Clovis Tips and Their Controversial Role

Professor Lassiter asserts, and believes that he has proved, that humans arrived on the North American continent at the time Clovis points became used. Daniel challenges that theory. Andrea has not taken a position on the subject, but believes instead that proper methods determine the validity of whatever facts are ultimately shown.

Examples of Clovis points
Examples of Clovis points (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Clovis points in question are thin, fluted projectile points found across the continent in strata believed to be 10,000 to 14,000 years old. Based upon their shape and structure, it is believed the sharp points were created using bifacial percussion flaking. To finish shaping and sharpening the points they are sometimes pressure flaked along the outer edges. Clovis points are characterized by concave longitudinal shallow grooves called “flutes” on both faces one third or more up from the base to the pointed tip.

Bifacial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clovis points were highly effective and their development is viewed as a turning point in human development. Some assert that man’s adoption of Clovis points is directly related to the despeciation of megafauna (large animals, such as mastadons). Whether that is true is debated. But in Hearts in Ruin, Professor Lassiter was instrumental in developing a theory of human culture in North America tied the a Bering Straight land bridge and asserting that no culture in North America existed prior to the immigration of peoples across the icy straight during an ice age. Accordingly, under the Professor’s theory, there should be no evidence of human culture beyond scattered hunter gathering tribes leading to the development of the Clovis point, farther back the the explosion of Clovis tips about 10,000 to 14,000 years ago.

Daniel’s findings at the dig consist of significant layers of artifacts below the Clovis point strata, indicating a human culture capable of making such artifacts long before Professor Lassiter’s theories can accept. This fact, combined with Daniel’s tenacious pursuit of the truth underlying it, puts Daniel squarely at odds with his former department chair.

Naturally, among most true archaeologists and scholars, we would rarely see the deep-seated demonstrated in Hearts in Ruin between Daniel and Professor Lassiter. But rivalries do exist, and young scientists do challenge established ideas in ways that, occasionally, threaten the ego of their predecessors.

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