Bluefish Caves

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Bluefish Caves
Bluefish Caves
Bluefish Caves
location in Canada
Location near the Vuntut Gwichin community, Old Crow
Region Yukon, Canada
Coordinates 64°8′07″N 140°31′7″W / 64.13528°N 140.51861°W / 64.13528; -140.51861Coordinates: 64°8′07″N 140°31′7″W / 64.13528°N 140.51861°W / 64.13528; -140.51861
Founded 28,000 BP

Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon, Canada, located 54 km (34 mi) southwest of the Vuntut Gwichin community of Old Crow, from which a specimen of allegedly human-worked mammoth bone has been radiocarbon dated to 28,000 years before present (BP), earlier than the generally accepted age for habitation of the New World.[1]


Bluefish Cave was initially known to the local First Nations, but was popularized by a fishing expedition in 1976, and later by researchers.This site is made up of three small caves, ranging from 10 to 30 m3 (350 to 1,060 cu ft).[2] The first cave contain various animal bones that appeared to have been dragged there by predators, but findings of tool marks and some tools themselves point to a human presence.[3]


The site was excavated by archaeologist Jacques Cinq-Mars between 1977–87, and the initial radiocarbon dating suggested an age of 25,000 before present (BP).[4] This was considered controversial as it was in contrast to the Clovis-First theory, widely accepted by academics at the time, which considered the earliest settlement date of North America to be around 13,000 BP.[5] A review of the site in 2017 found it to be 24,000 years old,[6] lending support to the "Beringian standstill" hypothesis - that the ancestors of Native Americans spent considerable time isolated in a Beringian refuge during the Last Glacial Maximum before populating the Americas.[7]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

The Bluefish Caves in Beringian Prehistory by Jacques Cinq-Mars, Archaeological Survey of Canada


External links[edit]

  • Bluefish caves (Yukon, Canada) by George Weber[dead link]