Orr is responsible for finding the remains of the Arlington
Springs Woman forty years ago; They are the oldest remains
found anywhere in North or South America.
years ago, Phil Orr started a revolution when he discovered the
remains of Arlington Springs Woman on California's tiny Santa Rosa
Island -- not that he knew it at the time. Recently dated at more
than 13,000 years old, hers are the oldest human remains found anywhere
in North or South America. Their existence has helped turn traditional
thinking about the identity of the first Americans on its head.
always thought that the first Americans were big game hunters, called
Clovis people, who walked down from Alaska into the center of the
North America at the end of the last Ice Age--about 13,000 years
ago. But Arlington Springs Woman, from people who must have been
living off the sea, suggests the Clovis-First theory may be wrong.
who were these people fishing off the coast of California? And how
and when did they get here?
meets archeologist Jon Erlandson, who thinks that Clovis people
may have came down the coast and moved to the interior of the continent
instead of spreading from the center outward. It's clear that Arlington
Springs Woman must have had a boat, just to get to Santa Rosa Island.
But even that's a new idea. As Erlandson explains, scientists have
only recently learned that people had boats capable of offshore
travel as early as 50,000 years ago.