Pre-Clovis in the Americas
Author: Dennis Joe Stanford, Alison Stenger
Curious about Paleoamerican sites? Do really old archaeological sites in the Americas hold your interest? What kinds of tools did the earliest people in North and South America use, what environments did they select for living, what foods were important to them? Within these pages, world famous archaeologists and other ancient site specialists report the results of their investigations into some of the oldest and most important archaeological sites and specimens in the New World. For many decades, Clovis was assumed to be the first culture in the Americas. Now, however, sites predating Clovis by literally tens of thousands of years have been recognized. These well documented sites provide far more than the mere validation that sites older than Clovis exist. Importantly, some pre-Clovis site elements, tools, materials, and technologies seem similar to each other, despite appearing in many different geographic regions. Thus, one important task archaeologists now face is to determine what similarities or differences are reflected in these sites and assemblages, and what this can tell us about the people who made them. Additionally, a vast array of occupation environments has now been identified, and the significance of these distinct ecosystems must also be considered. Are these different ecologies suggestive of differing economies and cultural preferences? Are separate and distinct population groups indicated? While the focus of this volume is upon sites and material culture, several additional issues are addressed. Discussions include both the positive and problematic aspects of genetics, and the recognition and analysis of ancient technologies. One question to be addressed is whether the human groups and their tool types descended from a common but distant ancestor? Two other topics discussed briefly are the changes in index species over time and the evidence of dietary change with the extinction of some species of megafauna. Do changes in index species represent more than extinction or survival patterns? Is disease indicated by the elimination of some megafauna but the survival of others? All of these topics, and more, were discussed at a meeting hosted by the Smithsonian Institution. The results of that gathering are shared in this book.
Author: Robson Bonnichsen, Bradley T. Lepper, Dennis Stanford, Michael R. Waters
Publisher: Texas A & M University Press
Paleoamerican Origins: Beyond Clovis presents 23 up-to-date syntheses of important topics surrounding the debate over the initial prehistoric colonization of the Americas. These papers are written by some of the foremost authorities who are on the trail of the first Americans. The papers are written by some of the foremost authorities who are on the trail of the first Americans. The papers in this volume include a discussion of the archaeological evidence for Clovis and Pre-Clovis sites in North America (11 papers) and South America (2 papers). In addition, papers on the genetic evidence (2 papers) and skeletal evidence (4 papers) provide insights into the origins of the first Americans. Additional papers include ideas on the changing perceptions of Paleoamerican prehistory, public policy and science, and a comprehensive concluding synthesis.
Across Atlantic Ice
Author: Dennis J. Stanford, Bruce A. Bradley
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Argues that the Solutrean culture of coastal Spain and the European Atlantic Shelf was the ancestral industry to the North American Clovis industry.
Bipoints Before Clovis
Author: Wm Jack Hranicky
This archaeological publication covers the development, definition, classification, and world-wide deployment of the lithic bipoint and includes numerous photographs, drawings, and maps. Lithic bipoint technology originated 75,000 years ago, and it continued to the discovery of metal for tools. It was brought into the U.S. on both coasts; the Pacific Coast introduction was around 17,000 years ago and the Atlantic Coast was 23,000 years ago. This book presents and discusses bipoints from nearly every U.S. state. Bipoint function, usage, and resharpening are also presented. The book is indexed and has extensive references.
More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology. This dazzling, cutting-edge synthesis, written for a wide audience by an archaeologist who has long been at the center of these debates, tells the scientific story of the first Americans: where they came from, when they arrived, and how they met the challenges of moving across the vast, unknown landscapes of Ice Age North America. David J. Meltzer pulls together the latest ideas from archaeology, geology, linguistics, skeletal biology, genetics, and other fields to trace the breakthroughs that have revolutionized our understanding in recent years. Among many other topics, he explores disputes over the hemisphere's oldest and most controversial sites and considers how the first Americans coped with changing global climates. He also confronts some radical claims: that the Americas were colonized from Europe or that a crashing comet obliterated the Pleistocene megafauna. Full of entertaining descriptions of on-site encounters, personalities, and controversies, this is a compelling behind-the-scenes account of how science is illuminating our past.
Author: Kelly E. Graf, Caroline V. Ketron, Michael R. Waters
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.
Bones, Boats & Bison
Author: E. James Dixon
Publisher: UNM Press
This revolutionary archeological synthesis argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. E. James Dixon dispels the stereotype of big-game hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and general foragers colonizing the New World. Applying contemporary scientific methods and drawing on new archeological discoveries, he advances evidence indicating that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the deglaciated Northwest Coast about 13,500 years ago, some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Dixon's rigorous evaluation of the oldest North American archeological sites and human remains offers well-reasoned hypotheses about the physical characteristics, lives, and relationships of the First Americans. His crisply written analysis of scientific exploration is essential reading for scholars, students, and general readers.
This history of the first people to settle in the New World starts with a summary of the archaeology of Clovis-fluted point-makers in North America. Gary Haynes evaluates the wide range of interpretations given to facts about the Clovis. He then presents his own fully developed and integrated theory, which incorporates vital new biological, ecological, behavioral and archaeological data.
Author: Tom Koppel
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
For decades the issue seemed moot. The first settlers, we were told, were big-game hunters who arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age some 12,000 years ago, crossing a land bridge at the Bering Strait and migrating south through an ice-free passage between two great glaciers blanketing the continent. But after years of sifting through data from diverse and surprising sources, the maverick scientists whose stories Lost World follows have found evidence to overthrow the "big-game hunter" scenario and reach a new and startling and controversial conclusion: The first people to arrive in North America did not come overland -- they came along the coast by water. In this groundbreaking book, award-winning journalist Tom Koppel details these provocative discoveries as he accompanies the archaeologists, geologists, biologists, and paleontologists on their intensive search. Lost World takes readers under the sea, into caves, and out to the remote offshore islands of Alaska, British Columbia, and California to present detailed and growing evidence for ancient coastal migration. By accompanying the key scientists on their intensive investigations, Koppel brings to life the quest for that Holy Grail of New World prehistory: the first peopling of the Americas.
