For many years, archaeologists considered the so-called “Clovis” Culture to be the remains of the first humans to enter the Americas. These people were said to come via the Bering Land Bridge, a subcontinental land mass which joins North America to Northeast Asia. Clovis culture was distinguished by a very characteristic type of stone spear point which had a long flake removed from the base on each side, forming a “flute” which considerably thinned the base of the point. Such fluting was a hallmark of Clovis and another, slightly more recent, culture: Folsom.
Clovis was thought to have arrived into the Americas from the present-day Yukon area through an “ice free corridor”. However, for many years, Clovis points and the rest of Clovis culture, were unknown from north of the ice sheets and there was a sustained research agenda to find Clovis, or to find Clovis antecedents, in Yukon, NWT or Alaska. While the occasional fluted point became known from surface finds, those from solid archaeological context did not.
It is therefore interesting to see a site, Serpentine Hot Springs, has come to light on Alaska’s Seward Peninsula (the bit that sticks out closest to Asia – map) which has revealed numerous fluted points. Continue reading