Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vero Man - Er - Woman

Archaeological dig to start in early June at site where Vero Man was found By Elliott Jones Originally published 10:26 p.m., May 30, 2009 Updated 10:26 p.m., May 30, 2009 VERO BEACH — Part of an answer to how many thousands of years Indians lived on the Treasure Coast can be found in grains of sand 15 feet underground behind the new Indian River County Administration building. In early June, scientists are to drill down to get sand samples for laboratory dating of the site where very ancient Indian bones, dubbed the Vero Man, were unearthed around 1915. That’s part of a two-part initiative that is to include a scientific excavation of a portion of the site next year. For now, “If you line up 20 scientists and go down the line and ask how old are the bones, a third will say they are 10,000 years old,” said Florida State University archaeologist Glen Doran. “A third will say 6,000 years old. “I am among the others who shrug their shoulders and say no one knows for sure” about the age of the Vero Beach bones, he said. “I say let’s see what we can find out.” Elsewhere on the Treasure Coast, the oldest other human remains are dated around 4,300 years ago in Martin County, said Stuart resident Lucille Rieley Right, president of the South East Florida Archaeological Society. Early last century the digging of a large drainage canal on the north side of Vero Beach unearthed the human bones near remains of extinct species, including mammoths, that are assumed to have died out around 10,000 years ago. The discovery attracted national scientific attention — because it defied conventional wisdom that people dated back only 6,000 years in the United States. For 20 years the one-acre site was one of the most famous archaeological locations in the nation because it was the first to suggest people had been in North America at the end of the age of the great land mammals. That age included bear-sized sloths, camels and giant saber-tooth cats. Scientific excavations elsewhere in Florida have since confirmed humans date back at least 12,000 years in the state and were killing mammoths, Doran said. Indians were in other parts of the United States even earlier, research shows. But the antiquity of Vero Man — the bones turned out to be female — remained a question. Some of the human skeletal remains are in the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, he said. However minerals saturated the bones for thousands of years making it virtually impossible to determine their age using high-tech methods, he said. In October, a laboratory dating test of a mammoth bone from the site didn’t work. Last summer Doran and others took 10 soil borings from the Vero Man site to help pinpoint where more excavation work should be done. Now Doran and several other scientists are returning to the site around the first week of June to get new soil samples to subject to the newest dating method: measuring the radioactivity of sand grains. Once quartz sand is buried, it progressively builds up radioactivity that can be measured to estimate how long ago it was on the surface. So Doran will be pulling up new soil borings encased in black plastic. Those will be tested in Canada by a scientist pioneering the dating method. Ultimately, though, it will take an old-style excavation of the site to probe for more definitive proof: actual human remains with bones of extinct animals, he said. Doran mailed a letter to the city of Vero Beach proposing such an excavation in 2010 in connection with the city’s plans to build a drainage cleanup system at the Vero Man site. The Florida Department of State wants the excavation done — at an estimated cost of $80,000 to $100,000 — before construction begins on an $850,000 water cleanup system, said Assistant City Engineer Bill Messersmith. Messersmith isn’t ready to say how the scientific excavation work would be financed. “I want to see both projects move forward: the excavation and the storm water project,” Messersmith said.
Okay, what I want to know is how did man get all the way to Florida 12,000 years ago when he was just supposed to be starting to cross the Bering land bridge by foot or, perhaps, taking boats across the straits and island hopping from Sibera to Alaska??? It is this kind of archaeological evidence that keeps cropping up that causes me to have serious doubts about DNA analysis "conclusively" determining who arrived in North America, from where, and when. At this point in time, it looks pretty clear to me that - WE JUST DON'T KNOW - despite what some experts assert otherwise.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...