However, some recent evidence suggests that an unknown human species may have lived in California about 130,000 years ago. In 1992, while repairing a freeway in Southern California, workers found a large collection of ancient bones, including those of mastodons, prehistoric relatives of mammoths.
This site, which was named Cerutti Mastodon, was investigated by archaeologists and excavated. In 2017, they analyzed the bones of a mastodon that showed signs of being “processed” with tools.
Next to these bones, they found stone artifacts that had been shaped by human hands, such as hammerstones and anvils.
Archaeologists have long recognized that the ancient Native Americans were skilled at hunting mastodons. But previous finds were dated to 15,000 years ago, and these were dated to about 130,000 years ago!
To put this in perspective – in that era, modern humans were still evolving in Africa and had not yet started to migrate and colonize other continents. Neanderthals and some other archaic human groups lived in Europe.
The stone artifacts show clear evidence of modification, and the bones of mastodons show marks where these artifacts were used. Based on the many broken bones, it seems that the ancient people used tools to extract bone marrow from bones.
The thorium-uranium dating method applied to the tusk of a mastodon accurately showed that the animal died 130,000 years ago. So the date is correct. But where in California at that time could people come from? And so advanced too. Maybe they came from Siberia?
At that time, a certain number of Denisovans lived there. But in the territory between the location of the remains of the Denisovans and California, nothing was found at all that would confirm the theory that the Denisovans moved east and reached the Pacific Ocean.
No remains of Denisovans have been found in America either. According to another version, what was taken for stone tools is just natural stones with random “successful” chips, and the marks on the bones of the mastodon, allegedly left by these stone tools, are also just random chips and scratches.
To complicate matters, no human remains have been found among the ancient bones found at Tserutti Mastodon. Either it really was just the “kitchen” and the bodies of the deceased compatriots were carried away to another place, or the people really had nothing to do with it.
There is also a third theory. The fact that some kind of ancient people actually once reached America much earlier than official data, but then there was some kind of grandiose catastrophe (meteorite fall, volcanic eruption, etc.) and the entire population of these people died out, and their remains and artifacts were completely destroyed.
True, scientists say that at that time in America there were no catastrophes of this magnitude.
Another suggestion was that stone tools could be used not by people, but by some higher primates. Chimpanzees, for example, still actively use stones and branches.
But primates never existed in North America, and the monkeys of South America were always too small to wield such large and heavy stones as were found in California. Because of all these doubts, this curious discovery caused a lot of skepticism on the part of serious scientists.
In the future, archaeologists want to conduct more thorough excavations in Tserutti Mastodon, trying to find more bones and tools in order to more convincingly confirm the version of the existence of an unknown species of man in California 130 thousand years ago.