Friday, February 27, 2009

Clovis People Tools Found

Reading the news this morning, I came across this article. It seems some 83 ancient artifacts of the Clovis people, dating back 13,000 years, were found in a Boulder, CO, man’s yard. What struck me as interesting is the fact that the blood traces on the tools were identified as belonging to sheep, bears, horses and camels. Wait a minute – bears and sheep I can see, but horses and camels? It’s kind of hard for me to wrap my mind around. Everything I’ve ever read indicates that horses were brought to America by the Spanish, and the only sheep I knew that was native to America was the Bighorn sheep, and the sheep commonly found in America today were (again) brought by the Spanish and later European explorers. Furthermore, camels? Camels? The American Camel became extinct after the Ice Age (the above information came from this site). Stuff like this blows my mind, because it makes me wonder how exactly the land on Earth was situated when the Clovis people were alive. What was it like? How did they hunt and eat? How far did they have to go to find food? What was their family life like?

I’ve always had an interest in archaeology and anthropology. I've always been interested in how cities were built, what tools they used, how societies were constructed - the whole nine yards. I never chose either as a college major though because I figured they weren’t exactly the most in-demand career choice one could make. But, oh, finds like this make me wish I had the money to study in school more for multiple degrees so I could find out more about these people and other past civilizations! I've always said, if I had the money, I would stay in school forever and get degrees in everything. I really would. Now, anyone want to finance that dream? LOL


Strangeite said...

Ahhhhhh, Anthropology. My true love. I also know that I could never make a career being an Anthropologist but that didn't stop me from taking a bunch of classes in college.

Take a look at Monte Verde. It predates the Clovis culture by at least a 1000 years. What makes Monte Verde so interesting is that it is located in Costa Rica. People weren't supposed to be this far south 14,500 years ago.

Monte Verde was discovered by Tom Dillehay while he was at the University of Kentucky (stupid UK lost him after the discovery because they wouldn't pony up enough for funding). While his findings were initially disputed they have been accepted within the last couple of years.

Really Monte Verde is the final nail in both the "Clovis First" model and the "Land Bridge" model of early human dispersion in the Americas.

We were taught in school that there was a land bridge from Russia to Alaska. And from this land bridge people came south.

This is crap.

Geologists have shown that the only route south from the land bridge was a narrow corridor between the two glaciers present at the time. They also have shown that this "path" was only 25 miles wide, had walls of ice on either side between 150 to 750 feet tall, had at least 2 feet of water running the entire length, had sustained winds of 80 miles an hour and gusts up to 120 mph, no vegetation at all and was 1500 miles long. Not what you would call a Sunday stroll.

Obviously some people came across the bridge (Blue Fish Cave proves this) but it is crazy to think these people came further south this way.

So how did people get here?

By boat. We know that people arrived in Australia 50,000 years ago by boat. It isn't too far a leap to think that they got back into their boats. When you look at the ocean currents from Australia, guess where they would drop people off?

Costa Rica.

So you had people at least 14,500 years ago get into boats, cross the Pacific Ocean for a minimal of two to three week journeys and they had nothing better than stone tools.

Ok, I have rambled on long enough. But before I go, take a look at Java Man too, it will blow your mind.

Personally, I think we are a lot older than we realize.

Anonymous said...

For a little more (actually, a lot more) information on this subject may I suggest "The Eternal Frontier" by Tim Flannery. He has lots of training in archeology.

Father to Madtown Mama

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Hi, Mr. G! Thanks for the info. I'll definitely check it out. There's a get-well soon card for Mrs. G and a letter for you both in the mail. Hope it reaches you soon!

Strangeite said...

I will take a moment to second "The Eternal Frontier" as it is an excellent book and a fun read. The ecology section is superb but the middle section of the book (dealing with the migration of humans to the Americas) is starting to show its age. I had one Anthropology professor that has written him to ask that he revise the book so that his popular audience wont be confused by the now very out of date information.

Just food for thought.