Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Artifact of the Week- Clovis Point

This projectile point was found, along with several others, in the Nampa area by early homesteader, Logan Sherris. The point was likely hafted or attached to a short spear called a dart, which was mid-sized: between the length of an arrow and a spear. It is crafted from Peace River Chert which is a high quality stone material with outcrops along the Peace River. The craftsman made the piece by removing small flakes of stone from a core or nucleus using another rock or a softer material such as antler or bone until the desired shape was attained. What is of particular interest is the age of the piece. Considering the shape of the dart point, we can tell that it comes from the Clovis Culture meaning that it is likely around 11,000 years old. Near the base of the point, the craftsman removed a few extra flakes to thin it out towards the middle of the piece. This is known as fluting which may have aided in hafting the point and is the most telling characteristic of a Clovis Point.

Although some argue that the Clovis Culture may be older than 11,000 years, at around 13,200 years, it is the earliest known stone tool culture to have appeared in the Americas. The fact that this early Paleo-Indian artifact was found in the Peace Region suggests that the area may have been inhabited for many thousands of years! Be sure to stop by the Peace River Museum, Archives and Mackenzie Centre to see this ancient piece of history and the oldest man-made artifact in our collection!
Clovis Point- 89.35.4

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