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Clovis Point


Clovis point is a particular kind of spear point, used by Paleo-Indians (the first inhabitants of North America) to hunt large game such as the now-extinct mastodon and mammoth. The Clovis point was made of stone and had a leaf-like shape, fluted edges, lengthwise channels on each side, and a long, slender point. Named for Clovis, New Mexico, where it was first discovered by archeologists, the spear point is believed to have been widely used throughout what is today the mainland United States. There lived a hunting people that was dominant in North America from about 15,000 to 8000 b.c.. Archeologists and scholars refer to this people as a Clovis culture or civilization.

The Clovis groups were succeeded by the Folsom culture, which began to emerge around 9200 b.c.. The Folsom culture is named for its own distinctive spear point, also found in New Mexico. The Folsom point was smaller than the Clovis, had a concave (rounded inward) base, and a lengthwise groove on each side. This spear point was used to hunt smaller animals (such as deer and rodents) and was used primarily on the east side of the Rocky Mountains, particularly in the Great Plains. The Folsom groups did not rely as heavily on hunting as did their predecessors. They began to better exploit their natural environments, turning to both foraging and fishing for sustenance.

See also: Paleo-Indians

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