New technology can open up opportunities for people — even if that technology happened in the Stone Age.
The first Ohioans were part of a wave of expansion across North America that began around 14,000 years ago. It was made possible by an innovation in stone- tool making.
In this week’s Exploradio, we visit one of Ohio’s first settlements and learn what helped make the Clovis people the great colonizers.
We’re in what looks like an ordinary soybean field in northeast Ohio. But there’s something special about this secluded hilltop in Medina County.
For one thing, it has a name — Paleo Crossing. And a crew with shovels is carefully scraping away layers of soil to find clues left by past inhabitants.
Kent State University archeologist Metin Eren leads the team. He holds up a lump of gray flint that looks a little like a flattened spoon.
“That’s a complete end scraper,” an ancient stone tool. “This would have been slotted into a handle and people, 11,500 years ago would have sat on the crest of this glacial kame, this little hill here, and worked hides for shelter, warmth, or clothing or whatever.”
A moment later, I spot a similar artifact lying in the dirt a few feet away, another end scraper with the edge still intact, and still sharp after 11,000 years.
Eren calls to a colleague to mark the finds.
He tells me that Paleo Crossing is famous in archeological circles for the wealth of artifacts discovered here — hundreds of scrapers like the one I just found and dozens of beautifully crafted spear points.
It’s also famous for the fact that the people who made these tools were pioneers.
A trace mineral analysis shows that the stone tools found on this Medina County hilltop were carried from flint outcroppings 300 miles away in southern Indiana.
“There’s no Paleolithic site anywhere in the world where the majority of the raw material comes from 500…