Ancient weapons found in Texas could be the oldest ever found in North America by 2,500 years - and could shed new light on how mankind came to the continent, the Mail Online says.
The 'numerous' weapons found 40 miles northwest of Austin could point to two separate migrations into North America - one earlier than previously known, researchers say.
Spear points made of chert and other tools were discovered under several feet of sediment that dating revealed to be 15,500 years old, and pre-date Clovis, who for decades were believed to be the first people to enter the Americas.
However, some researchers have questioned the dating methods used.
'There is no doubt these weapons were used for hunting game in the area at that time,' said Michael Waters, distinguished professor of anthropology and director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M, who led the research.
'The findings expand our understanding of the earliest people to explore and settle North America.'
It's also possible, say the study's authors, that the projectile point style they found in Texas is actually a distinct style created by people of an earlier, separate migration into the Americas.
Researchers found a style of projectile point often attached to a weapon that would be thrown, dated between 13,500 and 15,500 years ago.
This is earlier than typical Clovis-style technologies dated to 13,000 years ago.
Clovis is the name given to the distinctive tools made by people starting around 13,000 years ago.
The Clovis people invented the 'Clovis point,' a spear-shaped weapon made of stone that is found in Texas and parts of the United States and northern Mexico and the weapons were made to hunt animals, including mammoths and mastodons, from 13,000 to 12,700 years ago.