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A Journey to a New Land

Eagle and Raven

Charlie Lake Cave

Charlie Lake Cave is located in northeastern British Columbia, Canada. The site yielded evidence of a series of short-term occupations over the last 11,000 years.

The lowest (earliest) level of the site dates to about 11,000 years ago, and contained several stone artifacts, including a spear point, six retouched flakes and a small stone bead. The remains of animals such as bison, snowshoe hare, large hare, ground squirrel and fish were also present. The bison bones showed signs of cut marks that researchers believe were created by humans using stone tools.

Charlie Lake Cave is located right in the middle of the ice-free corridor region. But evidence from the site does not support the ice free corridor route hypothesis. First, the radiocarbon dates are later than the dates from many Clovis sites in the southern United States. Second, a DNA analysis of the bison bone revealed that some of the bison found at Charlie Lake are related to bison from the southern part of North America. Perhaps the ice free corridor was not the first north to south route into the continent. Rather, it may have been used by people already living in the southern parts of the continent to travel north, following herds of bison.

Stone bead