Topic ID #9272 - posted 1/7/2011 10:24 AM

The Anzick site


The Anzick site is not a cache. It is a multicomponent site--there are historic eagle traps, a bison kill, and probably other cultural component present at the site. In 1968 an infant was accidentally discovered with 115 stone and osseous tools (mostly antler) within a 1 x 1 meter area (as if they had been contained perhaps by a leather wrapping or parfleche of some sort). A bleached white parietal was found meters away from the baby baby and above it on the northfacing talus slope. It is of a much later individual and was never in association with the Anzick infant. There is no ochre present on the parietal. The infant whose bones have been diagentically altered (indicated by amino acid tests performed prior to C-14 dating) was buried with ochre covered artifacts that represent the art and wealth of the Clovis people. For more information see publications by Owlsley and Hunt (1999) and Morrow and Fiedel (2006). These publications have attempted to straighten out misconceptions about the Anzick site that seem to still (after all these years) be floating around. Unfortunately even some the "experts" are still getting it wrong.

Post ID#18429 - replied 1/10/2011 3:28 PM


I don't understand where this is coming from.  Did someone mention on these boards that it wasn't or was this recently in media?

Post ID#18432 - replied 1/10/2011 7:56 PM

Charlie Hatchett

"...The infant whose bones have been diagentically altered (indicated by amino acid tests performed prior to C-14 dating) was buried with ochre covered artifacts that represent the art and wealth of the Clovis people..."

"...3. Anzick, Montana: The Anzick site in Montana is reported to be a Clovis burial and cache. At
Anzick, 12 radiocarbon dates were obtained from the cranial elements of a purported Clovis
infant skeleton and 2 dates on associated bone foreshafts. Collagen extracted from the foreshafts
yielded an average age of 11,040 + 35 14C yr B.P. (S7). The human skeletal remains were dated
during three separate research programs. The first batch of seven dates on bone comprise five
chemical fractions that were considered reliable and averaged to 10,680 + 50 14C yr B.P. (S2).
Later, a single purified collagen sample yielded a date of 11,550 + 60 14C yr B.P. (CAMS-
35912). This measurement is rejected because subsequent dating of the same XAD fraction and
preceding fractions from newly sampled bone did not replicate the 11,550 14C yr B.P. result.
The source of the contaminating 14C-depleted carbon is unknown. A more recent series of dates
from a single cranial fragment provided four new radiocarbon ages. These fractions confirm
previous date estimates for the skeleton of 10,705 + 35 14C yr B.P. The 14C dates on the skeleton
versus the dates on the bone foreshafts suggest that the skeletal remains and Clovis artifacts may
not be related and that the foreshaft ages more accurately date the site. The 10,700 year old
human remains could post-date the Clovis cache, but additional research is needed to resolve this
issue. A more recent, late Paleoindian or early Archaic human skeleton was also found at the
site (S7). The association of any of the human remains with the Clovis cache is problematic
because the site had been excavated accidentally with heavy machinery before the human bones
and artifacts were recognized and later recovered at some distance from the actual site. Thus, the
directly dated Clovis artifacts—the foreshafts—appear to accurately date the site...."

Supporting Online Material for
Redefining the Age of Clovis:
Implications for the Peopling of the Americas
Michael R. Waters* and Thomas W. Stafford Jr.
*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:
Published 23 February 2007, Science 315, 1122 (2007)
DOI: 10.1126/science.1137166


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