Radiocarbon analysis sheds light on the riddle of ancient burial

Scientists for the first time confirmed the authenticity of the burial of the ancient man of culture Clovis. A new study using radiocarbon analysis of a specific amino acid confirmed the dating of children’s remains found in the middle of the twentieth century.

Clovis is an ancient archeological culture of the ancestors of most Indian tribes. People who made related instruments lived in North and Central America about 13,000 years ago. These people created a special kind of copies, hunted large animals – mammoths, bison, mastodons. After experiencing its heyday, civilization suddenly and very quickly disappeared. There are several theories of the reasons for the disappearance of the clovis, but none of them has yet received sufficient confirmation. Numerous finds related to culture are documented from the first third of the twentieth century and allow much to understand how Clovis lived. However, until now there has been no human burial that could be reliably attributed to the right period.

“Kid Antsik” – burial of a small child, found in Montana in 1968. The builders found it on the territory of the Antsik land plot, surrounded by various tools and items related to the Clovis culture. Scientists, however, were confronted with a problem: when analyzing, it turned out that the remains are younger than the tools. If the burial were Clovis, the age of the remains and tools would have to coincide.

In a new study, a team of scientists from Texas, Oxford and Colorado used the new method. Assuming that the previous samples could be contaminated, the researchers took for the radiocarbon analysis the amino acid hydroxyproline, separating it from the bones of Anzik’s remains. “This amino acid could only come from the human skeleton and could not be contaminated,” says Michael Waters, director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans. The new data show: the remains and tools were buried simultaneously. Having dated Anzik’s age around 12725 years, the study confirms that this is the only known burial site of Clovis. According to scientists, these data will help to better periodize the settlement of the New World by people and more to tell about the ancestors of its modern inhabitants.

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