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NW Pre-History and First Peoples

Tom Koppel

Koppel’s address to the SSI Historical Society about discoveries of 10,000 to 14,000 years ago on the coasts of Alaska, Queen Charlotte Islands and California.

some background crackle and hiss

Accession Number Interviewer Historical Society meeting
Date September 10, 2003 Location Central Hall
Media tape Audio CD mp3
ID 158 Duration

156_Koppel-Tom_Pre-Contact.mp3 (misnumbered)



Unknown Speaker 0:15
Thank you very much more. And thank you for coming out. Especially, I see quite a few faces that are not regular members of the society, and especially gratified to see that I just Just today, somebody came in, brought this to me to my attention, an article from the Vancouver Sun, showing the postal migration route. As I'm going to describe, this is the focus of the research that I'm going to discuss today. And so I feel I've been upstate. I mean, basically, the good news, bad news stories. I mean, the good news is, it's a hot topic. The I've been following it for about 10 years now. And so I like to think that I was ahead of the game a bit. But in a way, it's good to see this, this because I have to tell you, I've been working on this, working towards a book on this topic. And yet, I have not been able to find the publisher, I have been turned down, I have an agent and everything I've been turned down by about eight publishers already. And I'm not saying I won't find one. And ultimately, our last book, the Ballard book was turned down by at least five publishers or so. But even though something is as popular as this, and it's on some television, and you'll hear a lot about it, here is this, I think, great story, and especially a great Canadian story, because a lot of the best research that's going on is being done by Canadians and in Canada. They're just not jumping in. I got started on this, in the early 90s, when I was writing quite regularly for Canadian Geographic. And I've done a little bit of reading on the early earliest peopling of the Americas. And I was generally writing on science and geography and history, prehistory. And so I just proposed the story to them to try to sort out the different theories. And there's been a lot that's changed since the early 90s. And some of it is due to the actual research that I've been watching in the last few years. But I bet I should really start with the picture, let's say around 1990, what people imagined the possibilities were who who came first, when did they come in? And how did they get here? I'm sure you've all heard about the the notion of a Bering Land Bridge. So that seems like the most obvious way that people would come into the Americas. And it was well known that during the last ice age, with so much water trapped in these gigantic ice sheets, but sea levels were lower by at least something like 400 feet. And that would have created a land bridge at the Bering Sea. And research has shown that there clearly was a connection to Asia. So that was one major piece of evidence in changing sea level. The other important thing is that the earliest archaeological finds across North America. Up until very recently, were what is called Clovis, which is a type of stone tool technology that generally dates between 11,011 1500 years old. Now I'm talking radiocarbon years, these are not actually perfectly calibrated two calendar years. At one time it was thought that they were there it can it could be adjusted and but it's simpler usually to stick with these radiocarbon years. Because most of the literature that you've heard about, has been using this this formula with this dating system. So during the 30s, the first Clovis points were found and then through the 1950s. Basically they were found right across North America, South of where the ice sheets would have reached. And although they were always traces of other they're always people who believe that there might be older stuff. And they were constantly searching for older stuff. Nothing really conclusive was Now for all of these decades, meanwhile, Clovers was found everywhere. And clovers are basically large spearheads that would have been perfectly suited for hunting mammoth, elephants, giant bison, basically your very large ice age mammals. And so after, let's say three decades of searching and very little conclusive stuff, older than Clovis ever showing up, people began to say, well, that's probably the oldest in North America, it was found so prevalently. And it seemed to make sense that people would have come across from Asia, process LandBridge. And down into North America, just as the Ice Age was ending, and also around that time, the mammoths went extinct. And a lot of scientists, archaeologists and biologists drew the conclusion that it was the entry of people into North America that it probably, if not, were the only factor in wiping out these giant mammals. And also the large bison went extinct, that it probably was probably a connection, and that people hunted, hunted these animals to extinction. And since the timing seemed right, it all seemed to fit quite neatly. The one problem was, how did they get down into the middle of North America, when you have these huge ice sheets, which actually were believed to stretch literally from coast to coast, across northern United States and across, especially across Canada. So another important point in the theory emerged, which was that there was a corridor, so called ice free corridor, on the eastern side of the Rockies, that either was open, partially open ball through the ice age, or at least, began to open up, there was a there was a ice sheet that went from the Mountains to the Pacific, and another ice sheet that went basically from the mountains to Hudson's Bay and right out to the east coast. The assumption was that and it was really basically just an assumption, because it was very hard to trace. The exact timing of the retreat of these ice sheets is still a tremendous challenge. For glaciologists. The assumption was, well, we know the ice began retreating around 12,000 years ago. And we know that by around 11,000 years ago, people began moving north into areas between 10 and 11,000 years ago, people began to move into areas where the ice had once covered. So the assumption was, well, this corridor along the eastern side of the Rockies probably opened up just around 12,011 and a half 1000 years ago, just in time for the people who have come down into the lower latitudes in North America. There were some problems with this theory. One of the big problems was that even by the late 50s, the archaeologists were aware that people had reached southern South America by 11. That was a bit of a hint that maybe there's a problem. They had actual human remains for the cave and Cara del quake, that were quite solidly dated to just about 11,000 years ago, we had to say, if people really get by land, from, let's say, Edmonton, which is about the southern end of the ice, the so called ice free corridor. But they really have colonized all of this huge territory in between all these different ecosystems, learn how to hunt, learn how to fish, learn how to move, and I'm talking all the way down. Learning new types of animals to hunt, different types of hunting and gathering habits, and reach Tierra del Fuego. In only something like 500 to 1000 years. A lot of people really doubted it. But the evidence was presented.

