|Location||near the Vuntut Gwichin community, Old Crow|
Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon, Canada, located 54 km (34 mi) southwest of the Vuntut Gwichin community of Old Crow, from which a specimen of allegedly human-worked mammoth bone has been radiocarbon dated to 28,000 years before present (BP), earlier than the generally accepted age for habitation of the New World.
Bluefish Cave was initially known to the local First Nations, but was popularized by a fishing expedition in 1976, and later by researchers.This site is made up of three small caves, ranging from 10 to 30 m3 (350 to 1,060 cu ft). The first cave contains various animal bones that appeared to have been dragged there by predators, but findings of tool marks and some tools themselves point to a human presence.
The site was excavated by archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars between 1977–87, and the initial radiocarbon dating suggested an age of 25,000 before present (BP). This was considered controversial as it was in contrast to the Clovis-First theory, widely accepted by academics at the time, which considered the earliest settlement date of North America to be around 13,000 BP. A review of the site in 2017 found it to be 24,000 years old, lending support to the "Beringian standstill" hypothesis - that the ancestors of Native Americans spent considerable time isolated in a Beringian refuge during the Last Glacial Maximum before populating the Americas.
The Bluefish Caves in Beringian Prehistory by Jacques Cinq-Mars, Archaeological Survey of Canada
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