These events happened at the start of a period of intense cold that lasted about 1,400 years, a throwback to the last Ice Age that had covered much of North America in glaciers for tens of thousands of years.
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The study's lead author, Christopher Moore, said: 'Platinum is very rare in Earth's crust, but it is common in asteroids and comets.'Moore added: 'The presence of elevated platinum in archaeological sites is a confirmation of data previously reported for the Younger-Dryas onset several years ago in a Greenland ice-core.'He said that unlike the dinosaur extinction 65million years ago which was caused by a large extraterrestrial object impact, the Younger-Dryas impact would have been caused by a smaller one.
Questions such as how exactly peoples and animals would have been affected by such an environmental change remain, and the study concludes that more research into the theoretical impact is necessary.
Traces of platinum discovered at archaeological sites across the US may help scientists determine why the Clovis people disappeared thousands of years ago.