Unknown Speaker 9:34
Now, there were people that were scientists, who did think that there had to be an alternative. They the leading one who's interesting to us, I think, is Knut flat archaeon, archaeologists at Simon Fraser University, who's still teaching I believe, and landmark was the first person who serious We began to propose the idea of coastal migration. But Mark had done work in the Queen Charlotte Islands in the 70s. And found some pretty old stuff wasn't old enough to prove that people could have come down with the post sooner than they came down the interior. But it was older than had been expected. It was around the 8000 to 9000 year range. That was a bit of a surprise. And he began to think well, and people were offshore. What about that people have essentially used offshore refuges as stepping stones to get sell. The question was, how could you get past the ice sheets? If the ice sheets covered from coast to coast, let's say during the latter stages of the Ice Age, well, 13 14,000 years ago, how could you get past he believed you could do it on boats and rafts. And yet at that time, there was there was no evidence on any Coast anywhere in the world, people living on the coast in boats quite that quite that long ago. Since then, is 775 months started talking about this. Since then, we've found weaving archaeologists, which is a scientist found interesting in evidence, considerable evidence that people reach over the horizon by boats, especially in the Solomon Islands. By around 20,000 years ago, they also colonized Australia 40,000. But that was not quite that far, who took barely over the horizon, and distance that would have to go, it would have been possible to see forest fires smoke from forest fires over the horizon. So people could have at least known that they were heading towards something large, and it was a very large target. But in the Solomon Islands, this was a little offshore island that we're calling on. It has now about 20,000 years or so now, there is really good evidence that people had some kind of a boat, raft or skin boat or dugout technology that that long ago that could take you significant differences across across the world. As I say when platemark started, but wasn't really clear. Another person in Canada who was a doubter, about the idea that people came down east of the Rockies inland through this corridor was Professor Ruth group. At the University of Alberta, she's now an emeritus professor, I'm not sure if she's still teaching, but Ruth Gruen had with her husband. Anyway, it's a different thing. They had dug up a mastodon elephant in Venezuela, that had a spear point lodged in its ribs. And that dated quite nicely to about 13,000 years ago. So again, there's something way down in South America, that's older than what it should be, if the old orthodox sort of sort of points of focus theory was correct. Now, finally, the most important site that really began making people have their doubts, was a site called Montverde. In southern Chile, so it's not quite here go for a little bit almost that far down. And this site began being excavated in the 80s and early 80s, by a guy named Tom Villa hay, professor at the University of Kentucky. And he found all sorts of interesting technologies that don't fit the big game hunting idea. He found things like wooden tools tend to pigs. Things that survived it was a wet baggy sight, and certain frames of fibers, things like animal skins that rarely survive that long have survived in Monteverde. So he had a usual type of evidence. They were even there was even a child's footprint, which I think is very poignant in the clay. And there were maybe the best thing of all, there were not made out of grassy plains of cord or rope. And, you know, one of the archaeologists said, nature does tight, overhand knots, you know, it can't get much better than that. And these things were because they are organic. They were all dateable. So Montverde really was good evidence and Montverde was 12 and a half to 13,000 years old. And in fact, Even some evidence lower in some lower levels that could be way older than that. But the the really well excavated areas are clearly 12 and a half to 13,000 years old. And there was almost nobody who believed that the ice sheets had cleared, or the fiskardo had opened up in time for that. So in the fact that you've got to allow at least some time to get from North America to South America, we're talking a huge distance here. So it looks like good evidence. But somehow people have come down into, at least somehow gotten through North America, probably through North America down to South America, theoretically, they could have come across from Australia by boat, and even people who believe that but the mainstream feeling on this is, it's pretty unlikely. Much more likely, is that people got to South American from North America. And again, they could have done it overland, or they could have done it by coastal migration. But if they got there by 12 and a half and thinking 1000 years ago, the old Clovis idea just had to be wrong. Coastal migration people that people believe in that said, Well, hey, no problem. People like flatline, pointed to Monteverde and said, Well, you know, you get past the ice sheets by boat, and you can move very fast. And you don't even have to make all these incredible adaptations, that would be some adaptations to the environment. But they pointed out that if you go around, let's say, from Kamchatka, in Siberia, to Alaska and British Columbia, you're not actually going through a very drastic change in habitat. We think, Oh, it's so cold up there. But actually, you basically have to eat, you have fish, shellfish who have sea mammals, like seals and sea lions to hunt, you have salmon runs and can chat to use salmon runs in Alaska. It's not that drastic and adaptation to move around, even that long distance around the North Pacific. And so the main thing was, how do you start finding evidence? Now, that's the rub. Because if people, first of all people who traveled by boat, by boat don't leave, a lot of evidence behind. The boats themselves are not likely to survive. As far as I know, nobody has ever found a dateable piece of wood or an old Raf, on this coast, it's anything like that age. If it's a skin boat, leather would probably not survive, it would be really amazing to stumble upon something like that. Whereas stone tools tend to survive. So how do you find it? And then where do you find it? It's the sea level rose 400 feet at the end of the Ice Age, then what does that imply? Almost every place that coastal people live is now way underwater. That's the really tricky part. In the early 90s, a few people around here including on Galiano Island, there was one little underwater, they began experimenting with the idea of trying to actually dig underwater with scuba gear or with with air hoses. And they did do it but in very, very shallow water. I mean, nothing that would get them down 400 feet, where the amount of time you can spend over water is extremely limited. And it's dangerous. Basically, you can't go down and come back up quickly. So it's an extreme limitation, that sort of underwater archaeology. So what else is there? The only really viable thing, and it sounds so primitive, but it's what they're actually trying is to grab for the set of jobs and hope to bring up artifacts. Now, I mean, obviously, look at the offshore area, it's a huge, huge terrain. Where do you start looking you have to narrow it. I mean, it's a needle in a haystack effort at best. So you have to start narrowing down your search and try to imagine Where would people have lived? Anyway, this is where I first came into the story.

