Author of the Month

The First American: The Suppressed Story of the People Who Discovered the New World (cont.)
By Christopher Hardaker

The Players

The list below is from a 1967 NSF grant proposal by Irwin-Williams and the project geologist, Hal Malde, on loan by USGS. Most of these people were prime time players during the 1960s, and included at least two notable Clovis Firsters. It was an early instance of an integrated and multi-disciplined approach to archaeology. The potential worldwide implications for the Valsequillo discoveries could be monumental, and the world was watching. The official model for the rise of modern humans was facing its greatest challenge.

Principle Investigator
J.O. Brew
Peabody Museum, Harvard
Zircon Fission-Track Dating
Charles Naeser
USGS Branch of Isotope Geology

Cynthia Irwin-Williams
Peabody Museum, Harvard

H. Marie Wormington
Denver Museum of Natural

Volcanic Ash Chronology
Virginia Steen-McIntyre
USGS, Field Geochemistry and Petrology
Harold E. Malde
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Palynology (Pollen)
Paul S. Martin
University of Arizona Geochron Lab
Vertebrate Paleontology
Clayton E. Ray
Smithsonian Institution
14-C Dating
Meyer Rubin USGS
C. Vance Haynes, University of Arizona
Soil Stratigraphy
Roald Fryxell
Washington State University
Neutron Activation Analysis
Gordon Goles
University of Oregon
U-Series Dating
Barney Szabo
USGS Branch of Isotope Geology
Paleomagnetic Dating
Joseph C. Liddicoat, USGS

In 2001, we got to go back for another look with a whole new generation of Mexican archaeologists. It had nothing to do with renewed interest by the US professional community. They had shown they were willing to let the priceless discovery drift forever. Rather, it took the interest of a well-healed outsider, a MIT engineering graduate, to get the show back on the road. As a result, the still-reluctant US community has been forced once again, after a generation of silence, to face Valsequillo, the 900-pound gorilla in America's paleo living room.

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