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But, he said, Waters' team had done "incredible, meticulous scientific work." "I believe he's made the case," he said.Jenkins said he would have preferred carbon-dating of the specimens, but that couldn't be done because there was no organic material to be tested in the newly found layer. Forman, of the University of Illinois, Chicago, a co-author of the paper, said the team used luminescence dating which can determine when the material was last exposed to light.

The artifacts were found in an 8-inch (20 centimeter) layer beneath 5 feet (1.5 meters) of earth and other material from later human occupation at the site.

Clovis technology is apparently a home-grown phenomenon, as it’s never been found in Northeast Asia, the source of migrants into the New World.

The oldest solid date for Clovis people is 13,100 years ago, says Michael Waters, an archeologist at Texas A&M University.

The find was located 5 feet below materials left by the well-known Clovis culture, which was once thought to have been the first American settlers around 13,000 years ago.

It was "like finding the Holy Grail," Waters said in a telephone interview.

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