The conference will include a day trip to Topper, which is sure to dominate discussions and presentations at the international gathering. Al Goodyear and his team dig up to a meter below the Clovis level and encounter unusual stone tools up to two meters below surface.
OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dates on soils above ice age strata show pre-Clovis is at least older than 14,000.
May 2002 — Geologists find new profile showing ancient soil lying between Clovis and pre-Clovis, confirming the age of ice age soils between 16,000 - 20,000 years.
Using a backhoe and hand excavations, Goodyear's team dug through the Pleistocene terrace soil, some 4 meters below the ground surface.
Goodyear found a number of artifacts similar to the pre-Clovis forms he has excavated in recent years.
May 2000 — Geology study done by consultants; ice age soil confirmed for pre-Clovis artifacts.
May 2001 — Geologists revisit Topper and obtain ancient plant remains deep down in the Pleistocene terrace.
Artifacts, similar to pre-Clovis forms excavated in previous years, recovered deep in the terrace.
A black stain in the soil provides charcoal for radio carbon dating.
The absolute age is not known." The revelation of an even older date for Topper is expected to heighten speculation about when man got to the Western Hemisphere and add to the debate over other pre-Clovis sites in the Eastern United States such as Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pa., and Cactus Hill, Va.