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


    Journal Reference:

    1.Morten Rasmussen, Sarah L. Anzick, Michael R. Waters, Pontus Skoglund, Michael DeGiorgio, Thomas W. Stafford, Simon Rasmussen, Ida Moltke, Anders Albrechtsen, Shane M. Doyle, G. David Poznik, Valborg Gudmundsdottir, Rachita Yadav, Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Samuel Stockton White V, Morten E. Allentoft, Omar E. Cornejo, Kristiina Tambets, Anders Eriksson, Peter D. Heintzman, Monika Karmin, Thorfinn Sand Korneliussen, David J. Meltzer, Tracey L. Pierre, Jesper Stenderup, Lauri Saag, Vera M. Warmuth, Margarida C. Lopes, Ripan S. Malhi, Søren Brunak, Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten, Ian Barnes, Matthew Collins, Ludovic Orlando, Francois Balloux, Andrea Manica, Ramneek Gupta, Mait Metspalu, Carlos D. Bustamante, Mattias Jakobsson, Rasmus Nielsen, Eske Willerslev. The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana. Nature, 2014; 506 (7487): 225 DOI: 10.1038/nature13025


  142. I read this and think — where are the Clovis atl-atl and butchering marks in the bones?

    “Gomphotheres were smaller than mammoths — about the same size as modern elephants. They once were widespread in North America, but until now they seemed to have disappeared from the continent’s fossil record long before humans arrived in North America, which happened some 13,000 to 13,500 years ago, during the late Ice Age.

    However, the bones that Holliday and his colleagues uncovered date back 13,400 years, making them the last known gomphotheres in North America.

    The gomphothere remains weren’t all Holliday and his colleagues unearthed at the site, which they dubbed El Fin del Mundo — Spanish for The End of the World — because of its remote location.

    As their excavation of the bones progressed, they also uncovered numerous Clovis artifacts, including signature Clovis projectile points, or spear tips, as well as cutting tools and flint flakes from stone tool-making. The Clovis culture is so named for its distinctive stone tools, first discovered by archaeologists near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1930s.

    Radiocarbon dating, done at the UA, puts the El Fin del Mundo site at about 13,400 years old, making it one of the two oldest known Clovis sites in North America; the other is the Aubrey Clovis site in north Texas.

    The position and proximity of Clovis weapon fragments relative to the gomphothere bones at the site suggest that humans did in fact kill the two animals there. Of the seven Clovis points found at the site, four were in place among the bones, including one with bone and teeth fragments above and below. The other three points had clearly eroded away from the bone bed and were found scattered nearby.

    “This is the first Clovis gomphothere, it’s the first archaeological gomphothere found in North America, it’s the first evidence that people were hunting gomphotheres in North America, and it adds another item to the Clovis menu,” Holliday said.”

    Bones of elephant ancestor unearthed: Meet the gomphothere

    Date:July 14, 2014
    Source:University of Arizona

    Summary:An ancient ancestor of the elephant, once believed to have disappeared from North America before humans ever arrived there, might actually have roamed the continent longer than previously thought. Archaeologists have uncovered the first evidence that gomphotheres were once hunted in North America.

    Story Source:

    The above story is based on materials provided by University of Arizona. The original article was written by Alexis Blue. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

    Cite This Page:

    MLAAPAChicagoUniversity of Arizona. “Bones of elephant ancestor unearthed: Meet the gomphothere.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2014. .

  143. Trent ,

    This paper, although about fishes of the san Joaquin river , has info on the Witt Clovis site, in Fresno county.
    In another paper the midden that was excavated, was said to be 1/4 mile long and six feet tall and 20 wide.
    Notice how thoroughly exploited the animal resources were, and also notice that human remains 15k years old were found and then there is that pesky mammoth tooth that is 60+k years old.

  144. I don’t know where to drop this, so…

    New data for Pre-Clovis peoples hunting megafauna in Alberta :


    Archaeological discoveries at Wally’s Beach, Canada, provide the only direct evidence of horse and camel hunting in the Americas at the end of the last Ice Age. Here, seven horses and one camel were attacked and butchered near a river crossing by prehistoric hunters. New radiocarbon dates revise the age of these kill and butchering localities to 13,300 y ago. Other North American kill and butchering sites show that prehistoric hunters preyed on 6 of the 36 genera of large mammals, called megafauna, for at least 2,000 y before these animals became extinct, around 12,700 y ago. Accurate dating is necessary to build meaningful chronologies for the Ice Age peopling of the Americas and to understand megafauna extinctions.

