Researchers with the University of Texas may have uncovered the first evidence of the earliest North American civilization yet discovered, right here in Texas.
Texas has played host to many important archaeological/paleontological discoveries. Such finds have included artifacts from the Clovis civilization, named for Clovis, New Mexico where their “4-inch fluted projectile spear tips” were discovered. Previously, the Clovis had been believed to be the earliest residents of North America. However, if the latest discovery at the Gault dig-site near Killeen pans-out, then Texas was home to a people that significantly pre-date the Clovis people.
According to an article in the Texas Standard, Gault site archaeologist, Tom Williams, believes the discovery of several spear points recovered at the site are remarkable due to their dissimilarity to any other previously discovered projectile type. Additionally, there is the age to consider. If estimates are correct, the artifacts could be “‘16,000-20,000 years old, which would put them at about 3,000 years older than any Clovis artifact.'” Williams commented:
‘It really is changing the paradigm that we currently consider for the earliest human occupation in the Americas.’
The excavation is on-going. In fact, that area has been a favorite for archaeologists and treasure hunters since the late 1920s and no doubt the earth there has yet more secrets to give up. However, this discovery is just one more example of the rich culture and history (or pre-history) contained in Texas, and another area where Texas was first!