Clovis Revisited: New Perspectives on Paleoindian Adaptations from Blackwater Draw, New Mexico

Clovis Revisited: New Perspectives on Paleoindian Adaptations from Blackwater Draw, New Mexico

Clovis Revisited: New Perspectives on Paleoindian Adaptations from Blackwater Draw, New Mexico

Clovis Revisited: New Perspectives on Paleoindian Adaptations from Blackwater Draw, New Mexico

Synopsis

Explore the early days of Paleoindian archaeology in this engaging retrospective of Edgar B. Howard's Southwest Early Man Project, 1929-1937, cosponsored by the University Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. This book contains a detailed analysis of the world-famous Clovis artifacts, discovered among the bones of mammoths and extinct bison in the Dust Bowl of eastern New Mexico.

Blending traditional and current ideas, the authors offer an extended reference to the lifeways of early humans in the Americas, accented by a series of unique insights on their origins and adaptations. Well appointed with photos, line illustrations, and schematics, Clovis Revisited is essential reading for professionals, students, and avocational enthusiasts.

University Museum Monograph, 103

Excerpt

In this chapter, our goal is to draft an outline capable of allowing us to examine the Paleoindian lifeway pattern (e.g., subsistence, land use, group mobility, and lithic technology, etc.) against a backdrop of the physical world in which these people lived. A truly accurate view of these cultural elements can be gained only within the broader context of paleoenvironments and paleoecology (e.g., regional climate, geomorphology, soils, hydrology, stone resources, and biomass, etc.) blended with geochronology. This insight, first attributable to Edgar Howard, was an endeavor of his Southwest Early Man Project (see Holliday 1997). Through the following discussions, we hope to establish a framework for better understanding the world of the Paleoindians in the Southern Plains, along with their adaptations and some of the many adjustments required of them in a changing ecosystem. In our discussions, all references to chronology are made using uncalibrated radiocarbon years.

A Paleoenvironmental Sketch

There seems no way more appropriate to begin our task than through a thumbnail sketch of the regional environmental setting of the Paleoindians. From the Clovis through the Folsom and late Paleoindian periods (ca. 11,500 to after 8000 B.P.) in the Southern Plains, there occurred a series of changes in climate, which over the millennia dramatically influenced the landscape, fluvial systems, and all biotic communities. Naturally, these changes extended to the Paleoindian hunter-gatherers and their relationships with the land, its many streams and ponds, as well as the flora and fauna around them. Much of what follows in this brief discussion on paleoenvironment has been distilled from Holliday (1997:177– 197), who has presented the latest integrative work on geoarchaeology and environmental reconstructions for the Llano Estacado of West Texas and eastern New Mexico. For a more detailed discussion and description of data regarding paleoenvironments, as well as a listing of primary related references, we en-

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