Topper (archaeological Site)
Topper is an archaeological site located along the Savannah River in Allendale County, South Carolina in the United States. It is noted as the location of controversial artifacts believed by some archaeologists to indicate human habitation of the New World earlier than the Clovis culture, previously believed to be the first people in North America. Artifacts at this site may predate Clovis by 3,000 years or more. The primary excavation has gone down to the 50,000 B.C. level, searching for any other archaeological evidence. Until increasing challenges in the first decade of the 21st century to the Clovis theory based on this site and others, it was unusual for archaeologists to dig deeper than the layer of the Clovis culture, as they then believed that no human artifacts would be found older than Clovis.
Among the objects from the "pre-Clovis" stratum dated to 16,000-20,000 years BP, this "Topper Chopper" offers some of the most compelling evidence for human agency. Aside from the bifacial flaking of the edge, this simple implement, although badly weathered, still clearly displays the classic zoomorphic features repeatedly appearing in the material first recognized in 1987 at 33GU218 in Ohio and, not surprisingly, many other locations that have since come to light. The object possesses a typical overall abstract bird form and two very characteristic features consistently deeply carved into such figures: a mouth cut in the form of a bird facing inward, and a diamond-shaped eye. It is also significant that the figure incorporates "reflectional symmetry", a hallmark of human agency, in that the image is repeated (although not as distinctly in this case) on the opposite side of the rock. And its flat base allows the figure to stand upright. The general form of this stone is a very common one both in North American artifact material and in European artifacts dating from the Paleolithic.
Other articles related to "topper":
... The Allendale-Toppersite welcomes lay people with an interest in archaeology to work at the site as volunteer archaeologists during each year'sdig in late spring/early summer ... archaeologists and graduate students,living at the expedition'scampgrounds or in public accommodations at nearby Barnwell,S.C ... Information and registration is available on the Allendale-Topperwebsite ...