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Roughly thirteen thousand years ago, Clovis hunters cached more than fifty projectile points, preforms, and knives at the toe of a gentle slope near present-day Elgin, Bastrop County, in central Texas. Over the next millennia, deposition buried the cache several meters below the surface. The entombed artifacts lay undisturbed until 2003. A circuitous path brought thirteen of the original thirty-seven Clovis bifaces and points through many hands before reaching the attention of Michael Waters at Texas A&M University. At the site of the original cache, Waters and coauthor Thomas A. Jennings conducted excavations, studied the geology, and dated the geological layers to reconstruct how the cache was buried. This book provides a well-illustrated, thoroughly analyzed description and discussion of the Hogeye Clovis cache, the projectile points and other artifacts from later occupations, and the geological context of the site, which has yielded evidence of multiple Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric occupations. The cache of tools and weapons at Hogeye, when combined with other sites, allows us to envision a snapshot of life at the end of the last Ice Age.
“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.
The objective of this edited volume is to bring together a diverse set of analyses to document how small-scale societies responded to paleoenvironmental change based on the evidence of their lithic technologies. The contributions bring together an international forum for interpreting changes in technological organization - embracing a wide range of time periods, geographic regions and methodological approaches.​ ​As technology brings more refined information on ancient climates, the research on spatial and temporal variability of paleoenvironmental changes. In turn, this has also broadened considerations of the many ways that prehistoric hunter-gatherers may have responded to fluctuations in resource bases. From an archaeological perspective, stone tools and their associated debitage provide clues to understanding these past choices and decisions, and help to further the investigation into how variable human responses may have been. Despite significant advances in the theory and methodology of lithic technological analysis, there have been few attempts to link these developments to paleoenvironmental research on a global scale.
This volume brings together diverse contributions from leading archaeologists and paleoanthropologists, covering various spatial and temporal periods to distinguish convergent evolution from cultural transmission in order to see if we can discover ancient human populations. With a focus on lithic technology, the book analyzes ancient materials and cultures to systematically explore the theoretical and physical aspects of culture, convergence, and populations in human evolution and prehistory. The book will be of interest to academics, students and researchers in archaeology, paleoanthropology, genetics, and paleontology. The book begins by addressing early prehistory, discussing the convergent evolution of behaviors and the diverse ecological conditions driving the success of different evolutionary paths. Chapters discuss these topics and technology in the context of the Lower Paleolithic/Earlier Stone age and Middle Paleolithic/Middle Stone Age. The book then moves towards a focus on the prehistory of our species over the last 40,000 years. Topics covered include the human evolutionary and dispersal consequences of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition in Western Eurasia. Readers will also learn about the cultural convergences, and divergences, that occurred during the Terminal Pleistocene and Holocene, such as the budding of human societies in the Americas. The book concludes by integrating these various perspectives and theories, and explores different methods of analysis to link technological developments and cultural convergence.
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.

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