  145. Another article on the same Alberta site.


    Prehistoric site in Alberta centuries older than previously thought
    The Canadian Press
    Published Monday, March 23, 2015 3:51PM EDT
    Last Updated Monday, March 23, 2015 5:07PM EDT

    A new way of dating a pile of ancient bones and stone tools is shedding light on the mysterious lives of the first Albertans.

    A prehistoric site where people hunted horses and camels along what is now the St. Mary River in the province’s south is centuries older than previously thought, said University of Calgary archeologist Brian Kooyman, co-author of a paper published Monday.

    That means the 13,300-year-old bones, along with stone choppers and knives used to butcher the animals, predate what was thought to be North America’s first identifiable ancient culture.

    “It’s quite awe-inspiring to stand there and know that these are the first Albertans,” Kooyman said.

    “We can see the butchered bones and we can see the tracks of the animals. We can actually see the footprints of camels and horses. It’s like they were here yesterday.”

    It’s the completeness of the site that makes it unique.

    It features the bones of seven horses and one camel — an animal that originated in North America and died out at the end of the ice ages. There are a variety of crude choppers and knives chipped from stone.

    There’s no doubt the bones are the remains of a successful hunt.

    “We have cut marks on horse bones and camel bones,” said Kooyman. “You can even see what people cut them up into, like roasts.”

    The site was originally found in 1999 by a schoolteacher out for a walk with his family. Normally submerged by the St. Mary reservoir, the spot known as Wally’s Beach was exposed by that year’s low water. The prairie wind blew away much of the dirt around it and left the artifacts in high relief.

    Kooyman excavated and studied the site, but contaminants in the samples originally led to a too-recent date, which was only corrected with more accurate radiocarbon dating. The new age, about 300 years older, led to Monday’s paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

    The site offers haunting clues about the lives of those ancient hunters.

    The area hasn’t changed too much from all those thousands of years ago — a ramp on the riverbank where animals would have come to drink. Kooyman guesses it was a kill site for a small group of hunters.

    “What we’re probably looking at is something like three or four families of related people moving and working together as a hunting and gathering group.

    “They probably waited and ambushed them. They’ve probably been in the area long enough and have an understanding of the animal behaviour enough, that they know where to target.

    “We can actually see what they were doing. They’re hunting systematically and successfully and more than one animal species. I don’t think there’s anything really like it.”

    Kooyman said scientists have long thought members of the Clovis culture, marked by its long spearpoints, were the earliest identifiable group to people North America. While other sites had hinted at an earlier society, Wally’s Beach is the proof, he said.

    “I’m standing there and looking at a revolution in my understanding of things.”

  146. Trent,
    I’ve mentioned that site in previous “Clovis” discussions,
    I’m pretty sure that site has been assigned to Clovis, by the findings of classic Clovis points.
    It’s just 300 years older, and the Clovis horizon has been pushed back by just about that much all over.
    Could be the Clovis horizon has been contaminated by an excess of extra terrestrial carbon, making it and other dates appear younger?
    By the way wait till I post the monograph mentioning 100k year old camps in San Diego and a 400k year old mammoth kill the in the LA Basin, excavated in the 80’s.

  147. Trent –

    I do not see the Clovis-Alberta horse kill as a significant contribution, just a fill-in. 13,300 ya is right in the middle of the known Clovis time. 6 out of 36 large fauna is far from any capability of arguing any Overkill meme as being real. So what that they hunted horses or camels? One killl site is one kill site. Meltzer showed that there were only TWELVE provable Clovis mammoth kill sites in a continent of 8,000,000 square miles or so. That is like saying that because homeless people ate out of a dumpster in New York City, that frogs in Nebrasks died because of homeless people.

    So my reaction is whoop-de-doo.

  148. Awesome. I remember doing grad and post-grad work on early bronze age rapid climate societal changes (based on UK tree ring data initially). 2354 BC might be the date the EBA collapse kicked off “from above”!

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