Clovis people may have hunted elephant-like prey, not just mammoths | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Clovis people may have hunted elephant-like prey, not just mammoths

Traces of ancient American culture also discovered farther south than expected

3:00pm, July 14, 2014

POINTING SOUTH  New finds, including this crystal quartz spear point, indicate that North America’s Clovis people hunted in what’s now northwestern Mexico around 13,390 years ago.

Ancient North America’s Clovis people, known as mammoth and mastodon hunters of the Great Plains, may have started out as gomphothere hunters of northwestern Mexico.

New finds indicate for the first time that Clovis people killed these now-extinct elephant-like creatures. What’s more, Clovis people did so from the culture’s early days in a region well south of the best-known Clovis sites. Clovis culture peaked between 13,000 and 12,600 years ago and its members may have been ancestors of today’s Native Americans (SN: 3/22/14, p. 6).

“The southern Plains and northern Mexico may be where Clovis culture rapidly evolved out of the flexible culture of North America’s first explorers,” says anthropologist Gary Haynes of the University of Nevada, Reno, who was not involved with the research.

Excavations at a

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content