Unknown Speaker 19:34
As as a writer, originally, I was sent by economics magazine, although in the end, some of it work. Some of it kind of worked its way into a Canadian Geographic story also. They sent me along on a research ship called the vector which is now technically postcard but this issue at that time was Fisheries and Oceans. And it was out of the Sydney Ocean Sciences Center. And there were two guys running this project. One was a kind of kind of goes with the Geological Survey of Canada, he actually is based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. But for some reason he ended up running some projects out here and he comes out a few weeks of the year. In a sense, it's a part time project, really this search because they don't have enough money for what they call shift time to do more than I think last year, they only had five days use of these chips. Everybody else wants to use these chips to their they pack they have a piggy bank this last time last year on the on an abalone survey. So the abalone people were going off each day, this direction and the archaeologists who were working directly from the ship. They have to combine their efforts. The years that I first went up in 94 to the Queen Charlotte's this was they were doing their very first major survey. And the idea was to try to find where we people have lived. They had to find the sea level. They had to know how fast the sea rose at the end of the ice age where it was at each point. And then they have to try to identify likely spots. And what they decided was, of course, that people would live at sea level. So for whichever time period they're looking, they want to look at sea level. They want to look at places like beaches and estuaries, places where screens come into the sea, places where there's likely to be lots of food, possibly sheltered areas. And at that time, the technology was not nearly as advanced as it is right now. It's changed drastically in about six years. So they had these things called sidescan, sonars. And bottom profilers, they made tools inside cancel sidescan sonar is like a little torpedo that they dragged behind the boat that sends out sonar, sound waves, and it draws a kind of a picture kind of a shadow ground of the bottom. And then the sub bottom profiler is another thing that tend to sound wave, a different kind of a booming sound wave that penetrates right down and comes back up and gives you an idea of how dense the layering is. You can see things like bedrock. And you can see soft silk. You can even see domes of methane gas and stuff like this. You don't have to know how to read it's like reading a radon stream. The first time you ever look at a radar screen is recognizable, but there was a skill to this and the people were experiencing. So under the under high Nagelsmann hands, they began doing surveys satisfying for me to watch the first time I went up, it was great. It was eight days on the ship. And I was watching them every day and taking pictures interviewing everybody and what they're doing. And then the so here with the geologist, basically doing the survey, and the archaeologist, the head of this project is Darren feci. And he's Parks Canada archaeologist. He's based in the Queen Charlotte's now he's painting lives actually in Victoria, based out of Victoria and Albert, most of his work had been in Queen Charlotte's and he basically was, he had already done a lot of digs along the shoreline. And it found that there were people there dating back to 9200 years, which is exactly when the rising sea level past today's sea level that actually went higher up into the bush. For a while there was a complex thing happening with the distortion of the Earth as the ice sheets retreat, and we'll go into that, but it was a strain. So up and down ocean of the land. So at some point, that sea level actually rose above where it is today and stay there for about 5000 here. But basically, if you went down to 9200 years ago, you were into the we're at today's sea level. And it was just loaded with artifacts. I mean, there was no doubt of the Queen Charlotte and we're talking about actually the eastern side of the Queen Charlotte, the sheltered side facing the mainland. There was no doubt that the eastern side of the Queen Charlotte's was well populated 9200 years ago, they also went down on the very lowest times of the year, and it was still loaded with artifacts. So there were lots of people there and there's every indication pointing offshore. And so the idea was could you find anything further and if the sea level was rising, let's say 10 That 1000 years ago, up to 9000 years ago, then offshore, his older, deeper is older. And in an in the bays around the Charlotte, especially the most interesting one that they focused on is called Juan Perez sin and I'm about halfway south from sand spit on more on the island to the tip of pores beyond, it's about halfway down the eastern side. This is big bay, or sound, big sheltered area, or one press sound. And they're the, they have the ideal conditions to look because the sea went from about 12 and a half 1000. And about 12 and a half, 1000 years ago, we were in the deepest water in that sound. And then right up to today's sea level about 9200 years ago, if you want to go back beyond 12,500 years, you have to go out into open Heckard space is a terrible place to work. And maybe someday they will do that. But for starters, they want to work in sheltered waters where the ships have a reasonable chance of getting in and full, full day's operating work. tossing around this does require fairly moderate weather conditions, because they're putting down these survey instruments and then the grab and it actually could be dangerous as you possibly can speak. And so the first year that I was there on that project, they tried a few grabs off of some of the places where they knew they had good stuff right on the beach. And they just went a little bit onshore. And they they sent down these big dredging draws, really, and they brought it up just like other archaeology, you often have to screen through all this stuff. And they screen through it. And they found things that looked like me bees, but you know, nothing, nothing conclusive at all. And they went back one more year, I wasn't there and same thing wasn't, wasn't very productive. They realized that, you know, they just weren't pinpointing it well enough, couldn't be competent, but it was worth the effort. But fortunately, at the same time, the technology was improving. So by 9697, there was a whole new type of instrument. And it's called swamp but symmetry. And so this is like, you know, you have your depth sounder on on it or very boat. Well, this is a very sophisticated series of depth sounders that actually take something like 120 depth measurements at a time, but perpendicular to the course of the ship. So you're cruising along this way. It's measuring, it's sending little individualized pulses of sound out and each of these directions and measuring them as they come back. And so it actually makes a measurement for just about everything as you move along. pulses at this at the right speed. So you end up with a measurement for just about every square meter of the seafloor. And it's accurate to I believe, 20 centimeters, which is extremely accurate. And so suddenly, they have, and then the computer takes over and analyzes it. I actually have one here, people look at later. And then the computer turns it into a color coded false color image according to depth. And you get a picture that's almost like flying over the seafloor. It's just amazing.

