Paleoindian demography and the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis
Briggs Buchanan, Mark Collard, Kevan Edinborough
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2008
Recently it has been suggested that one or more large extraterrestrial (ET) objects struck northern North America 12,900 +/- 100 calendar years before present (calBP) [Firestone RB, et al. (2007) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104: 16016-16021]. This impact is claimed to have triggered the Younger Dryas major cooling event and resulted in the extinction of the North American megafauna. The impact is also claimed to have caused major cultural changes and population decline among the Paleoindians. Here, we report a study in which approximately 1,500 radiocarbon dates from archaeological sites in Canada and the United States were used to test the hypothesis that the ET resulted in population decline am..View full abstract
Awarded by National Science Foundation
Awarded by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
We thank Todd Surovell and Jeff Brantingham for providing their taphonomic bias model, Matthew Betts for facilitating access to the Canadian Archaeological Radiocarbon Database, Douglas Kennett, and three anonymous reviewers for their comments on the manuscript. We would also like to thank Bernhard Weninger for his frequent advice regarding the use of CalPal. B.B. was supported by National Science Foundation Fellowship 0502293 and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Fellowship 756-2007-0577. M.C. is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs Program, the Canada Foundation for innovation, the British Columbia Knowledge Development Fund, and Simon Fraser University. K.E. is supported by a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant awarded to M.C.