Paleo-Indian Culture Flourishes in North America (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Paleo-Indians, the earliest colonists of the New World and their late Pleistocene and early Holocene descendants, originated from multiple points and displayed highly varied technology and lifestyles.
Summary of Event
Originally, the term “Paleo-Indian” referred to the earliest inhabitants of the New World, especially those first recognized in the American Southwest during archaeological excavations in the 1920’s and early 1930’s. Largely on the basis of these and later excavations, which were conducted in New Mexico, Arizona, and sites in the Great Plains region, Paleo-Indian was defined to encompass a specific lithic (stone tool) technology signified by the distinctive “fluted” Clovis projectile point, named after a small town in New Mexico near which this type of point was found. Because Clovis points were often found in apparent association with Pleistocene big-game animals, especially mammoth, the Paleo-Indian lifeway was thought to be centered on the systematic predation of now-extinct Ice Age megafauna. By the late 1950’s, the term Paleo-Indian came to include the presumed descendants of the Clovis point makers, namely the Folsom and so-called Plano complex “cultures” of the Great Plains and other groups from eastern North America, notably the Dalton complex of the American Midsouth and Southeast. Like their putative Clovis forebears, these later Paleo-Indian groups were...
(The entire section is 1624 words.)
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