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Re-Evaluation of the First Radiocarbon Age for the Folsom Culture

  • Vance T. Holliday (a1) and Eileen Johnson (a2)

Abstract

Charred remains of Bison antiquus recovered in 1950 from lacustrine sediments at the Lubbock Lake archaeological site (Southern High Plains of Texas) yielded a radiocarbon age of 9,883 ± 350 years B.P. (C-558). The bone was believed to be from the Folsom occupation of the site and the date was considered to be the first for the Folsom culture in North America. Although the feature that contained the bone was correlated with bone beds that contained Folsom points found elsewhere at the site, the dated feature did not contain diagnostic artifacts and direct correlations with the Folsom features were not possible. Excavations at the site since 1973 provide data that demonstrate that the feature that produced the historic date is stratigraphically above the Folsom horizon. Sediment samples taken from the feature have yielded radiocarbon ages of 8,585 ± 145 years B.P. (SI-5499) and 8,130 ± 80 years B.P. (SMU-1089). These ages further demonstrate that the feature is from a post-Folsom occupation, and probably represents the Firstview occupation of the site. The Lindenmeier site, Colorado, probably produced the first radiocarbon age for the Folsom culture.

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References

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