Unknown Speaker 28:48
And then they linked us at the same time, the global positioning satellite system was becoming available, it had already been available and ready for it, but it was being messed up intentionally by the US military. So the accuracy was somewhat lost. And then that was ended at some point. And they had a way to get much more accurate, so that you didn't have to use a side scan sonar every time to find where you were. You actually, with the global positioning satellites, now getting you to within a couple of meters, you know exactly where you are within a couple of meters. And with this kind of a picture of the sea bottom, the geologists, people like us, and we're able to suddenly recognize features on the bottom that they couldn't have seen with the other technology, so they could actually make out the moraine that had been left behind by the glacier. They could make out the old stream beds in beautiful detail. They could tell exactly where each is for. I mean, it's even shading with the different colors and shaded so you could even see like a gentle slope, a steep slope, any of these things, and you can figure out where would be important All you have to do is ask the computer to change the sea level for you. And, and go through a series of these iterations on the computer. And you could see at each stage as the sea level change over time, what would the shoreline have looked like. And they began to see that there were certain places where we've had the perfect conditions, you've had the stream bed coming in, you've had a sheltered area with, let's say, a spit. In many cases, this is what they found that there will be a spit somewhere that sheltered the thing from the southeast from the prevailing winds. And so you would have a beach that was sheltered, and yet, possibly, the spit was low, so still get lots of southern exposure. So it'll be a warm place, sheltered from the prevailing winds with a stream coming down to a beach. Absolutely, perfectly efficient. And they could, and they could target it to within a couple of meters. And so that's how they finally hit their first needle in the haystack. And I wish I had been there. Because apparently a great bomb and then Darren Fenty, the archaeologist, himself was actually on shore at the time at his campsite. They knew the boat was full, and they were having the abalone people staying on the ship or something. He was camping on shore, but his wife was also an archaeologist a little because he runs the project. She's not allowed to be paid. But she's an archaeologist too. And so she was there as a volunteer. And she was the one who was watching it and bringing up in there on the fourth day of dredging, and they only have one more day left of ship time. And it was a an eager beaver, deckhand. Young guy was just coastguard employee, looking at the boxes and stuff. And she's, what they, what they do is they empty this stuff out of the dredge, and they shovel it into these screens, and they'd be blasting it with high pressure hoses and seawater, to clear away all the all the silver and then see what's left. Obviously, they're looking to mainly stone tools to be a tool, bone or shelf. But really, they're mainly looking for stone tools. And even before she got into this is one guy said, What's this, he picks this thing out of the box. Apparently, the old machine is amazing. And it was a beautifully shaped piece of black basketball, which was nice sharp edges perfectly shaped like a night that you could just see how it could be used. And, and they stand for it up to the grid and Jotunheim. See, geologists had been burned so many times by false alarms, but he just didn't even hurry down to take a look at it. But then the word went out by radio, kept the husband come back and back to the ship. And he came back to the ship and they got to Vietnam. So now the the one little fly in the ointment here, which is that archaeologists like to find things in C two, they call it the latitude, which is in a perfect context where everything around it shouldn't be dated. Now, this was not a situation like this. So here they have to make the jump and say we have to assume that that artifact was left there when the sea level was or that that level. It's not 100% convincing because theoretically, it could have been dropped out of a canoe 1000s of years later. But so it's it's not perfect evidence. But it's the first thing of this sort that they've found and chances are pretty damn good that it is an artifact that was 10,200 years old. That's cool doesn't prove that it's as old as the king. Inland migration by the way, remind you they really want to get back into the 1112 13,000 year range ideal. So this is just the beginning of the surface. Now I have to shift direction here. Okay, so this was great stuff. And I'll just wrap this one up. Last year I went up to the to the Charlotte's again, because they're getting better at this. You know, they're refining the technique. And now so so after they had this now they're looking in deeper waters, and now they're looking in elsewhere in the same area on bread sound. And so went up there last year, and they were looking at water that would be 11 and a half to 12 and a half 1000 years old that's as old as they could get in the sheltered inland waters in Charlotte. And it was exciting. They kept bringing things up that were maybes, but even a lot of maybes don't make sure thing is business. Because there's always a chance that a piece of earring out these beautiful sharp pieces of stone you look at any of us without, it's got to be an artifact, well, you know, it's sharp enough to do this and you could scrape with it, you could cut something with it. But they have a very rigorous standard and has to be, basically it has to have been knocked and hid, and sharp and wood chips taken off with it from several different directions that would clearly indicate that it's a human. It's made by people rather than by accident, because there's a lot of ways that things can be broken, and you can create sharp edges. And so there's the things that they brought up last year. Everybody had a different idea that this was my favorite one, you know, and some other archaeologists say no, that's the one that I think is an artifact, but they really should be able to agree on it. Now the first one they brought up in 9798. Was everyone agree? There's no problem that it's an artifact? It's just a question. Is it truly 10,200 years old? So I went up there last year, and again, it seems inclusive, it's frustrating. They're still looking, you know, but like last year, they only got five days of shipping. We'll see what happens this year. I don't know if the schedule would make it truly going back up. Again, this is summer. And you know, if they get another artifact, and that they get it in 11 and a half 1000 year depths of water. That's pretty good. But it still will only be the beginning of the story really, because they don't know that much about these people. And there will still be archaeologists who say no, I'm putting off a positive founding kind of context though. It could be absolutely sure. Now, in Alaska, there is in some ways a better chance because not underwater. So at the same time that using the herons and Beji we're looking underwater in Charlotte's a paleontologist an archaeologist in Chem hidden from the University, University of South Dakota was tipped off by some caver. spelunkers I guess caving friends of his he also explores caves for fun that they had found some really interesting things and he's limestone caves on Prince of Wales Island. Prince of Wales Island was just north of Charlotte's it's a huge island. It's a third largest island in the United States. Apparently, it's the biggest both of the Charlotte put together so it's, it's about the same size of the Queen Charlotte in all mean, Charlotte's are made of two large islands and a bunch of smaller ones. And so Prince of Wales Island is okay, one other thing I haven't explained.

