Folsom (American Indians Ready Reference)
Folsom is the name of the prehistoric site near Folsom, New Mexico, where the antiquity of people in the Americas was finally accepted by the scientific community in 1926. Folsom also is the name of the Paleo-Indian tradition associated with the distinctive Folsom projectile point. The Folsom discovery marked a significant turning point or “paradigm shift” in American archaeology in 1926: The presence of people in the Americas at the same time as Ice-Age or Pleistocene animals that are now extinct was accepted with the discovery of a Folsom “fluted” point embedded in the ribs of an extinct species of bison, Bison antiquus. The site's investigators, Jess Figgins, director of the Colorado Museum of Natural History, and Harold Cook, a geologist, telegraphed leading scientists in North America asking them to view and validate the find in the ground, which effected immediate acceptance. Since 1926, the occurrence of Folsom fluted points across North and Middle America has been regarded as part of the Folsom Paleo-Indian tradition, dated between 9000 and 7500 b.c.e.
Folsom fluted points are distinctive stone tools manufactured by flaking two sides of a narrow blade struck from a stone tool, normally chert. The point has a channel or flute removed from each side at the base. In contrast to the earlier Clovis points, the Folsom points are smaller, but the flute extends virtually the entire length of the point.
The subsistence for...
(The entire section is 443 words.)
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