Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture

By Moore, Christopher R. | Southeastern Archaeology, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture


Moore, Christopher R., Southeastern Archaeology


Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture. DENNIS J. STANFORD and BRUCE A. BRADLEY, with a foreword by Michael B. Collins. University of California Press, Berkeley, 2012. xv, 319 pp. ill., maps. $34.95 (cloth), ISBN: 978-0-52022783-5.

In science, one should never assume to know truth, only closer and closer approximations of reality. To do otherwise is to become a slave to ideological or intellectual dogma. In practice, within any particular scientific paradigm, truth is often assumed to be the consensus view of intellectual gatekeepers. In this regard, it seems the consensus view can only change after a particular cohort of esteemed colleagues declares acceptance of new ideas upon personal examination of the evidence. Think of the acceptance of Pleistocene humans in North America at Folsom or, much more recently, the supposed codification of preClovis by a contingent of respected Paleoindian experts upon visiting Monte Verde. In the absence of this, new ideas in archaeology, particularly those that portend radical transformations of consensus views, are often resisted with fervor and quickly deemed dead on arrival by scholars working within the existing paradigm. Historically, consensus views have often been guided as much by quests for personal gain, prestige, and control over the driving narrative of scientific research as by unbiased assessments of the evidence. Of course, it is a truism in scientific archaeology that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Good scientific discourse demands such a standard, and the peer-review process is predicated on the premise of clear and unequivocal empirical evidence.

Such is the case with Stanford and Bradley's Solutrean hypothesis for the origin of Clovis culture. Scientific evaluation of the ideas presented in Across Atlantic Ice must be evaluated critically, but with an understanding of the influence and bias of the prevailing paradigm. If there is one clear picture emerging in the rapidly changing science regarding the peopling of the Americas or other regions of the world, it is that we have time and again consistently oversimplified and underestimated the intellectual and physical capacity of Pleistocene humans to adapt, innovate, and propagate their species over nearly all regions of the globe. The rapid-fire nature of new discoveries and new techniques for analysis has shown in the last few decades that few of our cherished ideas will long survive unscathed. The narrative is shifting under our very feet. As a result, the gatekeepers are losing control over the historical hegemony of scientific discourse. This isn't all bad. While many may mourn the apparent subversion of the peer-review process by new media, science is still ultimately self-correcting. Occasionally, we need to be challenged to think differently. Given the rapid pace of new discoveries, we should not be so quick to condemn new ideas.

In Across Atlantic Ice, Stanford and Bradley weave a fascinating narrative of technological innovation, cultural sophistication, and migration by maritime-adapted Solutrean hunter-gatherers in southwestern Europe navigating and living along the glacial ice margin of the North Atlantic. Stanford and Bradley deftly illustrate their expertise in understanding, replicating, and explaining the nuances of early lithic and nonlithic technocomplexes. The argued distinctiveness of Beringian technology, the apparent lack of clear antecedent technologies to Clovis in Asia, the concentration of early Cloyis and earlier pre-Clovis radiocarbon dates in the East, proxies for direction of migration from cached raw material, overshot flaking, the use of large blades and bladelets, distinctive core technology, along with other specialized tools in Clovis assemblages, and purported proto-Clovis artifacts with similarities to Solutrean artifacts are all offered as circumstantial evidence in support of the Solutrean hypothesis.

In Chapter 1, Stanford and Bradley offer a very informative primer on flaked stone technology, particularly as it relates to the Solutrean hypothesis. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.