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Clovis Revisited

Clovis Revisited: New Perspectives on Paleoindian Adaptations from Blackwater Draw, New Mexico

Anthony T. Boldurian
John L. Cotter
Copyright Date: 1999
Pages: 168
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  • Book Info
    Clovis Revisited
    Book Description:

    Explore the early days of Paleoindian archaeology in this engaging retrospective of Edgar B. Howard's Southwest Early Man Project, 1929-1937, cosponsored by the University Museum and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. This book contains a detailed analysis of the world-famous Clovis artifacts, discovered among the bones of mammoths and extinct bison in the Dust Bowl of eastern New Mexico.Blending traditional and current ideas, the authors offer an extended reference to the lifeways of early humans in the Americas, accented by a series of unique insights on their origins and adaptations. Well appointed with photos, line illustrations, and schematics,Clovis Revisitedis essential reading for professionals, students, and avocational enthusiasts.

    eISBN: 978-1-934536-72-8
    Subjects: Archaeology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-xii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  5. Foreword
    (pp. xv-xvi)
    Anthony T. Boldurian

    Often more than just an occupation to its practitioners, archaeology sometimes fulfills the dreams of those who spend countless hours and tremendous energy over the span of their career in pursuit of knowledge about humankind’s past. Born of simple curiosity, the search occasionally develops into a consuming quest to solve very difficult problems. Edgar B. Howard’s exploration for evidence of the earliest Americans was such a journey, taking the scientist far from his starting point to strange, unforeseen places. Along the way he encountered numerous interesting individuals, while the work itself entailed myriad frustrations punctuated by simply wonderful discoveries. By...

  6. Preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    John L. Cotter
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xix-xxi)
  8. CHAPTER 1 Edgar B. Howard’s Southwest Early Man Project
    (pp. 1-20)

    The earliest Clovis archaeological expeditions, from 1933 through 1937, were led by Edgar B. Howard through research sponsored jointly by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. This work, conducted in dry lake beds on the windswept Llano Estacado (i.e., “Stockaded” or “Staked” Plains) of eastern New Mexico, was both the culmination and the conclusion of Howard’s Southwest Early Man Project. In many ways reflecting the character of its leader, this industrious enterprise took place when knowledge about the first Americans, though in its infancy, was expanding at a rapid...

  9. CHAPTER 2 Late Pleistocene Environments and Human Ecology of the Southern Plains: A Summary and Perspective
    (pp. 21-30)

    In this chapter, our goal is to draft an outline capable of allowing us to examine the Paleoindian lifeway pattern (e.g., subsistence, land use, group mobility, and lithic technology, etc.) against a backdrop of the physical world in which these people lived. A truly accurate view of these cultural elements can be gained only within the broader context of paleoenvironments and paleoecology (e.g., regional climate, geomorphology, soils, hydrology, stone resources, and biomass, etc.) blended with geochronology. This insight, first attributable to Edgar Howard, was an endeavor of his Southwest Early Man Project (see Holliday 1997). Through the following discussions, we...

  10. CHAPTER 3 Research Goals and Analytical Methods
    (pp. 31-42)

    Although much of their culture, and hence their overall lifeways, may forever remain a mystery, Paleoindians in the Blackwater Draw left behind an abundance of artifacts that serve as clues to their adaptations in the Southern Plains. For instance, from the artifacts we can gain further insights to Paleoindian manufacturing technology, arrangement of tool kits, and tool use. The artifacts also tell us something of the frequency and patterns of movement of these nomadic groups. From the artifacts themselves, as well as from their position in the earth and associated remains, we are able to learn about the range of...

  11. CHAPTER 4 Description of the Collection
    (pp. 43-90)

    Our primary aim in this chapter is to provide a detailed description of the Clovis type-artifacts and additional specimens from Edgar Howard’s landmark investigations in eastern New Mexico during the 1930s. Though having devoted tremendous effort in promoting the Clovis project’s fieldwork and discoveries, Howard had only a brief time to make a full accounting of the results prior to his death in 1943. His dissertation (Howard 1935) and several key articles, written for the most part by his associates for theProceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia,expounded upon the multitude of information on stratigraphy, paleoenvironments,...

  12. CHAPTER 5 Analytical Comparisons
    (pp. 91-112)

    From a purely technical standpoint, the Clovis collection is a group of highly specialized items, representing only a few categories of flaked stone objects within the broad spectrum of core reduction. Thus, we open the present chapter by again drawing attention to the biased nature of the collection. As a sample it is non-representative, dominated by finished form tools such as projectile points and other refined bifaces, unifacial implements such as end scrapers, and a host of modified flakes that served as readymade tools. Balanced against the sum of flaked stone artifacts that can potentially occur at archaeological sites, including...

  13. CHAPTER 6 Concluding Observations
    (pp. 113-124)

    As demonstrated to this point in our study, shedding new light on an “old” collection of artifacts is impossible without encountering certain obstacles. Other researchers engaged in similar pursuit, such as with the vast Lindenmeier Folsom assemblage (Wilmsen and Roberts 1978), the original Agate Basin materials (Frison and Stanford 1982), or the famous Simon Clovis collection (Woods and Titmus 1985) can readily attest to difficulties in re-analysis created by the passage of just a few decades. Some of these limitations also were encountered by Hester (1972) in his attempts to synthesize the extensive collections from Blackwater Locality No. 1. Reservations...

  14. References Cited
    (pp. 125-138)
  15. Index
    (pp. 139-145)