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Stone tool found in Oregon could be evidence of earliest known humans in west




A stone tool made of orange agate stone was found in the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter in southeastern Oregon.
A stone tool made of orange agate stone was found in the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter in southeastern Oregon.
University of Oregon

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A stone tool found in a dig site in southeastern Oregon, the Rimrock Draw Rockshelter, could point to an earlier presence of human settlement in the western US than was previously thought.

The tool is made of orange agate and was found in a deposit of volcanic ash that dates back about 16,000 years. Archaeologists working at the site posit that if the layers of deposit were undisturbed that would make the tool older than the volcanic ash, one of the oldest artifacts ever found in North America.

Patrick O'Grady, archaeologist with the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultureal History, joins the show.