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11047Underwater Archeological Expedition - Gulf of Mexico

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  • Phil Whitley
    Jul 14, 2008
      I just found this article tonight and can't tell you how glad I am that
      James Adovasio is on the project team. He is one of the few
      archaeologists that KNOW that there are pre-Clovis sites. I believe he
      was in on the Rock Shelter project when they found earlier artifacts
      there too.


      AUSTIN, Texas — C. Andrew Hemmings, research associate of the Texas
      Archeological Research Laboratory (TARL) at The University of Texas at
      Austin, will lead an underwater archeological expedition July 30 to Aug.
      12 in the Gulf of Mexico to search for submerged evidence of the first

      Hemmings and James Adovasio, director of the Mercyhurst College
      Archaeological Institute in Erie, Pa., who serves as co-principal
      investigator of the project, will study ancient submerged coastlines in
      the northeastern Gulf to determine where early Americans, known as the
      Clovis culture, might have lived more than 12,000 years ago when the
      underwater terrain was dry land.

      "The archeological record is out there, it's just underwater," Hemmings
      said. "The study's findings will contribute to our understanding of
      early humans in North America, including the timing of their arrival,
      lifestyles and migration patterns, and could add further proof that the
      peopling of the western hemisphere was a lengthier and more complicated
      process than is typically believed."

      The expedition has earned more than $200,000 in grant support, including
      $100,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
      Additional supporters include TARL, the Gault School of Archaeological
      Research in Austin, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research, Florida
      Geological Survey, Mercyhurst College and the University of South Florida.

      Hemmings and the 12-person research team will embark July 30 on the
      University of South Florida's research vessel "Suncoaster" to explore an
      area near the Florida Middle Grounds 100 to 200 miles off Florida's west
      coast at depths of 40 to 110 meters. Archeological finds uncovered by
      past dredging operations, fishermen and geologists point to the area's
      potential to have hosted human inhabitants long ago, the researchers said.

      In shallow depths, divers will inspect sites to collect artifacts and
      recover soils for radiocarbon dating. At deeper locations, the research
      team will use remotely operated vehicles and remote sensing tools to
      explore submerged sites and search for fossil remains and stone artifacts.

      "We will start our investigation in shallow areas available to Clovis
      people 12 to 13,000 years ago, and then proceed to older, deeper
      landscapes that could have only been inhabited by people older than
      Clovis," Hemmings said.

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