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Adams State professor contributed to ground breaking research


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“An Ice Age paleontological-turned-archaeological site in San Diego, California, preserves 130,000-year-old bones and teeth of a mastodon that show evidence of modification by early humans. Analysis of these finds dramatically revises the timeline for when humans first reached North America, according to a paper to be published in the April 27 issue of the prestigious science journal Nature.

Adams State University’s Dr. Jared Beeton, professor of physical geography, contributed to the research on the Cerutti Mastodon site and is one of 11 authors on the article. Beeton analyzed the various layers of sediment at the site in order to determine geologic events that contributed to the arrangement of fossils and stones.

In 1992, San Diego Natural History Museum paleontologists discovered the fossil remains of a mastodon. Bones, tusks, and molars, many of which are sharply broken, were found deeply buried alongside large stones that appeared to have been used as hammers and anvils, making this the oldest in situ, well-documented archaeological site in the Americas. (Paleontology is the study of past geological periods through fossils; archaeology is the study of past human life though material remains.) Since its initial discovery, this site has been the subject of research by top scientists to date the fossils accurately and evaluate microscopic damage on bones and rocks that authors now consider indicative of human activity. Radiometric dating of the site completed in 2014 indicates that the site is 130,000 years old.” (…) READ MORE