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Pre-Folsom Man in America

Nature volume 141, page 1004 (04 June 1938) | Download Citation



SHOULD preliminary accounts of the discovery of stone implements in Lake County, California, be confirmed in detail, it may be regarded as established that man existed in America in a period prior to that of the Folsom implements of the south-western United States, hitherto generally accepted as the earliest handiwork of man yet found on the American continent. According to a statement circulated by Science Service, of Washington, D.C., a joint expedition of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the South-West Museum, Los Angeles, under the direction of Mr. M. R. Harrington, has found in ground disturbed by the plough on the shore of a brackish pond, Folsom implements in association with others of the Mohave type—a type recently found at Lake Mohave and another site, but of which the relation to the Folsom industry was in doubt. Further excavation on the Lake County site revealed the existence of a camp deposit, in which the Mohave type of implement occurred definitely below and antedating the Folsom implements. At about the same level was a new type of spear-head, to which the name of Borax Lake type has been given. Even more remarkable, however, was the discovery at a still lower level of older and cruder implements, mainly large scrapers and hand axes, belonging to a people "as yet an entirely unknown quantity in American archaeology". It is calculated that on a conservative estimate this discovery would allow man on the American continent an antiquity of at least fifteen thousand years, as against the seven to twelve thousand years variously accepted for Folsomman.

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