Discovery of Ancient Spearpoints in Texas Has Created Some Debate Among Archaeologists About the History of Early Americas

The triangular blades appear to be older than the projectile points produced by the Paleoamerican Clovis culture, an observation that’s complicating our understanding of how the Americas were colonized—and by whom.

…Clovis-style spear points began to appear around 13,000 to 12,700 years ago, and they were produced by Paleoamerican hunter-gatherers.

…Archaeological and genetic evidence now suggests that humans made their way into North America between 15,000 and 16,000 years ago, and not 13,500 years ago as once believed.

…The discovery of pre-Clovis stemmed points at the Friedkin site suggests this manufacturing tradition emerged prior to the Clovis invention, and may have even served as a precursor.

…“The peopling of the Americas during the end of the last Ice Age was a complex process,” said Waters. “This complexity is seen in the genetic record. Now we starting to see this complexity mirrored in the archaeological record.”

…“Arguments about ethnogenesis [origin] and population relationships on the basis of [stone artifacts] alone are difficult at best. Here we have thousands of years and thousands of miles between a few pre-Clovis sites with differential levels of empirical support and acceptance in the broader archaeological community.”

…In other words, Potter doesn’t believe the researchers are justified in speculating that the artifacts represent a significantly new category of spearpoint.

…These soil processes, he said, can result in the vertical distribution of small artifacts, such as the ones described in the new paper.

Clearly, more work needs to be done in this area.

Discovery of Ancient Spearpoints in Texas Has Some Archaeologists Questioning the History of Early Americas



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