American archaeologists have discovered in the Great Lakes region the oldest site of hunter-gatherers who inhabited this area about 13 thousand years ago. They managed to find spearheads and evidence of the manufacture of tools that belong to the archaeological culture of Clovis. Previously, it was believed that this area was inaccessible to people during this period because of the glacier located here. The find is reported in a press release from the University of Michigan.
In North and Central America about 13, 5-10, 8 thousand years ago, there was an archaeological culture Clovis. It got its name from the discovery of a small number of tools near the city of the same name in the state of New Mexico in 1936-1937. The representatives of this culture, who are the genetic ancestors of all Indian tribes, were nomadic hunter-gatherers who specialized in hunting big game - mammoths, mastodons and gomphoteria. The earliest evidence of a group of such hunters, dating from around 11550 BC, is found in the southwestern part of North America at the Sonora archaeological site.
The Clovis culture is characterized by the presence of its typical spearheads or darts, which are lancet-shaped, chiseled stone tools with a longitudinal groove on each side and a concave base. Finds of such objects are often found side by side with scrapers, choppers, and engraving points. These artifacts form the so-called Llano complex, which is found not only in parking lots, but also in hunting camps - that is, places where primitive people killed and butchered animals.
Independent researcher Thomas Talbot, together with scientists from the University of Michigan, discovered in the Great Lakes region the oldest archaeological site of the Clovis culture, 13 thousand years old, thereby rewriting the history of settlement of the region. During this period, the territory of Michigan was covered with glaciers, which was believed to stop the earliest human populations from staying here.
According to scientists, the site was occupied by a small group of people for six to seven years. It is located near a river in southwestern Michigan, making it the most northwestern home of the Clovis culture. Researchers believe that as the glaciers retreated, an environment was created into which fauna penetrated, attracting ancient hunters. They noted that the Paleo-Indians moved in large groups, not staying anywhere for long. Ancient people were engaged in both hunting and collecting carrion, driving away other predators of the Ice Age from their prey. Apparently, the discovered site was a short-term seasonal camp of a small group that split from the main tribe.
The discovered site was named Belson and is an area of 25 × 15 meters. At a depth of about 1.5 meters, archaeologists have found an untouched horizon containing a large number of tools, as well as fragments of stones, indicating that the inhabitants of the camp were making tools on the spot. In total, scientists managed to find more than 20 stone tools, as well as hundreds of fragments that appeared during their manufacture. The arrowheads found are similar to the previously known ancient finds, designated as Gainey. They are characterized by a groove in the center of the spearhead. However, the new finds also demonstrate features characteristic of the Clovis culture technology, where the tools were made by the flaking method.