Bluefish Caves is an archaeological site in Yukon, Canada. Bluefish Cave was initially known to the local First Nations, but was popularized by a fishing expedition in 1976, and later by researchers.
Bluefish Caves contain the oldest undisturbed archaeological evidence in Canada, having three caves. The caves 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. Not only this, but there have been found the bones of many animals which strengthens the belief that the human existed there.
Excavations at the site have uncovered stone and bone tools as well as butchered animal remains.
The stone tools include micro blades, burins, and wedge-shaped cores, all made of imported high-quality stone. Thousands of tiny flakes, the remains of tool-making, were also found. These artifacts were found in context with the bones of extinct horse species, suggesting an occupation before 10,000 years ago. Further excavations uncovered material dated to between 15,000 and 12,000 years ago.
It had been argued that the bones found, were the result of the attacks carried out by carnivores but later on, butchered bones were found which helped the archaeologists who believed in human presence. Even then some say that the cut marks on the bone objects could have been caused by natural events such as rock falls or carnivore gnawing, rather than by human actions. The stone tools were definitely created by humans, but could not be dated and so cannot provide evidence that humans were at the site 25,000 years ago. So, it’s still a topic of debate.
There has been a debate on the age of the site as some archaeologists don’t seem to get agree that the site is too old despite a growing acceptance in the scientific community of sites dated somewhat earlier than Clovis, such as Monte Verde in Chile at 14,500 years before present, evidence such as that from the Bluefish Caves area indicating much more ancient dates remains controversial and unaccepted by mainstream archaeology.
Recently another team has discovered allegedly human-worked mammoth bone flakes in the Bluefish Caves area, radiocarbon dated to an even earlier period of 40,000 years before present.