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OSU archaeologists discover oldest-known projectile points in the Americas


Oregon State University says its archaeologists have uncovered projectile points in Idaho that are thousands of years older than any previously found in the Americas.

The 13 partial and full points range in size from a half inch to two inches, and have been carbon dated to about 15,700 hundred years ago.

That’s nearly 3,000 years older than the so-called Clovis points found throughout North America, and 2,300 years older than other points found at the same site along the Salmon River.

The points are similar to projectile points found in Hokkaido, Japan, dating to 16,000-20,000 years ago. Their presence in Idaho reinforces the hypothesis that there are early genetic and cultural connections between the ice age peoples of Northeast Asia and North America.

The findings were published last week (12/23) in the journal “Science Advances.”

Karen Richards joined KLCC as a volunteer reporter in 2012, and became a freelance reporter at the station in 2015. In addition to news reporting, she’s contributed to several feature series for the station, earning multiple awards for her reporting.