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“A unique, significant contribution to our maturing studies of the Clovis era.”—Gary Haynes, author of The Early Settlement of North America: The Clovis Era The Paleoindian Clovis culture is known for distinctive stone and bone tools often associated with mammoth and bison remains, dating back some 13,500 years. While the term Clovis is known to every archaeology student, few books have detailed the specifics of Clovis archaeology. This collection of essays investigates caches of Clovis tools, many of which have only recently come to light. These caches are time capsules that allow archaeologists to examine Clovis tools at earlier stages of manufacture than the broken and discarded artifacts typically recovered from other sites. The studies comprising this volume treat methodological and theoretical issues including the recognition of Clovis caches, Clovis lithic technology, mobility, and land use.
Some 13,000 years ago, humans were drawn repeatedly to a small valley in what is now Central Texas, near the banks of Buttermilk Creek. These early hunter-gatherers camped, collected stone, and shaped it into a variety of tools they needed to hunt game, process food, and subsist in the Texas wilderness. Their toolkit included bifaces, blades, and deadly spear points. Where they worked, they left thousands of pieces of debris, which have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct their methods of tool production. Along with the faunal material that was also discarded in their prehistoric campsite, these stone, or lithic, artifacts afford a glimpse of human life at the end of the last ice age during an era referred to as Clovis. The area where these people roamed and camped, called the Gault site, is one of the most important Clovis sites in North America. A decade ago a team from Texas A&M University excavated a single area of the site—formally named Excavation Area 8, but informally dubbed the Lindsey Pit—which features the densest concentration of Clovis artifacts and the clearest stratigraphy at the Gault site. Some 67,000 lithic artifacts were recovered during fieldwork, along with 5,700 pieces of faunal material. In a thorough synthesis of the evidence from this prehistoric “workshop,” Michael R. Waters and his coauthors provide the technical data needed to interpret and compare this site with other sites from the same period, illuminating the story of Clovis people in the Buttermilk Creek Valley.
Around 11,000 years ago, a Paleoindian culture known to us as "Clovis" occupied much of North America. Considered to be among the continent's earliest human inhabitants, the Clovis peoples were probably nomadic hunters and gatherers whose remaining traces include camp sites and caches of goods stored for utilitarian or ritual purposes. This book offers the first comprehensive study of a little-known aspect of Clovis culture—stone blade technology. Michael Collins introduces the topic with a close look at the nature of blades and the techniques of their manufacture, followed by a discussion of the full spectrum of Clovis lithic technology and how blade production relates to the production of other stone tools. He then provides a full report of the discovery and examination of fourteen blades found in 1988 in the Keven Davis Cache in Navarro County, Texas. Collins also presents a comparative study of known and presumed Clovis blades from many sites, discusses the Clovis peoples' caching practices, and considers what lithic technology and caching behavior can add to our knowledge of Clovis lifeways. These findings will be important reading for both specialists and amateurs who are piecing together the puzzle of the peopling of the Americas, since the manufacture of blades is a trait that Clovis peoples shared with the Upper Paleolithic peoples in Europe and northern Asia.
The Encyclopedia of Prehistory represents temporal dimension. Major traditions are an attempt to provide basic information also defined by a somewhat different set of on all archaeologically known cultures, sociocultural characteristics than are eth covering the entire globe and the entire nological cultures. Major traditions are prehistory of humankind. It is designed as defined based on common subsistence a tool to assist in doing comparative practices, sociopolitical organization, and research on the peoples of the past. Most material industries, but language, ideology, of the entries are written by the world's and kinship ties play little or no part in foremost experts on the particular areas their definition because they are virtually and time periods. unrecoverable from archaeological con The Encyclopedia is organized accord texts. In contrast, language, ideology, and ing to major traditions. A major tradition kinship ties are central to defining ethno is defined as a group of populations sharing logical cultures.
"Meltzer's compelling account of the data and the debates takes readers behind the scenes of the often contentious arguments that have redirected the scientific pursuit of the first Americans."--Tom D. Dillehay, author of The Settlement of the Americas "In remarkably comprehensive and lucid fashion, Meltzer synthesizes the complex and commonly conflicting evidence for the earliest human presence in the Americas and provides an honestly told lesson about the workings of scientific thought."--David Hurst Thomas, author of Skull Wars "A natural storyteller, David Meltzer gives us a vivid picture of both the colonizing bands of humans who moved into the Americas and the researchers who followed their footsteps from Alaska to Chile. This is an insider's account, told with a keen eye and sense of humor, as if Meltzer were there when discoveries were made and when disputes were aired--as, indeed, he often was."--Ann Gibbons, author of The First Human: The Race to Discover our Earliest Ancestors "The settling of the Americas has been a first-rate scientific puzzle since Columbus stumbled across the peoples of the Caribbean. David Meltzer is its ideal chronicler: a major participant in the research that is unlocking the mystery and a fine writer with a wry humor. Thank goodness there aren't too many scientists like him--science journalists like me would be out of business."--Charles C. Mann, author of 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus
As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.
Offers an updated perspective of human ecology and organization during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Great Basin, 13,000 8,000 years ago, with special regard to whether these hunter-gatherers possessed a Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic lifeway.
Co-authored by Bruce Bradley. Includes bibliography and glossary.
This revolutionary archaeological synthesis argues an alternative model of the earliest human population of North America. E. James Dixon dispels the stereotype of big-game hunters following mammoths across the Bering Land Bridge and paints a vivid picture of marine mammal hunters, fishers, and general foragers colonising the New World. Applying contemporary scientific methods and drawing on new archaeological discoveries, he advances evidence indicating that humans first reached the Americas using water craft along the deglaciated Northwest Coast about 13,500 years ago, some 2,000 years before the first Clovis hunters. Dixons rigorous evaluation of the oldest North American archaeological sites and human remains offers well-reasoned hypotheses about the physical characteristics, lives, and relationships of the First Americans. His crisply written analysis of scientific exploration is essential reading for scholars, students, and general readers.
Discusses the great apes, the origins of language, dating the past, global expansion, and extinct species
This book tells the human story from the origins of humankind to the end of the Stone Age around 2000 BC. It explores our links with other primates and examines theories of evolution, the beginnings of language, the rise of art and religion, and the global expansion that precipitated remarkable adaption and diversity. Then follows a survey of the revolutionary upheaval associated with the development of agriculture - a story of dramatic climate change, the domestication of plants and animals, massive population increase, the founding of urban centres, and long-distance trade networks. This momemtous transition is followed from Europe to the highlands of New Guinea and lowland Maya farmers, from Africa to Asia and the New World.
Purely a reference source, this large volume is part of a series of regional guides that surveys, describes and categorises the different types of projectile points and cutting tools in prehistoric North America.

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