Clovis across the continent

D. Shane Miller, Vance T. Holliday, Jordon Bright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

62 Scopus citations


Clovis is the most geographically expansive archaeological culture in North America. Its spatial and temporal extent is truly remarkable and consequently raises a number of questions. In this paper, we focus on Clovis typology and chronology, especially how it relates to definitions of “Clovis as artifact type” versus “Clovis as colonizing behavior.” We derive our definition of “Classic Clovis” from sites located on the Great Plains (e.g., the Clovis type site along Blackwater Draw, New Mexico; Miami, Texas; Dent, Colorado), and the group of mammoth kills in the southwestern U.S. (e.g., Naco, Lehner, Murray Springs). These sites, and a handful of other dated sites with Clovis technology, fall within ~13.4k–12.7k cal yr BP (11,600–10,80014C yr BP). We conclude by describing the range of variation in the context of the sites that are most frequently used to define Clovis technology in North America. These include fluted points associated with remains of extinct fauna, Clovis points associated with radiocarbon-dated deposits, buried deposits with distinctive Clovis technology, surface sites with Clovis technology, dated sites without Classic Clovis artifacts, and surface sites with Clovis technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPaleoamerican Odyssey
PublisherTexas A and M University
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781623492335
ISBN (Print)9781623491925
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Chronology
  • Classic clovis
  • Geoarchaeological context
  • Northeastern fluted
  • Typology
  • Western fluted
  • Western stemmed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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