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13,500-year-old tool-making site discovered in Idaho


A stone tool-making site that dates back 13,500 years has been found in an Idaho forest.

On a remote forest riverbank in northern Idaho, archaeologists have uncovered evidence of human occupation going back more than 13,500 years, adding to the signs of an increasingly ancient human presence in the Northwest, and fueling the debate about how the region’s earliest settlers got there.

The oldest evidence, found in test pits dug along the North Fork of the Clearwater River, includes a blade-like tool fashioned from a rock cobble and dozens of flakes left over from the tool-making process, known as debitage.

The artifacts were found in a layer of soil with charcoal that was radiocarbon dated to 13,740 to 13,490 calendar years ago.

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Story: Blake De Pastino, Western Digs | Photo: Laura Longstaff

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