Unknown Speaker 38:06
It was pretty clear that the Charlotte's were an ice free carrier during the last ice age. This is research that is done mainly by biologists, potentially Rafi Matthews, also at Simon Fraser University, who've been studying pollen out there and you know, you can tell what was growing there and when was it growing there and it was clear that there was at least this one ice three refuge. Now there were small glaciers on the Charlotte some south but it's obvious that the glaciers from the mainland, although they may have come down to the sea, they didn't reach out 70 miles or 60 miles across Hekate straight and totally engulfed the shark. So the Charlotte's were one of these ice age refuges where things could live. And that's what they're interested in. Prince of Wales Island it wasn't so clear Prince of Wales Island is not quite as far off shore checking not very far from the mainland at all. But it's a big island. And there were people who believe that the north or Western corners of Prince of Wales furthest from the mainland might have been nice for you. And so the big tip off came when these cavers found some bare bones in there were many many limestone caves on this island. They found some bare bones that were in the nine to 12,000 year range, and then also 25 to 30,000 years. So it was clear that there had at least been areas on Prince of Wales Island that bears could live in dandy in caves, both before the height of the last ice age and right after the height Small 1000 years ago, remember, at the beginning of the end of the Ice Age, things are beginning to melt. Then they found some seal bones that were in one of the kidneys that were 17 out. And that put it right at the height at the height of the ice age. And they had marks on them that indicated that they've been chewed by carnivores and probably theirs. And anyway, these caves are quite far above the sea, it's unlikely to seal on its own crawled up into the woods. Maybe there weren't any woods, maybe they're just tundra and rock, but pretty unlikely that a sealed with a client hundreds of feet above the sea into a cave. So it's most likely that a bear had dragged or some other large animal like a wolf had dragged his seal up into this cave. So this paleontologists Tim Heaton, got involved. And that one particular cave and that's the one that they focused on the very small cave, there's lots of large, really impressive caves on Prince of Wales Island. Some of them were tourist attractions, philosophy, caverns, 100 feet high inside, they just mountains that have been hollowed out by the flow of water over 1000s and 1000s of years. But this particular cave painting, okay, hold on your knees cave, because you have to crawl into it. Well, now that they've dug out a lot of sediment people sort of have stand up. But when they first discovered it, it was this tiny little thing, this one little opening and only goes back about 50 feet. But one of these, one of the times that this guy went in there, and he was exploring many of the caves, there's only giving a little bit of time to each one to hype up this day. And he was digging around, and he's looking for animal bones. So he was looking for things like bears and seal bones. Paleontologists looking for animal bones. He was trying to actually piece together things together. The history of bears on the coast, there was an interesting question so that the bears have been wiped out by the ice and then they re colonize it or entrance into a paleontologist anyway. He was digging around in the back of his cave, with his battery powered light on his helmet, and his rain gear and up comes this thing that looks kind of different piece of ball and reaches in Mach and kicks it out. And he was just about to quit really for the day. And even for the season. It was actually his last plan, our sort of work of that season, and he was going to move on. And he sees this thing. Oh, this looks good looks. It looks like it's been working. It was just a bone, the bone that had been shaped and had been tapered, sort of ground down on the sides. And made into a medical clinic. It's something sort of like that had a really odd distinctive shape. It made him think that was the work by people. And he dug in further. And these things came up all in crusted in love. But they repeat them parts of the jaw and didn't look like any animal with humans. And so they're all I guess I'm not knocking on for the day quite yet. And he kept on working and he filled his bags, and he worked alone and drag these things down to the sea and he washed them had to get them all the way down. This is about 400 feet up way up in the woods on a block and coming down to his campsite. And he washed them off. And it's clear this human human teeth, human jaw. And there was also this piece of bone that was like a rib of an animal or something that had been worked. And so this was really the eureka moment there. And he immediately had to call in helicopter was the person in charge it was if this is in a National Forest. There's there are laws that require that if you find human remains that are presumed to be of course, native remains and everything has to stop and you have to get permission of the native groups involved. And he knew about those laws of course, and he had to do that. So, he called in the helicopter and the the archaeologists from the forest service. He said you got to come in here and look at these things and have to decide what to do. The law was very clear they want to have to do they have to stop excavation and they have to go to the Indian boundary now. Prince of Wales Island actually divided between Haida just like the Charlotte on the south end, playing it on the north end of this was more than Lincoln territory, north end of the island. So they really went to the Lincoln and they presented the evidence of what happened. And fortunately, I mean, you know, about Kennewick man, I assume people heard about that. Columbia River when the whole thing is about me involved in the course we find old remains that are controversial, could bog you down. And if you're an archaeologist, could be very frustrating. But that link in this particular group were interested, they wanted to know about it, they wanted to know how old it was wanting to know as much as they could, and it gave them permission to have these things dated. Now, already, by that time, an archaeologist named Jim Dixon work for many years in Alaska, I was one of the people who believed in the coastal migration theory already had even written a book on it. But without a lot of great evidence, he had already put in his work in his interest in these cases, if anything came up. And so basically, he was called in. And so these remains were sent down to one of his labs, or his he's active in Denver, Museum of Natural History in Denver. And it was very interesting, the data turned out that the human remains, no teeth and jaw, part of the pelvis. Were about 9200 years old, give or take on the artifact was 10,300. So that puts it almost exactly the same age as the artifact that was dredged up from the Charles, which I think was very nice. I mean, it means that people were there. It's not you know, I think it gives more credibility to the artifact in the short term. There's no reason to doubt people were on that coast at that point, so that that was the oldest artifact ever cone on the coast at that time, of Canada or Alaska, since then.

