Mathews man dredged up ‘oldest formal artifact found in the Americas’
This is significant, he said, because "up until the discovery of this artifact we thought people weren’t here much before 12,000 years ago." The knife would indicate a much earlier occupation of this continent.
Stanford said Saturday he is sure that even older artifacts remain to be discovered, as the knife is made of rhyolite obtained from a site in South Mountain, Pa. "This is confirmed by X-ray fluorescence or … comparison of the elements" found in the blade and in a sample from South Mountain, he said.
While there is no information yet on who made and used the knife, Stanford said there are striking similarities between it and the tools used by the Solutrean people of Europe. "It was made exactly the same way (bifaced, or flaked on both sides) during the same time period." And that time period, he was, was during the last Ice Age, when most of Europe was glaciers and an ice bridge connected Europe with America.