And slowly they have sliced down through the layers of earth and time, to find the stories of the place, and the people who are here — right here — potentially as long as 16,000 years ago, sitting around a flames during the last Ice Age.
Their findings, however still being tested, could potentially overturn long-held theories about their origins regarding the earliest people regarding continent.
“We keep finding things, deeper and deeper,” says Wall, heading back down into a hole, now six feet deep, to study a patch of reddened land, perhaps the stays of another ancient hearth here at what’s called the Barton site.
Radiocarbon dating concerning charcoal found elsewhere on this site has suggested people might possibly have camped here and built fires by the north branch of the Potomac River, anywhere from 9,000 years back to like much as 16,000 years ago. Please read this article paleo recipe book too. I love to share this one when I talk about this issue.
Wall is truly cautiously hoping your further testing bears out the oldest dates. And the guy and his/her team keep digging for a “diagnostic artifact,” such as a contemporaneous spear point through the Paleo- Indian years that could help prove that many people lived right here that long ago.
“All we need now is a pleasant paleo point, or pre-paleo point,” Wall says.
Maryland Historical Trust archaeologist Dennis Curry has been utilizing the project with passionate interest.
“If the dates of 16,000 [years] turns out to be real, it might be exciting, unique, earth-shattering,” he says.
Such a find would challenge that the theory that the first humans come in North America about 13,500 years ago — following the close of the last Ice Age — through a land bridge from Asia. They arrived in Alaska, the theory holds, and spread through out the continent.
Those ancient North Americans, referred in order to while Paleo-Indians or possibly that Clovis men and women, left behind stone hunting technology with a distinctive, fluted style. The name Clovis comes from a town inside New Mexico where the tools were first found.
But in such portion, there also includes been the best long-standing hunch that people arrived even earlier. Some tools and bones have been discovered in Pennsylvania and Virginia which date well before the Clovis era, although scientists debate whether the dating is accurate.
Wall and his team are hoping to find something conclusive here. The duty of digging and sifting the hard soil, deposited in layers for millennia by the river, is slow additionally painstaking. Wall, 53, includes made the 21/2-hour getaway from his dwelling in Catonsville, Md., countless times.
But he and his team — a accumulating of Towson students and taught volunteers from the Western Maryland chapter of each Archaeological Society of Maryland — continue to wonder at the secrets yielded up through this land, which has been bought and will likely be permanently preserved by the Archaeological Conservancy, an Albuquerque-based nonprofit group, with help from the Maryland Historical Trust.
They have discovered 300-year-old trade beans regarding blue and white cup dating back to a “communications period” when white settlers and explorers first traded with the native Susquehannock people.
They have discovered fragments of pottery made 1,000 at 2,000 ages before in that woodland period, when people were learning to farm and store food.
They have found 3,000- to 4,000-year-old spear points left by roaming hunters of the Archaic period.
And John Domenic, among the devoted amateur archaeologists digging in Western Maryland with Wall, found your Clovis point sticking up from this very bean field.
Because it is found out of context, it isn’t the sort of artifact that are linked definitively to one of the layers to earth now being painstakingly dug by Wall and his team. Then again its distinctive style — the idea was clearly made and last used by the hunter 10,000 or perhaps much more years ago — still bore remnants out of your last water ice Age.
“That the glacier had been still up inside Pennsylvania,” marvels one of the team, Roy Brown to Cumberland. “There were probably caribou. And we realize from excavations in Virginia, there were musk ox.”
And on this warm Sunday, six feet down, Wall and his crew find a small a small number of stone chips. Somebody, maybe an Ice Age hunter, sat here simply by his ancient shoot and made any tool.
“We have this hearth showcase and this little pile of flakes,” Wall says. “It’s incredible, like someone just left.”