Unknown Speaker 47:49
Anyway, so with with this evidence, start with Jim Dixon, the archaeologists went out and apply for brands to get together as a team. So now that this was end of 96 days, it was 97. Myths, the first a little bit of employment and 97. But basically, what until 98, summer of 98. And last summer, that he was able to start digging. Strangely with all of this stuff down inside the cave. Now I knew all the the paleontologists kept digging inside the cave, they also got together a larger team. And for the last couple of summers, they've had about 15 people working half of them archeologists, half of them paleontologist, are sort of divided up the cave, and the paleontologists are working mainly way inside the cave and the cave. It's not very far in the archaeologists who work at the mouth of the cave and just outside the cave, on the assumption that usually that's where people would hang out. It wouldn't be necessarily way deep in the cave. The strange thing to me, I went up there last summer to see it. Just written an article by the way, and it's out whatever it I haven't seen it. It's probably coming to me as we speak. My copies for American archaeology magazine, which is published by the archaeological Conservancy in the United States. Anyway, the they kept digging inside the cave, and they've never found anything more exciting than this. Inside the cave. But outside the cave, they've kind of lost lots of stuff. So that's what I got to see. Basically, right outside this little cave, it's up on the hillside in dense forest. It's a south facing slope. So, again, the the last I'd say it probably would have been, well, depends on exactly when, but the forest came in at about 4000 years ago. So it depends on when you're talking about, there would have been there been no forest, if you're talking older and about 12,000 years ago, or there might have been in forest 1011 12,000 years ago, the steep rocky slope, but it's a good site for people to hang out, especially if they're hunting bears, and this is conjecture, but why would they be there? Why would people be there? 10,000 years ago, it's not honestly, it's only about maybe three quarters of a mile infancy. But still, that's not fun to see. And what else is there such possibly, to hunt bears and bears that are hibernating or getting are considered to be vulnerable. And apparently, elsewhere, people have affairs that way or happens that way. So this was the assumption that the people would applying way up, it's actually quite high up a steep terrible trail to get to this place. Nice level spot, though, just outside. And it's about maybe its biggest this room is a nice little platform area right outside the cave now. That's where they found loss. So there's basically they start, how do you start an archeological site, once you're doing it, you can't just go to the bottom and look for the old stuff. You got to get down through all of the layers that are above it. And they're all younger. So basically, they've been gradually working their way down, they've had to have to do it systematically. They've laid out this typical grid that archaeologists work with every every meter is laid out with red cords, and they, they scrape and they worked with tiny little brushes, and they have to record everything and map everything is they gonna very tedious, very slow. And they've had a couple of terrible standards of heavy, heavy, heavy rain, nasty weather. Although when I was up there was poured with perfect time people go to the coast of Alaska, it's sunny and warm every day. Basically, again, the frustration for me. I got there towards the very ends of their season last summer. And they were almost wrapping up. And they had not finished excavating their main grid down to the key layer. They, they had dug a trench right out from the mouth of the cave, right down to bedrock. So they did identify that they had already identified all the different layers. And basically, David them found its carbon and wooded each layer in the data, you get down to this 9200 year point, which I said, that's when the human remains deep, too. And it's just all of artifacts, I mean, so there's lots of action there. There were lots of these things called MicroBlaze, which are made of obsidian within this technology. It was just on the coast here not found elsewhere. But it was where you took a very hard, sharp volcanic glass column sitting in your gray box. It's tiny, new arrays and sharp things. And you insert them into a half like a point of wood or antler point. And you can make a, let's say a spear. It's like having little razor blades inserted from both sides. It's a very sophisticated Stone Age technology based on technology. It was loaded with apparently, in some of these places, it's an amazing thing that they can actually see the spot where somebody sat making these tools, because the chips neatly spaced on kind of semi circle around the particular spot. This is the value of of mapping everything on every single little thing like that's found it's carefully recording things you put on your computer. But Jim Dickson showed me so the key thing that we're really looking for is below that. Points is the line little brown lines that you've added to that line operating below the 9200 years six. That is wind blowing soil doesn't seem to have any rock and it doesn't seem to have a bunch of debris of any kind, but they found one suspicious thing in there. A cobble chunk of stone has been broken in a way that could have been used as a tool like a scraper but it's generally hard to be sure. Lots of things that could be used as tools. It doesn't have have all those wonderful characteristics dragged off the bottom in the shadows. But it gives them some hope. But the fact is, it's all covered still by these other squares above it that they haven't fully excavated yet. And they can't just go down and make a mess of everything above it. And so they've still got to gradually work their way down. But his belief is that that layer is before the trees came in, so that would make it before about 12,000 years old. He thinks it's windblown soil, on Tundra type applications, everything points to that. So there's there's one layer there that they're waiting to get at. This is basically where the search stands now. They think they'll get through it this coming summer. I hope so. I'm waiting eagerly, and they will get to some of it this summer. They may not completely excavate it even this coming summer. And the chances now it's conceivable that there are other caves on that island that have interesting things and that have potential. And there's a lot of other islands around them that have similar cave systems. So it's, it's just the very beginning of this search. New Prince Rupert, on the mainland side, there are some places where the sea level was just about right. Also, both House and 13,000 years ago, there's some potential defined sights a low generally it's too close into the ice field down to people who live close into the to the ice sheets that say there's a valley and the ice is right there when people really have chosen to live that close to the ice is there but there they may start looking at some people are looking on that side. Kim Dixon, the archaeologist in Alaska said, Well, you know, like, think of the huge area that we're talking about the entire coast of Alaska, and British Columbia. You know, it's enormous. And there's just because there's him looking there is the people in the Charlotte, there's one guy in California, John Erlandsson, we've been working on these islands off the coast of California, and he's got to back, it got back about 11,000 years there. But that doesn't quite do it either. Because people could have come from the, from the mainland and graduated there and how they could do on shore to build boats and move on shore by 11,000 years ago.

Unknown Speaker 57:45
says we're going to start looking, we're never going to find it except by pure luck. And so again, reminding you that, you know, finding an artifact, it's not in perfect situated. Context doesn't move all that much. The caves are pretty good. Because the cave in Alaska is pretty good. And maybe they can find stuff there. If they can't find an artifact, that's clearly an artifact. It's something where there's no doubt. It was made by people. And they can find some dateable carbon, let's say from a campfire. And that's that's what the six things may have been. He looked around that area about the size of this room. Because somewhere out here, maybe it was just one day, one campfire, these guys came up and made a campfire, they kept a few tools and he broke in charge of gasoline or something. Hope One thing I've developed is also these the stuff they're finding that's 9200 years old, is not native to that area. It came from at least 30 miles away, they know the sources of the rock. So there were definitely networks of traveling with with boats, possibly trade networks. Some of the obsidian that they find that they're finding may have come from much further away. So by 9200 years ago, they have the people were moving along the coast quite nicely going on shore. But

Unknown Speaker 59:28
you know, if we don't start looking, we're never going to find it. So I think we're going to be reading about this for many years.

