Source
Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.


Spearheads from Paisley cave The artifacts found in Oregon’s Paisley Caves date back 14,000 years. (University of Oregon, Jim Barlow / AP Images)

Who Were the First Americans?

Spearheads recently found in Oregon may have been made by some of America’s earliest settlers

By Sara Goudarzi | September 18 , 2012

Archaeologists have discovered that humans may have lived in the Americas earlier than once thought. Weapons and other items that date back 14,000 years were recently found deep inside Oregon’s Paisley Caves.

Until recently, many archaeologists thought that the Clovis people were the first Americans. These ancient mammoth-hunters are thought to have entered what is now Alaska about 13,000 years ago, via land bridges connecting Asia with North America. They then spread south throughout the continent. These hunters are known to archaeologists for the specific shape of their spearheads (sharpened rocks attached to spears), which were first discovered near Clovis, New Mexico, in the 1920s and 1930s.

But new evidence is making many scientists question the Clovis theory. The spearheads left behind in the Paisley Caves were not made in the specific style used by the Clovis people. The spearheads found in Oregon are known as Western Stemmed, and are similar to weapons found in northeastern Asia.

“These two approaches to making projectile points were really quite different,” says Loren Davis, a researcher from Oregon State University. “The fact that Western Stemmed point makers fully overlap, or even predate, Clovis point makers likely means that Clovis peoples were not the sole founding population of the Americas.”

In addition to the spears, researchers analyzed artifacts and bones found in the layers of earth nearby. Through radiocarbon dating—or analyzing the carbon molecules in these materials to determine their age—scientists found that some of the items date back 14,150 years.

Says Eske Willerslev, a biologist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, “The dissimilar stone artifacts . . . show that humans were present before Clovis and that another culture in North America was at least as old as the Clovis culture itself.”

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 400–499

    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 400–499

    Increase the Informational Text in your classroom with this valuable collection designed to meet interests across all Lexile® measures.

    Organized by Lexile, this 20-book collection contains age-appropriate content-area trade books that students at different levels can read successfully and enjoy. This collection features high-interest science and social studies titles.


    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Avalanche!
    • Christopher Columbus
    • City Green
    • The Eagle Has Landed
    • Folktales from China
    • In the Rain Forest
    • The Magic School Bus® Chapter Books: Polar Bear Patrol
    • The Magic School Bus® on the Ocean Floor
    • The Magic School Bus®: The Magic School Bus® and the Electric Field Trip
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington
    • Martin's Big Words
    • Molly's Pilgrim
    • Ron's Big Mission
    • Sarah, Plain and Tall: Skylark
    • Sideways Stories from Wayside School
    • Snakes and Other Reptiles
    • Usborne: The Great Dinosaur Search
    • Vote!
    • Whales, The Gentle Giants
    • What If You'd Met...Beethoven?

    $79.00 You save: 31%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades 3-5
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Intermediate, Levels 400–499
    Grades 3-5 $79.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Elementary, Levels 600–699

    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Elementary, Levels 600–699

    Increase the Informational Text in your classroom with this valuable collection designed to meet interests across all Lexile® measures.

    Organized by Lexile, this 20-book collection contains age-appropriate content-area trade books that students at different levels can read successfully and enjoy. This collection features high-interest science and social studies titles.


    See below for complete list of titles. Appropriate titles of equal value may be substituted if any of the listed titles are unavailable at shipping time.

    Title list:
    • Amazing Gorillas!
    • Bad Kitty for President
    • Biblioburro
    • Christopher Columbus
    • The Cloud Book
    • Five Brilliant Scientists
    • Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean
    • Food Chain Frenzy
    • From Seed to Plant
    • Ladybugs
    • Lots and Lots of Coins
    • Mexico
    • Monarch Butterflies
    • Mummies and Pyramids
    • Owls, Bats, Wolves
    • Punctuation Celebration
    • A Weed is a Flower
    • What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?
    • What's It Like to Be a Fish?
    • Wildlife Conservation Society: Amazing Whales!

    $79.00 You save: 29%
    Paperback Book Collection | Grades K-3
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Lexile® Leveled Content Area Library, Interest Level: Elementary, Levels 600–699
    Grades K-3 $79.00
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy
EMAIL THIS

* YOUR FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S FIRST NAME ONLY

* FRIEND'S EMAIL ADDRESS

MESSAGE
Here's something interesting from Scholastic.com