South Carolina


Deep in the woodlands near the Savannah River in South Carolina lies a remarkable archaeological site that may challenge our understanding of America's first inhabitants. Named after the local man who discovered it, the Topper site was once the location of an ancient quarry, a kind of prehistoric workshop, where people came thousands of years ago to make weapons and stone tools. For archaeologists, the site is providing a wealth of material left behind by the Clovis people. Known for their distinctive stone spear points, the Clovis people are commonly thought to be the first to inhabit North America around 13,000 years ago. But evidence being found at sites like Topper is challenging the long-held theories about when people first came to the American continent.

  1. Did they follow big game across a land bridge from Siberia to North America 13,000 years ago?
  2. Or did they arrive much, much earlier and by a different route?

Time Team America visited the Topper site to join the hunt for evidence that could shed light on these questions.


Topper is one of the few archaeological dig sites to have a mobile field lab.