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"Topper is the oldest radiocarbon dated site in North America," Goodyear says."However, other early sites in Brazil and Chile, as well as a site in Oklahoma also suggest that humans were in the Western Hemisphere as early as 30,000 years ago to perhaps 60,000." In 1998, Goodyear, nationally known for his research on the ice age Paleo Indian cultures dug below the 13,000-year Clovis level at the Topper site and found unusual stone tools up to a meter deeper.

May 2001 — Geologists revisit Topper and obtain ancient plant remains deep down in the Pleistocene terrace.

OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dates on soils above ice age strata show pre-Clovis is at least older than 14,000.

May 2002 — Geologists find new profile showing ancient soil lying between Clovis and pre-Clovis, confirming the age of ice age soils between 16,000 - 20,000 years.

The findings are significant because they suggest that humans inhabited North America well before the last ice age more than 20,000 years ago, a potentially explosive revelation in American archaeology.

Goodyear, who has garnered international attention for his discoveries of tools that pre-date what is believed to be humans' arrival in North America, announced the test results, which were done by the University of California at Irvine Laboratory, Wednesday (Nov .17).

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