“Preclovis and Peopling the Americas,” which recognizes the contribution of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute Director Dr. James Adovasio as principal excavator of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter, is among the “Top Ten Archaeological News Stories of the Decade” identified by About.Com: Archaeology, which is owned by The New York Times Company.
Meadowcroft, situated near Pittsburgh, Pa., on the north bank of Cross Creek, a tributary of the Ohio River, is one of the first archaeological sites in the United States to contain evidence of pre-Clovis populations and remains one of the world’s most widely accepted pre-Clovis sites. According to the online news feature, “The battle over whether ‘pre-Clovis’ is a reality has been a bitter one, lasting some thirty years — since the radiocarbon dates of Meadowcroft Rockshelter came to the attention of scholars in the 1980s.”
A wealth of new theories have arisen in recent years to try to fill in the gaps, the story states.
Adovasio is perhaps most well known for his work at Meadowcroft, which exhibited evidence of human habitation dating to 16,000 years ago. Throughout his career, Adovasio has specialized in the analysis of perishable material culture such as basketry, textiles, and cordage, as well as the application of high-tech methods in archaeological research, especially in closed site contexts such as caves and rockshelters.
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