This fossilized shit is the best evidence that humans were living in North America 14,000 years ago, a millennium before the Clovis people, long thought to be the first Americans. Researchers from the University of Oregon studied the coprolites, found the crap in a cave in Oregon's Cascade Range. After the discovery, scientists at the University of Copenhagen's Center for Ancient Genetics analyzed DNA retrieved from the fossilized feces. The research was published today in the journal Science. From the New York Times:
Few artifacts were found at the cave, the discovery team reported, which suggested that the occupants’ visits were brief...Link (Thanks, Robert Pescovitz!)
The researchers reported that 14 coprolites from the cave sediments were identified as being from humans. The laboratory studies showed that six samples had genetic signatures associated with American Indians and not shared by other groups.