Discovery of widespread platinum may help solve Clovis people mystery
University of South Carolina archaeologists found an abundance of platinum — an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comet — at 11 Clovis excavation sites across the United States. Credit: South Carolina Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina
No one knows for certain why the Clovis people and iconic beasts—mastodon, mammoth and saber-toothed tiger – living some 12,800 years ago suddenly disappeared. However, a discovery of widespread platinum at archaeological sites across the United States by three University of South Carolina archaeologists has provided an important clue in solving this enduring mystery.
The research findings are outlined in a new study released Thursday (March 9) in Scientific Reports, a publication of Nature. The study, authored by 10 researchers, builds on similar findings of platinum – an element associated with cosmic objects like asteroids or comets – found by Harvard University researchers in an ice-core from Greenland in 2013.
The South Carolina researchers found an abundance of platinum in soil layers that coincided with the “Younger-Dryas,” a climatic period of extreme cooling that began around 12,800 ago and lasted about 1,400 years. While the brief return to ice-age conditions during the Younger-Dryas has been well-documented by scientists, the reasons for it and the demise of the Clovis people and animals have remained unclear.
“Platinum is very rare in the Earth’s crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets,” says Christopher Moore, the study’s lead author. He calls the presence of platinum found in the soil layers at 11 archaeological sites in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina an anomaly.Ichingcarpenter, Beebee, 7wo7rees and 3 othersazurnoir, HubHeaver, lawal like this
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.