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Ancient Florida

May 16, 2016

New evidence confirms that a prehistoric archaeological site in Florida is one of the continent’s oldest.


Page-Ladson Brendan Fenerty

Retrieving artifacts and bones from the underwater Page-Ladson archaeological site. (Brendan Fenerty)


Ancient people in Florida. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

More than 14,500 years ago, ancient people dined on a mastodon in what’s now northwestern Florida. The remains were recently retrieved from an underwater archaeological site called Page-Ladson, first discovered in the 1980s. Back then, many researchers remained unconvinced that the site pre-dated the Clovis culture, long believed to be the earliest humans in North America. But Florida State University archaeologist Jessi Halligan and her colleagues report in Science Advances that radiocarbon dating of the artifacts clears up the controversy.


It’s the oldest unambiguous archaeological site in the southeastern United States.


Further clues from the site provide evidence that mastodons and humans co-existed for an additional 2,000 years before the giant herbivores went extinct in North America. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.