The Hogeye Clovis Cache
Author: Michael R. Waters, Thomas A. Jennings
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Roughly thirteen thousand years ago, Clovis hunters cached more than fifty projectile points, preforms, and knives at the toe of a gentle slope near present-day Elgin, Bastrop County, in central Texas. Over the next millennia, deposition buried the cache several meters below the surface. The entombed artifacts lay undisturbed until 2003. A circuitous path brought thirteen of the original thirty-seven Clovis bifaces and points through many hands before reaching the attention of Michael Waters at Texas A&M University. At the site of the original cache, Waters and coauthor Thomas A. Jennings conducted excavations, studied the geology, and dated the geological layers to reconstruct how the cache was buried. This book provides a well-illustrated, thoroughly analyzed description and discussion of the Hogeye Clovis cache, the projectile points and other artifacts from later occupations, and the geological context of the site, which has yielded evidence of multiple Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric occupations. The cache of tools and weapons at Hogeye, when combined with other sites, allows us to envision a snapshot of life at the end of the last Ice Age.
Freedom, 25,000 BC
Author: Bonnye Matthews
Publisher: Publication Consultants
“America's preeminent writer of prehistoric history [writes] ... . a book of hearts and minds.” Grace Cavalieri, award-winning author, host of The Poet and the Poem from the US Library of Congress. After years of abuse from his father, Wing leaves the only home he's ever known. As the male lion leaves its pride, he must find a new home or die. He is sixteen, frail, injured, and alone in the mountainous untamed and untouched wilderness of Mexico of 250,000 BC. Wing struggles to survive, proving himself against a bear, where he learns elementary freedom. Award-winning writer of prehistoric fiction Bonnye Matthews’ novella, Freedom, 250,000 BC, brings to life primitive early Americans through Wing's growing understanding of what freedom is and its importance for life. Freedom, 250,000 BC is dedicated to the archaeological site south of Puebla, Mexico at the Valsequillo Reservoir. The site is an amazingly rich prehistoric view of the glory and infamy of human life in the Americas, specifically Mexico, in 250,000 BC. “The outstanding Winds of Change series is highly and enthusiastically recommended for personal reading lists, as well as both community and academic library historical fiction collections.” Midwest Book Review
The First Americans
Author: James Adovasio, Jake Page
Publisher: Modern Library
J. M. Adovasio has spent the last thirty years at the center of one of our most fiery scientific debates: Who were the first humans in the Americas, and how and when did they get there? At its heart, The First Americans is the story of the revolution in thinking that Adovasio and his fellow archaeologists have brought about, and the firestorm it has ignited. As he writes, “The work of lifetimes has been put at risk, reputations have been damaged, an astounding amount of silliness and even profound stupidity has been taken as serious thought, and always lurking in the background of all the argumentation and gnashing of tenets has been the question of whether the field of archaeology can ever be pursued as a science.” From the Trade Paperback edition.
Clovis Lithic Technology
Author: Michael R. Waters, Charlotte D. Pevny, David L. Carlson, Thomas A. Jennings
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Some 13,000 years ago, humans were drawn repeatedly to a small valley in what is now Central Texas, near the banks of Buttermilk Creek. These early hunter-gatherers camped, collected stone, and shaped it into a variety of tools they needed to hunt game, process food, and subsist in the Texas wilderness. Their toolkit included bifaces, blades, and deadly spear points. Where they worked, they left thousands of pieces of debris, which have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct their methods of tool production. Along with the faunal material that was also discarded in their prehistoric campsite, these stone, or lithic, artifacts afford a glimpse of human life at the end of the last ice age during an era referred to as Clovis. The area where these people roamed and camped, called the Gault site, is one of the most important Clovis sites in North America. A decade ago a team from Texas A&M University excavated a single area of the site—formally named Excavation Area 8, but informally dubbed the Lindsey Pit—which features the densest concentration of Clovis artifacts and the clearest stratigraphy at the Gault site. Some 67,000 lithic artifacts were recovered during fieldwork, along with 5,700 pieces of faunal material. In a thorough synthesis of the evidence from this prehistoric “workshop,” Michael R. Waters and his coauthors provide the technical data needed to interpret and compare this site with other sites from the same period, illuminating the story of Clovis people in the Buttermilk Creek Valley.
Author: Ashley M. Smallwood, Thomas A. Jennings
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
New research and the discovery of multiple archaeological sites predating the established age of Clovis (13,000 years ago) provide evidence that the Americas were first colonized at least one thousand to two thousand years before Clovis. These revelations indicate to researchers that the peopling of the Americas was perhaps a more complex process than previously thought. The Clovis culture remains the benchmark for chronological, technological, and adaptive comparisons in research on peopling of the Americas. In Clovis: On the Edge of a New Understanding, volume editors Ashley Smallwood and Thomas Jennings bring together the work of many researchers actively studying the Clovis complex. The contributing authors presented earlier versions of these chapters at the Clovis: Current Perspectives on Chronology, Technology, and Adaptations symposium held at the 2011 Society for American Archaeology meetings in Sacramento, California. In seventeen chapters, the researchers provide their current perspectives of the Clovis archaeological record as they address the question: What is and what is not Clovis?
Author: David B. Madsen
Publisher: University of Utah Press
Provides up-to-date information on the nature of environmental and cultural conditions in northeast Asia and Beringia (the Bering land bridge) immediately prior to the Last Glacial Maximum.