Comet May Not Have Rocked Stone Age World





While most scientists agree that a large object from space likely crashed into Earth and led to the eventual demise of the dinosaurs, a new study takes aim at theories that suggest similar events spelled bad news for large animals and Stone Age hunters nearly 13,000 years ago.

For about three years, scientists have debated over what caused drastic climate changes and gaps in the archaeological record at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, a period of time spanning from about 1.8 million to 11,500 years ago.

They puzzled over what could have caused what appeared in the fossil record to be the extinction of more than three-fourths of North America's large Ice Age animals while also nearly wiping out the Clovis people - a Stone Age group that had only recently immigrated to the continent.

Evidence against a comet strike

Theories emerged that a comet may have slammed into the ice fields of eastern Canada, sufficiently altering the climate enough to wipe out large animals such as mastodons and woolly mammoths, and devastate the population of the continent's first human inhabitants.

Yet, in a new study led by Vance Holliday, an anthropology professor at the University of Arizona in Tucson, the researchers found that archaeological evidence for such a catastrophic event seems rather thin....


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