Clovis points from the Clovis site. These likely all date to a few centuries around 11,000 RCYBP and most were found in association with Mammuthus columbi and a few with Bison antiquus. The Clovis site contained at least 28 mammoths that died or were killed around the pond margin and there is good evidence that six or more were killed by humans.
Points from Clovis strata at the Clovis type-site
As can be seen in this image, the raw materials were variable but high quality. Also notable are the small size of the points. Non-hunters often mistakenly think that a small point is for small prey but quite the opposite may be true. Until recently, small arrow points were used in Africa to bring down elephants, buffalo, and other large game. The object is to pierce a vital organ or artery and a wider blade needs more force to cut through hide to reach the protected organs. There was probably much more thought to the animal’s behavior and the situation of the kill and it may be no coincidence that all of the known mammoth and bison kills at the site are within the muddy pond margin.
The majority of raw materials are Edwards Plateau Chert or Alibates Agate from the Canadian River in Texas. Other materials include quartzite, likely procured in the upper reaches of the Canadian, Tecovas jasper from north Texas, silicified wood, and obsidian.
An Agate Basin point made of Alibates Agate from north Texas found in situ below a bison mandible. While the quality of these photos are not great, they show an amazing find that was not discovered until long after the bison mandible was exposed and pedestaled. This mandible is contained in the excavated bonebed still on display in the South Bank Interpretive Center at the Blackwater Draw site.
Scottsbluff projectile point fragment discovered at the Clovis site by David and Deborah Patterson in 1974. The base is missing from this exquisitely pressure-flaked point made of unidentified smooth gray chert.
LA3324.25317: Clovis projectile point made of silicified wood (note the linear structure).
This Clovis point was excavated on 8/9/1963 from the Gray Sand unit. This point was found in association with Mammoth IV. Five mammoths were unearthed from this area in the northern portion of the Blackwater Draw site. Mammuthus columbi is the species of mammoth found at the Clovis site.
LA3324.32904: Unfluted Folsom projectile point fragment made of Alibates agate.
This artifact was excavated from the Blackwater Draw North Bank in 1963 by J. Collins. This fragment was found in the Folsom-age horizon just 36 cm (14 inches) below the Agate Basin stratigraphic unit.
Alibates chert, sometimes called “flint”, is better described as an agatized dolomite. The Alibates Flint Quarries located near Amarillo, TX is the source for this raw material.
LA3324.25325 (left) Scottsbluff projectile point of gray chert.
LA3324.25287 (right) Scottsbluff projectile point of gray chert.
These two Scottsbluff projectile points were excavated in 1972 by Dominique Stevens. Both points were recovered from the carbonaceous silt stratigraphic level of the South Bank at the Blackwater Draw site.
The Scottsbluff technological complex was named after the Scottsbluff bison kill site in northwest Nebraska. Calibrated radiocarbon dates for the Scottsbluff technological complex are 9,500-10,500 years before present (BP). A radiocarbon date from the Scottsbluff occupation level at the Big Eddy site in southwestern Missouri is 9,525+/-65 years before present.
Learn more about Big Eddy, a multicomponent Paleoindian site.
This season’s throw was held with near-perfect weather and an excellent attendance. There were 35 throwers and about 20 spectators. The event was focused on a field round and an ISAC throw. See the photos here: