Setanta
 
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 02:33 pm
The remains of a child buried as much as 11,500 years ago have been found Alaska. One thing which piqued my interest i this story is that the archaeologists concerned began looking in this area after running a computer model based on common archaeological finds, and the computer basically told them to look in sand dunes.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science press release.

One interesting feature is that the dwelling place appears to have been abandoned after the burial of the child--there are salmon bones and other firepit detritus below the child's remains, but nothing above them.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 7,296 • Replies: 38

 
djjd62
 
  3  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 02:37 pm
@Setanta,
but, but, the earth is only about 6,000 years old, what sort of dark magic is this
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 24 Feb, 2011 07:17 pm
@Setanta,
Notice that they said the implements and **** buried with the kid DID NOT look like clovis , but more likeW Beringean and Siberean implements. Id love to see whether these were the stone shards embedded in bone and sticks.

That could be an important thing worthy of some more careful looking.(Especially for an age that just about had been given as Clovis time and Paleo Indian culture time.

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 05:02 am
@farmerman,
I thought the whole point of Clovis was that the diagonal, bi-facial, pressure-flake knapping technique was developed in situ--which would mean that them boys and girls in Alayeska didn't have no Clovis tools.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 05:53 am
@Setanta,
Right, nor were they a possible direct bunch of descendents based upon their culture, because this site was 11000+ and several Clovis sites were anywhere from 13 to 16000 yeras BP.

Quote:
After the discovery of several Clovis sites in western North America in the 1930s, the Clovis people came to be regarded as the first human inhabitants of the New World. Clovis people were considered to be the ancestors of all the indigenous cultures of North and South America. However, this majority view has been contested over the last thirty years by several archaeological discoveries, including possible sites like Cactus Hill in Virginia, Paisley Caves in the Summer Lake Basin of Oregon, the Topper site in Allendale County, South Carolina, Meadowcroft Rockshelter in Pennsylvania, and the Monte Verde[4] and Cueva Fell sites in Chile. The claim to the oldest human archaeological site known in the Americas belongs to the Pedra Furada human remains and hearths, a site that precedes the Clovis culture and the other sites already mentioned by 19.000 to 30.000 years, but this discovery has become an issue of contention between North American archaeologists and their South American and European counterparts.[5][6][7] In American archaeology most dates older than 10,000 are controversial. They are under intense scrutiny and may change as new dating technologies are developed and existing ones refined.[8]

Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:01 am
@farmerman,
I understand that the Solutrean hypothesis is in bad odor with contemporary paeleo-anthropologists, but one of the more compelling pieces of evidence for it, apart from the "ceremonial spear point" burial is that Clovis and Clovis-descendant pressure-flaking was on a diagonal, and the Solutrean points, and those points found in North America alleged to have had a Solutrean origin, are not.

This points up a major problem with all sciences based on archaeology--we just don't have enough data to make confident statements, whereas academics (especially those with the thirst to publish before perishing) want always to speak with certitude.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:08 am
@Setanta,
CAn you send me a link to the diagonal flaking hypothesis. Does this imply that Clovis and Transitional points are being looked at as two separately developed populations of implements?

The Pedra Furada stuff looks like clovis to me, but maybe not.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:17 am
This is probably going to strethc the screen:

http://lithiccastinglab.com/images/fenn5clovispointslarge.jpg

I wasn't alleging any hypothesis--i had simply read that Clovis points were made with diagonal pressure-flaking.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:29 am
@Setanta,
Hm interesting. I just looked at some of my Paleo points and some are diagonal and some r not. Ill have to look up Gary Foglmans website and see if he has any stuff on this.

Still, the overall tooling with the pressure flaking and the fluted end are all clovis and Pedra Furada style and pedra furada and Moeadowcroft are clearly well before the eskimo kid grave so the Salutrean connection is more and more a credible explanation.

In Pa , we have the Shoop site(near SCranton) and the Meadowcroft site(near Pittsburgh) and one Paleo unconfirmed site near the Accomac Hills near York. These tools are clovis style (Ill have to check for diagonal flaking next time Im in Harrisburg at
The state museum)

The interesting thing of all these sites was that , while they were paleo sites and conformed to periglacial areas, they were in sites that were marginally glacial covered. (which leads to the question that Attavasio has never touched. "Do several Paleo (clovis) sites actually pre date the last glacial epoch (wisconsinian).
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:37 am
@farmerman,
What i was trying to get at is that once an academic has staked out a position, he or she will be resistant to anything which contradicts that position. I think this accounts for resistance to the Solutrean hypothesis. However, sites like Meadowcroft clearly shot the Clovis-dominant position in the ass. Another very strong argument for the Solutrean hypothesis is greeted with silence--about 3% of all aboroginal American genetic make-up consists of ancient European mitochondial DNA--i.e., not from post-Columbian sexual congress. In eastern Canada, that percentage rises to 25%, which is accounted for better by the Solutrean hypothesis than by any other hypothesis.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:43 am
@Setanta,
I know.The silence has been deafening on that . I just love it when old sacred cows are questioned . First its ridicule, then it loud opposition. I wonder what comes after loud opposition.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 06:56 am
@farmerman,
What is also interesting is the silence--it means that the established panjandrums can't articulate an objection. I'm sure you've heard of Simon Schama from his fine arts work, and he is also an historian of high repute in areas other than art. He wrote a small book several years ago in which he advanced the hypothesis that James Wolfe committed suicide by combat before Qu├ębec in 1759. His reputation is too well established to be challenged, and the only challenge which could have been offered would have been "no he didn't." He makes his case quite well, and it is interesting that among Canadian historians, not only is that not challenged, it was articulated in Canadian historical circles before Schama's book. Wolfe's personal papers and effects are in Canada.

