Doug Bamforth had taken calls like this one before. He studies early American plains dwellers, and his employer, the University of Colorado at Boulder, regularly sends him locals who think they've found something. He's often skeptical. Besides, it was also the middle of May. The semester was over, and he was about to leave town. But the caller, a bio-tech mogul named Patrick Mahaffy, kept insisting, and the next day Bamforth took a ten-minute walk from his office to the site. What he saw astonished him: right there, in urban Boulder, no fewer than eighty-three stone tools were spread out on a patio table.
The initial discovery, dozens of ancient tools buried in someone's yard, was surprising enough, but other surprises would follow. The tools first offered a look at when and where their owners had lived, and then, a few months later, unprecedented evidence of what they had eaten.