Paleolithic Indians in Georgia
19th Century archaeologist Christian Thomsen devoloped
the idea of progressive human development and proposed a "Three
Age System" to describe the assumption. The three ages, Stone, Bronze
and Iron are still used to describe time periods in non-technical
terms, but Thomsen's names for the ages are now considered outdated.
His underlying theory, however, is the basis of much of modern archeology.
In North America fluted stone arrowheads dated to
10,000-11,000 years before present at Blackweel Draw, a prehistoric
site near Clovis, New Mexico, where discovered by local residents
in 1929. The discovery resounded across the archeological world,
pushing the date of inhabitation of the North American continent
back further then previously thought.
Discoveries were made that indicated even earlier
dates of inhabitation in North America. From Pennsylvania, Virginia,
and Wisconsin came astonishing discoveries that challenged the Clovis
claim of oldest. Each time valid questions were raised, but the
body of pre-Clovis evidence was growing. Then came word of the work
at Monte Verde in Chile, where Tom Dillehay of the University of
Kentucky had dated artifacts back to 12,000 BC, significantly older
than Clovis. Yet the so-called "Clovis-first" advocates
found issues with the dig and refused to recognize an earlier date.
That is until University of South Carolina Professor
Albert Goodyear, himself a "Clovis-first" advocate, discovered
small flaked stone tools more than a meter beneath the suspected
Clovis layer at the "Topper Site" along the South Carolina and Georgia
border in 1998. According to Archeology Magazine, Goodyear returned
to the site because of the Monte Verde discoveries and the lesser
finds in North America. Topper (named for a local man who led Goodyear
to the site) shook the archeological community, possibly pushing
the date of earliest inhabitation on the North American continent
to well before 20,000 BC and revolutionizing the direction of inhabitation
-- some of the artifacts exhibit similarities to Old World Upper
Palaeolithic bone and wood working implements known as burins.