Poster Notes
by Bill Breckinridge

This arrangement is not intended to be the last word or ultimate
authority on the Clovis tool cycle; it is a reconstruction of one aspect of
Clovis lithic technology based on my familiarity with Clovis stone tools
and careful, lengthy deduction. Many Clovis stone tool forms, such as the
limace, end scrapers, and gravers are not covered. In addition, the
reader is cautioned about trying to make cultural assumptions based on
points, or the techniques used to produce them. Technology crosses
cultural barriers with the greatest of ease. One of my favorite sayings is
this quote. "Trying to understand the past by looking at an arrowhead is
like trying to understand the 20th century by looking at a bullet.” I wish I
knew who said that!

So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let me explain my arrangement
of the artifacts.

When visiting a museum of natural history, most visitors are unaware
that many of the mounted fossils they see are made up of the bones of
several individuals. Some, in fact are different species separated by
significant gulfs of time. Reconstruction of the skeletons allows us to
better understand the nature of the beast. It’s also aesthetically
pleasing, restoring order and symmetry to chaos and entropy. In just this
way I have attempted to reconstruct the Clovis lithic cycle. Nine of the
illustrated points were drawn from casts of excavated points from dated
sites. The other links in the chain were taken from undatable contexts,
and are chiefly alluvial finds.

The Arkansas River in NE Oklahoma is well known as a producer of
beautiful, diagnostic Clovis points. For each of these paleo points
recovered scores of tools, preforms, knives are found. The high ratio of
such tools and points in collections from the river has allowed me an
opportunity to study Clovis material from every stage of use and
manufacture. Attempts to replicate this ancient technology have taught
me many valuable lessons. This poster is an effort to share what insight I
have gained into this enigmatic point type.
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A small Clovis from the
Gault Site in Texas
Arkansas River,
Tulsa Co. OK