Clovis in the Petrified Forest


This is an abstract from the "The Paleoindian Southwest" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

This paper presents the results of research at the Rainbow Forest locality and the Blue Mesa site, two early Paleoamerican occupations in Petrified Forest National Park. Rainbow Forest and Blue Mesa are likely Clovis occupations and present the problem of identifying Clovis-era sites in a region in which site surface assemblages have been collected by human occupants for literally 13,000 years. Clovis points are extremely rare on such sites and investigators must rely on the suite of non-projectile-point Clovis diagnostics: blades, bifaces, overshot flaking, and core morphology. The Rainbow Forest locality encompasses over 800,000 m² of surface artifact deposits that include 22 discrete Clovis activity loci. The Blue Mesa site, roughly 20 km to the north, was discovered using a predictive model based on environmental conditions at Rainbow Forest and consists of two spatially distinct Clovis activity areas around the periphery of a playa. The collected surface assemblages were examined using a suite of morphological, statistical, and comparative analyses to identify probable Clovis loci. This research demonstrates the value of GIS-based predictive modeling and the utility of analytical methods focused on other-than-projectile-point assemblage characteristics to distinguish Clovis cultural deposits in the absence of fluted projectile points.

Cite this Record

Clovis in the Petrified Forest. Jacob Tumelaire, Samuel H. Fisher, Francis Smiley. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451368)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24038