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.