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Poop: The oldest direct evidence of people in America

Human coprolites (fossilized poop) found in Oregon’s Paisley Caves have been dated back 14,500 years, making them the oldest direct evidence of people in America.

Some of the most interesting discoveries in archaeology come from sifting through ancient garbage dumps. Scientists working in Oregon have found one that has yielded what they say are the oldest human remains in the Americas and a puzzle about the earliest American tools.

Early Americans used Oregon’s Paisley Caves for, among other things, a toilet. Little did they know that scientists would be picking through what they left behind.

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Story: Christopher Joyce, NPR | Photo: Jim Barlow/Science/AAAS

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