In 1992, a group of archaeologists found something extraordinary buried below a sound berm next to the San Diego freeway in Southern California. They had been called in during a freeway renovation to do some excavation because the fossil-laced earth of the California coast often yields scientific treasures. After digging about three meters below the construction area, Center for American Paleolithic Research archaeologist Steve Holen was deep into a pristine layer of soil that hadn’t been disturbed for millennia. There, he found what appeared to be an abandoned campsite, where humans had left stone tools and hammered mastodon bones behind. This wasn’t too unusual; it’s fairly well-established that humans were hunting mastodons in the Americas as early as 15,000 years ago.
But when Holen’s colleagues… Read the rest