A new discovery has shaken the world of Archeology once again. Scientists in Ireland have determined that humans occupied the island about 2,500 years earlier than previously thought. This is thanks to a butchered knee bone or patella of a bear that they originally discovered in 1903 at Co. Clare.
The scientists conducted a radiocarbon dating of the bone and found that humans existed in the country about 12,500 years ago which is way earlier than initial history claims. The fossil stayed inside a box at the National Museum of Ireland for almost a century.
Published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, the study shows a ground breaking discovery in Archeology and for the scientists who spent decades looking for previous signs of humans living in the area.
"Archaeologists have been searching for the Irish Palaeolithic since the 19th century, and now, finally, the first piece of the jigsaw has been revealed," Dr. Marion Dowd, an archaeologist at IT Sligo, said.
Two Radiocarbon Dating Tests Show The Same Finding
Together with Dr. Ruth Carden from the National Museum of Ireland and co-author of the study, the team sought financial assistance for radiocarbon dating, which was sponsored by the Royal Irish Academy. The Chrono Center conducted the first test.
For further analysis, another sample was sent to the University of Oxford. The experts validated the preliminary results and both examinations indicated human butchery of the bear about 12,500 years ago.
"This find rewrites the antiquity of human occupation of Ireland and challenges the traditional paradigm that certain biota may have naturally colonised the island prior to human arrival," the researchers concluded.
Humans Occupied The Area During The Paleolithic Era
In the '70s, the oldest evidence human existence in Ireland has been discovered at Mount Sandel in Co. Derry. Initial findings show that this island has been occupied since 8,000 BC during the Mesolithic period. This shows that humans lived in the area for 10,000 years.
The patella study, however, gives tantamount evidence that people during the ancient times occupied the island during the earlier Paleolithic era at 10,500 BC, which is about 12,500 years ago.
"This discovery re-writes Irish archaeology and adds an entirely new chapter to human colonisation of the island - moving Ireland's story into a new era," said in a video posted by IT Sligo.