Friday, October 21, 2011

Pre-Clovis Mastodon Kill

Yesterday afternoon, NPR had this interesting story on the reanalysis of material from a mastodon kill site in Washington state that was originally excavated in the late 1970s. The reanalysis was conducted by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M and they found that the kill dates to 13,800 years ago, making it a pre-Clovis site. Also, they found what appeared to be the tip of a projectile point stuck in one of the ribs. A CT-scan of the rib and point tip is shown above.

The projectile point turned out to be made of bone, and DNA analysis of the bone tip showed that it was mastodon bone. This is particularly interesting in that now as more and more pre-Clovis material comes to light, we need to understand what tool types these people used. While they aren't unknown, bone projectile points don't appear to be a major component of later Paleoindian toolkits.


Peculiar said...

Good to have you back Reid!

Reid Farmer said...


Hope you guys are getting some sleep