Cave containing earliest human DNA dubbed historic

October 3, 2014

A cave in Oregon's high desert where archaeologists have found the earliest DNA evidence of human habitation in North America has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Paisley Five Mile Point Caves are part of a lava formation outside the community of Paisley in south-central Oregon.

University of Oregon archaeologist Dennis Jenkins led excavations that turned up fossilized human feces—known as coprolites—that were radiocarbon dated to 14,300 years ago.

That is 1,000 years before the oldest stone points of the Clovis culture, which for much of the 20th century was believed to represent the first people in North America.

Jenkins says the site has provided significant new information about the timing and spread of the first settlers in the Americas.

Explore further: Paisley Caves yield 13,000-year old Western Stemmed points, more human DNA

Related Stories

Ancient Pa. dwelling still divides archaeologists

August 13, 2013

A fluke rainstorm at an ancient rock shelter in western Pennsylvania has brought a renowned archaeologist back to the site of where a furious debate was launched in 1973 over when the first humans came to the Americas.

Researchers date oldest known petroglyphs in North America

August 13, 2013

A new high-tech analysis led by a University of Colorado Boulder researcher shows the oldest known petroglyphs in North America, which are cut into several boulders in western Nevada, date to at least 10,500 years ago and ...

Recommended for you

Rare fossil bird deepens mystery of avian extinctions

November 13, 2018

During the late Cretaceous period, more than 65 million years ago, birds belonging to hundreds of different species flitted around the dinosaurs and through the forests as abundantly as they flit about our woods and fields ...

Violent crime rates rise in warmer winters

November 13, 2018

As global temperatures climb, warmer winters in parts of the country may set the scene for higher rates of violent crimes such as assault and robbery, according to a new CIRES study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.