THE TOPPER SITE
In 1998, archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina, while excavating a prehistoric site on the Savannah river in Allendale County, SC, discovered stone implements far deeper in the ground than they had ever encountered before. Subsequent excavations and studies have revealed that ancient humans were present 16,000 or more years ago, some two to three thousand years earlier than previously allowed by textbooks. Known as the Topper Site, it appears to be one of several sites in the eastern U.S. producing evidence that humans were living in the western hemisphere during the last Ice Age.
On July 15th, 2009, Time Team America visits one of the most controversial sites in North America: the Topper site, which is believed by its excavator to contain a 20,000-50,000 year old preclovis site.
Waters, Michael R., Steven L. Forman, Thomas W. Stafford Jr., and John Foss 2009 Geoarchaeological Investigations at the Topper and Big Pine Sites, Allendale County, Central Savannah River, South Carolina. Journal of Archaeological Science 36(7):1300-1311. As far as I'm aware, this is the only peer-reviewed paper on Topper published to date. It details the stratigraphy and presents a suite of AMS and thermoluminescence dates for it; but concludes that the human origin of the "smashed core and microliths" preclovis occupation has not been proven.
- Time Team America: Topper site, at PBS where you can watch the video in its entirety after July 15,2009
- Topper: The Allendale Expedition, official homepage of the Topper site
- David Anderson and Michael Faught's map "Paleoindian Database of the Americas"
- Why 50,000 is a Crazy Date for Topper, which explains the hurdles the Topper site needs to scale to be accepted.
- Clovis Culture, a description of the sites and living style
- PreClovis Culture, the evidence and (generally) accepted sites
- Clovis, Black Mats, and Extraterrestrials, the theory about a cometary explosion over the Canadian ice sheet
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