The Clovis Paleoliths

The Clovis people come from the time known as the Stone Age, when people made tools from stone. Clovis artifacts are widely and unevenly dispersed in North and Central America.

The Clovis point is this cultures signature tool, and the Clovis also had a distinctive biface-flaking technology and a perforated tool. The first fluted projectile point discovered was 11,000 years old and it was found near Clovis, New Mexico in the 1930's. Faunal bone remains indicate that they hunted Mammoth, the North American Horse, Camels, Bison, Lion, and the Dire Wolf in New Mexico.

What do we know about the Clovis? The clovis were hunters and gatherers, who were adapted to many different environments. It is uncertain as to whether they were generalist or specialist feeders. They understood the medicinal effects of plants, and the behaviour of animals. They even knew about geology. The made tools of stone, bone, ivory, and engraved limestone tablets. Stones tools were not always local, but also came from hundreds of miles away. Their tool kit was composed of stone scrapers, choppers, and knives. They used an ochre pigment for rituals, and made fires in hearths. Most of what is preserved from the Clovis are the nonperishable lithic tools, but the majority of the things they made were from plant materials. Nets, ropes, and cords were made for fishing, and baskets, bags, and sandles were made for their practical use. Weaving patterns vary over time, and are signatures of different or related cultures. (Source: Adovasio & Hyland, 2000)

In Wyoming, the Goshen culture was contemporanous to the Clovis. The Clovis did not live very long. They lived from 11,400 to 10,900 rad ya. The Folsom culture came later, around 10,000 ya, followed by a culture from the Southern Plains.

In North America (Manitoba) the Clovis people were present 10,000 to 9,000 ya. They too were replaced by Folsom who persisted from 9,000 to 8,000 ya. The Plano cultures arrived 8,000 ya and persisted until 4,500 ya.