Clovis in Michigan

For a long time the “Clovis culture” was thought to be the first settlers of the Americas, something between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. “Clovis points”, stone arrowheads and spearheads with a characteristic design, have been found, mostly in the American Southwest and Southeast. A recent discovery may redraw the Clovis map. From the Scientific American a report by Aaron Martin:

I became aware of the site back probably in the mid seventies as I was surveying the and identifying sites around this large glacial marsh and the Belson site sits on the north side of that marsh. I’d walked into the field and found this this bottom section.

I knew exactly what it was. I got right back in the truck and came home. And this time… The first Clovis point turned up in 2006. And I picked it up. I identified it. It’s laying there for, you know, 13,000 years.

First, I thought it was kind of a fluke because Clovis was never discovered here in Michigan before. The theory is Clovis wouldn’t be found here because by the time that fluted point technology reached the Great Lakes Basin, it had morphed into a different style. You opened up the site and we’re very pleased at what we’ve found. The big question was underneath the plow zone, in the subsoil, was there undisturbed Clovis material?

And yeah, we’re recording a whole layer of Clovis material that’s undisturbed. It’s laying there for, you know, 13,000 years.

That provides evidence that Clovis peoples were in Michigan, farther north and east than they had previously been found. That’s an important finding.

5 comments… add one
  • Grey Shamber Link

    Plains Nations engaged in what is called “the great round “ in summer time, traveling and trading several hundred miles from home base.
    The trade goods they found were probably as interesting to them as the new electronic toys that come out every year are to us.
    Not surprised Clovis points traveled.

  • bob sykes Link

    The Clovis people were in North America when it was largely glaciated. They must have seen the breakup of the Ice Sheets, Lake Agassiz, the Teays River, and the formation of the Channelled Scablands in Washington. They were probably killed, along with the megafauna by the meteor strikes that started the Younger Dryas.

    Did any of them survive the Younger Dryas, or were they replaced by a new, independent migration? Has anyone seriously analyzed Indian mythology for stories of that time?

  • Grey Shambler Link

    15 thousand years old?
    Even the Israelites, with their penchant for genealogy and written history, don’t go back that far.

  • bob sykes Link

    How about 100,000 years old, back to the African Eve? E. J. Michael Witzel claims to have traced themes and elements in ancient myths back that far. He recognizes a Laurasian and a Gondowanaland tradition, the first being Eurasia and the North America, the other Africa, India, and Australia. See his book, “The Origins of the World’s Mythologies,” Oxford University Press, 2012. Witzel is interested in common themes and stories, and he uses a genealogical method similar in concept to the Out of Africa theory.

    Witzel is Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University, and is somewhat more a recognized, legitimate scholar than Graham Hancock, although Hancock is much more fun.

    The Israelites were an Iron Age people, who got their mythology largely from the Sumerians et al. So, the Biblical stories go back to at least 3,000 BC. The Israelites had no clue about the Bronze Age or anything earlier.

    As to longevity of ideas. Sweatman, whom I mentioned re Gobekli Tepe, maintains that the constellation we recognize today were already recognized in the Paleolithic Era some 15,000 or so years ago. Some of the names have changed, but the asterisms are the same.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    Point taken.

Leave a Comment