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“We were all taught [North America was first populated] 13,500 years ago, and it appears that people arrived 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.” [See what may be the oldest known artifact in the West: “Stone Tool Unearthed in Oregon ‘Hints’ at Oldest Human Occupation in Western U.

S.” The location in Texas where the new finds were made, known as the Gault site, was first identified in the 1920s, but it wasn’t until the 1990s that archaeologists discovered the first tools, like tapered-oval spear heads, that were clear signs of the ancient Clovis culture.

Archaeologists in Texas thought they’d made an important discovery in the 1990s, when they unearthed a trove of stone tools dating back 13,000 years, revealing traces of the oldest widespread culture on the continent.

But then, years later, they made an even more powerful find in the same place — another layer of artifacts that were older still.

"Up until now we thought of cultural developments leading to the opportunity of people to move out of Africa.

A Banded Slate Pendant, ground around the edges exposing the banded color, leaving the natural rind in the center, the back is all smooth natural rind, but grooved at the top to help with attachment, most likely dates to the Woodland to Mississippian Periods, ca.3000 - 500 B.

Even with "the confounding lack of diagnostic fossil evidence," says Chris Stringer, a professor of paleontology at the Natural History Museum in London and who was not involved in the research, the new archaeological work "provides important clues that early modern humans might have dispersed from Africa across Arabia, as far as the Strait of Hormuz, by 120,000 years ago." The new findings will be published in the January 28 issue of , and researchers think that the results could have broad implications for thinking not just about when and where humans first decamped from Africa, but also why and how.

The oldest examples are found in Lower Egypt at the settlement of Merimde Beni Salamais, dating to the Merimden period over 6000 years ago, and exhibit a low level of technical competency in their manufacturing (Hoffman 1979). 4000-3000 BC) the quality of the manufacturing increased dramatically.

This artifact was surface collected in the 1950's by an oil exploration scientist in remote regions of the Central Sahara, and examined by the Peabody Museum. Neolithic arrowhead found in the North Western Sahara desert. Neolithic arrowhead found in the North Western Sahara desert. This hard to find Eccentric point with six main notches, measuring 28mm by 15mm.

Just beyond a shallow, narrow sea lay an open topography of grassy savanna, populated by plentiful game and few predators.

About a half-hour north of Austin and a meter deep in water-logged silty clay, researchers have uncovered evidence of human occupation dating back as much as 16,700 years, including fragments of human teeth and more than 90 stone tools.

In addition to being some of the oldest yet found in the American West, the artifacts are rare traces of a culture that predated the culture known as Clovis, whose distinctively shaped stone tools found across North America have consistently been dated to about 13,000 years ago.

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