Unknown Speaker 59:37
It's not going to be a story that will be suddenly solved by one single eureka moment. Anyway, I know there's an awful lot of details of those fan questions

Unknown Speaker 59:51
before we forget

Unknown Speaker 59:56
what this point is It's not my display it's like oh, how was it one? Okay, well in the summer season, in the summer season that they're, they're camping right there in the offseason. It's not fully protected and they are a little bit worried about it, they cover it in, they basically cover it with heavy tarps. So, but that's, you know, that's not a completely satisfactory situation. They don't have a caretaker there. It's a very remote place. I mean, it is very hard to get through. You have to a trailhead. That B then is just from college, even a beach is an exaggerated, it's a place where you don't have to drop off in the zodiac and scramble ashore with the camping gear. And then it's flooded this trailer. Sure people could could potentially vandalize it. I mean, I don't seems unlikely. There's nothing of value in the sense to an ordinary person. There's nothing of value there. But there is no way to contest and

Unknown Speaker 1:01:21
comment on this kind of diversity.

Unknown Speaker 1:01:26
Well, the Kennewick does not directly bear on this because Kennewick, as far as I know, is in the eight to 9000 year old range. And so it's not old enough to the actual interest of these people. I mean, they're they want to get back into 11 and 12 13,000. Here, that's the key. Even if they can get back to 11 or 11 and a half, they've at least proven that people were on the coast at least as early as they were anywhere in life. So that adds to that. It adds to the credibility of coastal migration. Kennewick man, the the controversial and interesting stuff about Kennewick man is that it doesn't look Aboriginal. You know, it doesn't fit the image of what people should have looked like if they were the ancestors of today's native Indians. So that's one reason why it's such a hot issue, because, you know, were there people who were in no way related to? You know, we've always assumed Most anthropologists have assumed that the that anyone you're trying to find that pen is the direct ancestor of some North or South American Native group dependents or not, and it opens up all sorts of I don't know, if it really changes the situation legally. I think there would be maybe worried that it would. Personally, I think that it would be a terrible change in kind of work with varied and not allowed to be. I think that would be a real disaster. You know, I mean, I I personally don't think that there is a valid connection between remains the soul and anyone living today, because if you look at the Tachi and the Navajo in the southwestern United States, they've only been there 1500 years. And they are actually in northwest, ironically, I think genetically and their language to the DNA was West Indian. So you could see that people have moved enormous distances migrated and certain groups have pushed obviously pushed out with other groups or moved in on their territory in relatively recent times. So I don't think anybody could credibly claim that they are the direct descendants of the people who were on the Columbia River 9000 years ago. For anyone who doesn't know, Kennewick is right on the Columbia River in Washington.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:08
I was gonna say that people are very curious, and they're very persistent. They're a bit like weeds and grass. I don't think you can keep them out. I always very surprised people worried about vandalism of the site. No, I was thinking in terms of migration. Oh, yeah. And it seems to me that if you ask the question, what could have kept people out? You find yourself thinking probably migration that occurred maybe 40,000 years ago.

Unknown Speaker 1:04:32
Okay. Right. Now, the none of this that I am talking about, would preclude the possibility of 30 or 40,000 years migration. I mean, it's even Jim Dixon, the archaeologists in Alaska, has stuck his neck out and said that he accepts the possibility a lot of people really don't and he personally accepted the possibility that people did come across the South South Pacific. Pick from Australia or someplace like that island hopping without having without leaving any traces. Now I find that a little hard to believe, and yet the same sea level change has occurred on all those islands. So it is conceivable that people could have Island hop, way back. And a few of them made it. It wouldn't have to be there were beautiful systematic migration, and that people could have entered South America 30,000 years ago. And that's what we're seeing in North America is actually late comers, who you know that people got to South America then. And there are sites in South America, they're more sites in South America where the excavators are claiming 30,000 year age than there are in North America. But now that now that people are looking a little more seriously, oh, by the way, when Monteverde itself, this site in South America was considered somewhat controversial, and took 97, and a delegation and 97, from Smithsonian National Geographic and the Dallas Museum, a really high powered delegation, including skeptics went down there, and they, they pored over the site, and they all came to the conclusion that it's valid. So there's not too much a couple of them that actually have now retracted its statements in the last year. But basically, it's very, very widely accepted that people had to been in the Americas at least 12 and a half to 13, down here. And since then, other sites in North America are beginning to look better to this one in Virginia called Cactus hills. So, you know, there's, there's growing evidence, I think that people have made it into the Americas, a little, at least a little earlier than the original 11 and a half or 12. But 30,000 is a whole other story. So if people made it by 30,000, there was no need to come down on a street card at 30,000. They couldn't come across and then walk down.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:09
If you look at it, in historical terms, it's not that long ago, since the age of man was about. And so it's just been getting longer and longer and longer. And I think archaeologists unfortunately conservative,