People of lesser reputation can be ruined. In 1968, the mummy of Ramses II arrived in Paris where the body and the cerements were to be studied by French scientists using what was then the leading techniques for such research. One young woman, a recently passed doctoral candidate, found vegetable matter in the cerements which she identified as tobacco. Egyptologists are some of the worst of the lot when it comes to defending established positions, and she wasn't met by silence, but by derision. Her career was ruined, she couldn't find a place in the academic world. Nobody challenged her assertion, and it was impossible for them to allege contamination without queering their own pitch--so she was attacked on the "everybody knows" basis--in that case, that everybody knows that there was no commerce between the new world and the old that long ago. Poor woman.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 08:26 am
@Setanta,
Im looking at Gary Fogelmans self published work on Paeo points and clovis material.
Can you forward me anything about the diagonal flaking for the paleo points you showed.
I want to follow up on this its very interesting
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 09:07 am
@farmerman,
I first learned about it in Science Times, the science section in the New York Times which used to appear every Saturday--perhaps as much as 20 years ago. I have seen remarks about it online, but i don't recall where. When i have some time, i'll look around some more.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 09:16 am
Here, i've gotta run after this:

Quote:
These Clovis points were found together in the Fenn cache. They are good examples of diagonal edge-to-edge "outre passe" percussion flaking. This technique is very difficult to replicate by flintknappers today. Diagonal edge-to-edge percussion flaking is unique to the Clovis culture in North America.


That remark (see the link below) refers to the same image i have already posted here. (I believe these jokers credit the source.) However, this statement does not say, as i implied, that Clovis points are known for diagonal pressure flake technique, but that that technique is unique to Clovis. I'm sad to report that as i did this quick search, i came across a reference to diagonal pressure flake technique found on points from an archaeological site in Syria.

These two pages look at Clovis points in a rather flashy, interweb sort of way--they do list their sources, though.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 09:42 am
@Setanta,
Neat, Ive also come across some of Fogelmans paleo point that are diagonal/ After all these years of following and trying flint knapping , Ive never actually noticed that attribute. Fascinating, SOmethiong else to run down in my half vast time allotment.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 10:46 am
Note the comment in the linked pages to the effect that modern flint knappers have trouble reproducing the technique. It must have had some intrinsic value if knappers were devoting time to it. I suspect that flint knappers were the first specialists for whom the tribe would provide food and goods (they may have hunted and gathered, but a good tool maker would rate a hall pass on the hunting party if his production made their success more certain). So, it seems to me that there must have bee an advantage to the diagonal "bi-face" which warranted the use of the technque. We have flint knappers now, and can learn a lot about the process--but they aren't going out to hunt down the mammoth or defending themselves from short-faced bears with their products, so there's something about flint tools we can't fully evaluate. Maybe the diagonal knapping made the points penetrate more reliably. Certainly humans do things for the aesthetic value, but if the tribe is paying your meal ticket, you'd probably need to justify your time and materials.

If the Solutreans came to North America when they are believed to have arrived, they showed up at just about the time they disappeared from France. They were succeeded in France by the Magdalenan culture, which did not use bi-facial, pressure-flake knapping technique. This suggests that the Solutreans were displaced, driven out, killed off--something which would explain why their successors did not adopt a clearly superior technology.

We could make a movie, with the harried Frenchmen striking out in skin boats on the edge of the ice pack to escape their tormentors. Ten or twelve thousand years later, their descendants are hanging around downtown Clovis when the Beringeans show up. "Hey, look at my spear point. Can you do that?"
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 10:51 am
@Setanta,
Wow, look at the craftsmanship on those!

I remember seeing a guy a few years back who was demonstrating the paleo-technique of making these things. It was amazing how good he was at shaping flakes and hand-knives with just a few swift blows of his striking rock. But his didn't look as good as those!

Cycloptichorn
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 11:18 am
@Cycloptichorn,
The pressure flake technique involves using something as a awl or a chisel, and using the stone to stike that--usually the chipping point tool was made from bone. So, you would position the point on the chert, and then strike that to remove a spawl, the pressure flake. Modern flint knappers find it a very difficult technique. Bi-facial pressure flake knapping yields a very sharp edged point which is also very thin, so that it can penetrate the hide of your prey. It improved stone tool technique by an order of magnitude.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 25 Feb, 2011 11:20 am
@Cycloptichorn,
pressure flaking involves some detailed craftsmanship after the main shape is hammered out. Usually , for that phase, the knapper uses a chunk of deer horn abd they press outward to remove the flakes. All the paleo points have that littl half circular "flute" along the bottom . In ma ny respects the paeo points were almost the highest crafted tips and knives that the ancients made. Later, as they used almost any kind of rock including rhyolite and "bull" quartz , th knapping wasnt nearly as perfect. There were several types of points calle d"orient" points which retained the use of jasper and flint and fine quartzes and these were of a higher order.

Some of these points can fetch 500$ or more.(depending on the craftsmanship and the location).
0 Replies
 
 

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