On the Trail of the Stemmed Point: A Circum-Pacific Perspective

Author(s): Ted Goebel; Kelly Graf

Year: 2017


Half a century ago, Alan Bryan proposed that two distinct early Paleoindian traditions occurred in North America—Clovis Fluted east of the Rocky Mountains and Great Basin Stemmed in the far west—and that these co-traditions potentially represented different founding migrations from the Old World, with Great Basin Stemmed potentially being tied to a coastal north Pacific route. Much of the research that Ruth Gruhn and her partner Bryan conducted during the next several decades, certainly into the 1980s, was devoted to further exploring this theory, for example their excavations at Smith Creek Cave and Handprint Cave in Nevada and Wilson Butte Cave in Idaho, as well as Gruhn’s important essays on the coastal-migration route in 1988 and 1994. Given renewed interest in the co-tradition/co-migration theory today, here we consider the current archaeological and genetic record in light of the following questions: What are the space-time systematics of stemmed points in western North America? Did stemmed points of the Great Basin originate from a Pacific coastal source? How do they relate to the Paleolithic records of Alaska and northeast Asia?

Cite this Record

On the Trail of the Stemmed Point: A Circum-Pacific Perspective. Ted Goebel, Kelly Graf. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429732)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14827