| 8 September 2005
Rare Clovis point found in Utah
The pink stone point discovered last spring just lying on the ground, appears to be older than any artifact ever found on the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (Utah, USA). Archaeologists believe the point, thought to have been crafted between 10,000 and 11,000 years ago, represents a significant find and could be representative of the ancient people referred to by the name "Clovis".
"Its manufacturing technique appears to be Clovis," said Matthew Zweifel, archaeologist for the monument that is administered by the Bureau of Land Management with headquarters in Kanab. It is the oldest artifact he knows of that has been found on the southern Utah monument, and an extremely rare example of a Clovis point. One group of scientists examined microscopic cracks in the 2 1/2 -inch stone point and was convinced of its authenticity when the weathering patterns inside the cracks matched those on the stone surface.
Zweifel plans an excavation at the site - he declined to give a precise location - to see if there are other cultural artifacts identifying the prehistoric people who might have left the point in the area.
It is made from stone not indigenous, but Zweifel said he does not yet know where it came from. It is also surprisingly small compared with other Clovis points that were used as spears tips. The point could have been used or dropped by a roaming band of Paleo-Indians, or found and recycled by prehistoric
Indians from the Archaic period, which lasted between 3,000 and 8,000 years ago, or by later groups.
"It looks like it was manufactured somewhere else," said Zweifel. "Maybe on the Great Basin or elsewhere on the Colorado Plateau, and carried into this part of the world." He said the earliest known occupation in the region was from the Archaic period with evidence of daily living found at a southern Utah area around Big Water.
The point is likely to end up in a display case for public viewing at the Anasazi State Park Heritage Museum in Boulder, Garfield County.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune (6 September 2005)
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