FAU Harbor Branch Archaeologists Uncover Major Find

Researchers with FAU Harbor Branch have uncovered bones they believe to be 13,000 to 14,000 years old at the Old Vero archaeological site in Vero Beach, Florida.

Researchers carefully search for more artifacts at the Old Vero site.

Just 10 feet below the ground’s surface, archaeologists from FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute (HBOI) have discovered what they believe are bones from an ancient, extinct species of bison, likely 13,000 to 14,000 years old. The discovery was made during the final stretch of excavation efforts for 2016 at the Old Vero Site in Vero Beach. The archaeological dig is led by HBOI and FAU’s Department of Anthropology within the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, in partnership with the Old Vero Man Ice Age Sites Committee (OVIASC).

“We couldn’t have asked for a better representative species from that era,” said Andrew Hemmings, Ph.D., lead archaeologist.  

“This finding is especially significant because of the meticulous documentation that has been involved,” said James M. Adovasio, Ph.D., principal investigator. “Along with the fact that bones like this have never been found on land as part of a calculated archaeological effort. Others like this have all been found underwater, in sinkholes or streams.”

For more information, contact Carin Smith at 772-242-2230 or carinsmith@fau.edu, or visit www.fau.edu/hboi.