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7 June 2010
First complete look at technology of Clovis culture

A new book on the stone and bone tool technologies of Clovis culture of 13,500 years ago, published by faculty at Texas State University, is the first complete examination of the tools themselves and how the Clovis culture used them and transmitted their production.
     The book, 'Clovis Technology (International Monographs in Prehistory, Archaeological Series 17),' covers the Clovis culture's making and use of stone blades, bi-faces and small tools as well as artifacts such as projectile points, rods, daggers, awls, needles, handles, hooks and ornaments made from bone, ivory, antler and teeth. It examines the tools used to make other tools, such as billets, wrenches, gravers and anvils, and explores how Clovis culture acquired and transmitted stone tool production. It is co-authored by Texas State archaeologist Michael B. Collins, who also directs the Gault archaeological site in Central Texas, the world's largest Clovis excavation. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of known Clovis artifacts have come from that site.  
     Until recently, Clovis technology was believed to represent the Americas' earliest human inhabitants, having arrived in the hemisphere from Asia by walking across the Bering Land Bridge between 11,000 BCE and 8,000 BCE. However, recent discoveries at Gault and elsewhere, of stone and bone artifacts predating Clovis, have convinced most archaeologists that a culture existed in the Americas at least 500 to 1,000 years before Clovis, possibly arriving by boat and on foot.
     "Our book, the first thorough examination of Clovis technology, is a step towards determining what came before Clovis," Clark Wernecke, executive director of the Gault School of Archaeological Research, said. "By starting with what we know, we can look for indications of what came before."

Source: San Marcos Daily Record (1 June 2010)

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