Unknown Speaker 1:07:22
they have to improve. And I think that there has been a strong terrestrial bias in archaeology really doubted, traveled by boat. And you know, if you've ever been if you live on an island in here, and I had a boat, you look at things of walking through the woods, on the BC post, or compared to going by boat, and there's no comparison at all. And the day is good. I was up in Alaska last summer, almost a week. It was so beautiful. It was so sunny. It was so calm, that you could have been on a log, and you could have paddled along and pubs. And it only takes a few good days of the year to migrate. It was it was interesting, too, I mean, even flying up there had perfect weather flying up across Pixon entrance between the Charlotte and Prince of Wales Island and looking down. And so like MILCON I think anybody could drift across this, the current we couldn't do a cross with you could keep a paddle you could swim practically in the water to call it you know, almost the most primitive boat imaginable. If you picked your days or picked a good spell, you know, sunny, high pressure, you know, you don't even need a weather report in the perfect conditions in the summer different this time. They know it's just gonna stay like that day after day. And then a few people made mistakes and got killed. Well, it wouldn't stop the migration. You know, so and this Jim Dixon, the archaeologists or he says yeah, really look at these look at the weather conditions that everybody thinks all of North Pacific stormy, you typically day or week or in boating within boating terms in terms of rafts or almost anything. And it's hard to imagine that he couldn't move along the coast easier than slogging away and probably safer. And he also said look, it's also a better way to move with children and old people and dependents. Because you know, taking down through a nice free Carter okay, you see the pictures of the party, guys with the Spirit. But what about the baby? What about pregnant women, about old people? People live in groups, but boats rafts. It's all something safer and so much obviously safer. And then also, if you live off the sea, if you live off of shellfish and stuff, there's there's everybody in the group has some useful ability even children can collect shellfish. For big game hunting, this older model of the colonization was, in a way, you know, kind of a heroic macho thing you know, going out to the mammoth witches spears, but is that really realistic compared to having everybody in the booth doing something usable? See why? No, no, no. I mean, obviously they did tremendous. But another thing is that it really does seem as though possible the technology comes in other ways. In fact, this kind of hunting technology may have developed right at the end of the Ice Age and move north into Alaska. That's another reason that Dixon even before he got any of this evidence on the coast, he was based in Alaska, he said, the stuff that looks like it's us trying to follow how the tool systems themselves seem to revolve and he was convinced that they evolved from south to north and I can guess the nature of history

Unknown Speaker 1:11:23
they haven't called me yet. I have to have the book out

Unknown Speaker 1:11:33
just one thing, I'm sorry.

Unknown Speaker 1:11:37
I think the shower

Unknown Speaker 1:11:45
is a sea mouth 75 gallons a day.

Unknown Speaker 1:11:58
Know, Island, trolls are connected to the mainland. And it's well known that the their their animals that migrated out to the Charlotte to isolate at the Baltimore Charlotte's for 10,000 years of fear and even charge bears. Black bears in Charlotte. That's one reason. That's one of the things that this rock Matthews SLP was concentrating on the evolution of Blackfish. He talks about a whole last world of, you know, basically has described in great detail what things onshore refuges were wondering. Yeah. It's been lots of there's lots of evidence. And in fact, if you go from even before the trip that I made, on that, that ship, the vector where they were looking for sea level changed. A couple of other geologists in the late night and late 80s. spots between the Charlotte and the tip of Vancouver Island that were dry land 10 and a half 1000 years ago. And before that, when the sea level, so at the end of the ice age, I mean, these bales were big, they were big. One of them is called cook. It's very violent. And so they were real stepping stones, and they weren't very far apart. The sea mounts, I think some of them maybe are about the same. Yeah, there are sea mounts, but some of them are pretty far west. Like there's a couple of Bowie I think there's a couple of females that were also in dry land at some point during the Ice Age, but there they would have been very isolated, small offshore islands really quite far offshore, where it's possible that people would have accidentally hit them and survive, maybe could have saved their lives. You know, I think more credible does look really close in the you know, this the Charlotte's are not far off shore, the Prince of Wales Island would have been just offshore. People would not have had to go very far between stopping points. Another bit of evidence in the last since 9493 94 is a geologist named Daniel Mann along the Gulf of Alaska, but the ice retreated a lot earlier than people had ever thought. So starting about 16,000 years ago, the ice was beginning to retreat from the coast. So you really did have a somewhat open call There's just been a false assumption that the ice covered everything together that whole time period. And Ken Dixon thinks that the key time is 13 14,000 years ago and Darrell phaseone shortfall. So that's, that's what they really are focusing on, because that would explain Montverde that would explain how people could have gotten into South America that quickly because if they're on the coast, they could have continued moving along the coast, and only begun to adapt to inland living a few 1000 years later, and then then they would have populated everywhere. But then there's these anomalies like cactus hills in Virginia, which could be contained. So there's still lots of unanswered questions. This is only one part of the story, I

Unknown Speaker 1:15:50
was just going to say that you can do the arithmetic on exponential growth backwards, and look at what it would be like to save 30,000 years ago, and you'd be talking about probably migrating groups of maybe dozens rather than hundreds of people. So the chances of finding remains of such people is probably like winning a lottery, but someday I think somebody will.

Unknown Speaker 1:16:13
But there's lots of stuff in Europe is 30,000 years old. So then people you know, the skeptics would say, Well, if there were people really hear from 30,000 years ago, how come we don't have a lot more of

Unknown Speaker 1:16:27
the stuff you're talking about in Richmond, Virginia. They've got more southern

Unknown Speaker 1:16:35
people trying to make that connection. People could have come across skirting the North Atlantic ice. Actually, some prominent people tend to Stanford for the Smithsonian. So he's got some Twinkies.

Unknown Speaker 1:16:56
Are there any other questions? Just republish or attacks? Yeah, obviously, this material really has to get out there and for other people that are lucky to hear more remote. And

Unknown Speaker 1:17:11
I think I'd also like to

Unknown Speaker 1:17:13
thank Tom firstly, and initially, my battle with East Coast colleagues, were the sea consciousness in aggregate arrests, obviously, it's much much longer than it has been back back in the in the east. Work was talking about how Tom has managed to transplant and I've done that in more ways to justify his writing style. He's also turned into quite a businessman and he has some of these books here. If anybody is worried about gun violence, so let's pay attention.

Unknown Speaker 1:17:50
Also, oh, I didn't mention the book being translated into Japanese. I think this is to me. The greatest kick that I've gotten out of it since the publication that was an amazing surprise.

Unknown Speaker 1:18:06
Congratulations. Thanks

Unknown Speaker 1:18:19
one other thing that heritage map display at the back is a separate issue that Tom was talking about. This is just a solid spring and Claire Do you want to say a few words about back cover?

Unknown Speaker 1:18:46
Seven one

Unknown Speaker 1:18:55

Unknown Speaker 1:19:06

Unknown Speaker 1:19:16
this large

Unknown Speaker 1:19:45
Thank you everybody. Please stay for tea and coffee and drink coffee. No coffee