Ancient weapons found in Texas are believed to be the oldest ever found in North America and could shed new light on how humans came to the continent, Science Daily reported.
According to researchers, spear points and other tools discovered under several feet of sediment 40 miles northwest of Austin were dated to be 15,500 years old and pre-date Clovis, long believed to be the first people to enter the Americas.
The Clovis people invented the “Clovis point,' a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and parts of the United States and northern Mexico. The weapons were made to hunt animals, including mammoths and mastodons, from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.
“There is no doubt these weapons were used for hunting game in the area at that time,” Michael Waters, distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, who led the research, told The Daily Mail.
“The findings expand our understanding of the earliest people to explore and settle North America,” he added.
The researchers believe that the projectile point found in Texas is a distinct style created by people of an earlier migration into the Americas and would have been used between 13,500 and 15,500 years ago.
Conventional science says that the earliest settlers reached the Americas via Siberia, crossing the now-defunct Bering land bridge on foot and trekking through Canada some 13,000 years ago.
That clashes with archaeological findings that suggest humans were already living in Chile about 15,000 years ago or more and in Florida 14,500 years ago.
Scientists now believe the first Americans could have taken a coastal route along Alaska's Pacific border to enter the continent.
This theory provides an alternative narrative and could mark a step toward solving the mystery of how humans came to the Americas.