Found this information at the Burn Your Wings site. I was going to post something else on Ancient Civilization but found this which is facinating evidence to show we may not be the first, to say the least.
Link to original post
• 1820 From The American Journal of Science and Arts, 1820 comes the account of an ancient tool discovery.
At a quarry near Aixen-Provence, France, in 1788, 40 or 50 feet below ground in a layer of limestone were found coins, petrified wooden handles of hammers, pieces of other petrified wooden tools, and a quarrymen's board. The limestone was 300 million years old.
• 1822 The American Journal of Science from 1822, north of Pittsburgh an unusually flat rectangular surface, 3 feet long and varying from 5 to 6 inches wide was found. On this flat surface were row after row of evenly spaced, perfect diamond shapes, each with an oblique, raised band across its center. The pattern is too precise to be natural, the diamond shapes too square to be designed by anything but an intelligent hand. In fragments of the impressed rock, were found fossils of primitive jointed plants, dating the find to the Devonian era, 400 million years ago.
• 1822 The American Journal of Science, 1822 reported a number of man track impressions on an outcrop of grayish-blue crinoidal limestone along the west bank of the Mississippi for 3 miles just south of St. Louis. The foot lengths were 10 1/2 inches wide.
• 1826 In a well dug near the Ohio River in north Cincinnati at a level 94 feet down, a buried tree stump was found which showed the marks of an ax. The marks were deep and well cut, indicating the use of a sharp and durable blade. The ax used was confirmed to have been made of metal when, embedded in the top of the stump, an advanced oxidized wedge of iron was found. The layer in which the stump was found was dated to be between 50,000 and 75,000 years old nearly 10 times the accepted age of the supposed first metal usage.
• 1829 From the American Journal of Science, an account sent by a correspondent, to Prof. Silliman, of something that was found in a block of marble, taken November 1829, from a quarry, near Philadelphia. The block was cut into slabs. By this process, it is said, was exposed an indentation in the stone, about one and a half inches by five-eighths of an inch. A geometric indentation: in it were two definite-looking raised letters, like 'I U': only difference is that the corners of the 'U' are not rounded, but are right angles. We are told that this block of stone came from a depth of seventy or eighty feet---or that, if acceptable, this lettering was done long ago.
• 1844 On June 22, 1844, this curious report appeared in the London Times: "A few days ago, as some workmen were employed in quarrying a rock close to the Tweed about a quarter of a mile below Rutherford-mill, a gold thread was discovered embedded in the stone at a depth of eight feet." Dr. A. W. Medd of the British Geological Survey wrote in 1985 that this stone is of Early Carboniferous age between 320 and 360 million years old. Who dropped this gold thread in the ancient fern forests in a distant time when the most advanced life forms on the planet were supposedly amphibians and insects?
• 1867 At the Rocky Point Mine, in Gilman, Colorado, at a depth of 400 feet excavators found human bones embedded in a silver vein and a well-tempered copper arrowhead. The vein was dated at 135 million years old.
• 1867 It is reported that James Parsons, and his two sons, exhumed a slate wall in a coal mine at Hammondville, Ohio, in 1868. It was a large smooth wall, disclosed when a great mass of coal fell away from it, and on its surface, carved in bold relief, were several lines of hieroglyphics.
• 1869 The Los Angeles News of December 17, 1869 reported a smooth slate wall covered with strange alphabetic writing had been discovered in a coalmine at a depth of 100 feet. The letters were raised and well defined. The coal that had covered the wall bore their distinct impression, which means the letters date to a time when the coal was in a vegetable state and had molded itself against the wall. Each sign was three-quarters of an inch in size, and arranged in rows precisely spaced 3 inches apart. The coal was from the Carboniferous era, well over 200 million years old.
• 1870 At Lawn Ridge, 20 miles north of Peoria, Illinois, in August of 1870, as a well was being drilled the pump brought up a small metal medallion to the surface. The strange coin / medallion were composed of an unidentified copper alloy, about the size and thickness of a U.S. quarter of that period. It was remarkably uniform in thickness, round, and the edges appeared to have been cut. Researcher William E. Dubois, who presented his investigation of the medallion to the American Philosophical Society, was convinced that the object had in fact passed through a rolling mill, the edges showed clear evidence of the machining. Both sides of the medallion were marked with artwork and hieroglyphs that had somehow been etched in acid, to a remarkable degree of intricacy. One side showed the figure of a woman wearing a crown or headdress; her left arm is raised as if in benediction, and her right arm holds a small child, also crowned. The woman appears to be speaking. On the opposite side is another central figure, a crouching animal with long, pointed ears, large eyes and mouth, claw-like arms, and a long tail frayed at the very end. Below and to the left of it is another animal, which bears a strong resemblance to a horse. Around the outer edges of both sides of the coin are undecipherable glyphs - they are of very definite character, and show all the signs of a form of alphabetic writing. The stratum from which the coin was extracted was dated between 100,000 and 150,000 years.
• 1877 Prospectors near Eureka, Nevada found a human leg bone and kneecap sticking out of solid rock. Doctors examined the remains and determined they were from a very modern-looking human being, and one that stood over 12 feet tall. The rock in which the bones were found was dated geologically to the Jurassic Period, over 185 million years old.
• 1880 Workmen drilling a well discovered a doll-like figure sometime before 1880 near Marlboro in Stark County, Ohio. The image made of black variegated marble and standing 6 inches tall was unearthed from a depth of 120 feet. The layer in which the doll was found was dated at over 300,000 years.
• 1885 A well driller discovered a little clay doll that had come from below a 15-foot layer of lava rock, 100 feet of sand, 6 inches of clay, 40 feet of more sand, then 165 feet composed of clay, sand, clay nodules mixed with sand, and coarse sand layers for a total of 320 feet. The small "doll" is composed of half clay and half quartz, and though badly battered by time, the doll's appearance is still distinct. It had a bulbous head, with barely discernible mouth and eyes; broad shoulders; short, thick arms, and long legs, the right leg broken off. There are also faint geometric markings on the figure, which represent either clothing patterns or jewelry. The doll is the image of a person of a high civilization, artistically attired. The layer in which the doll was found was dated at over 300,000 years.
• 1921 In Arkansas, north of Finch a large rock-sculptured head of a man was discovered. It stood about 4 feet high, and the figure had a squared, protruding chin, small, tight-lipped mouth, a short nose, and a furrowed brow and stare accented by two flat "buttons" of inlaid gold for eyes. Two more gold discs ornamented the figure's ears, and a heart-shaped plug of copper was embedded in the chest. A carved hood that draped down the nape, and attached around the neck covered the top of the head. Near the head, and in the same layer, a number of smaller objects; a gold ring, a small coffer made of volcanic pumice (which does not exist in this region), and tiny carvings of men, animals, moons and stars were found. The stone sculpture was discovered in the ten-foot layer of gravel. geologically dated at 175,000 years.
• 1927 In Fisher Canyon, Pershing County, Nevada, in January, 1927, an imprint from the heel of a shoe which had been pulled up from the balance of the heel by suction, from the mud when the rock was still in a plastic state at the time. The shoe print was in a layer of Triassic limestone dated at 225 million years old. The rock was later examined at the Rockefeller Foundation, and confirmed to indeed be a shoe heel. Microphotographs revealed that the leather had been stitched by a double row of stitches with the twists of the threads being very discernable.