“Finding America: Seeking New Paleolithic Paradigms” By Dr. Dennis Stanford (Curator of Archaeology, Smithsonian
2 min read
Dr. Dennis Stanford's focus of study is on the origins of people in the New World and the means by which they arrived. He believes that people of Solutrean decent crossed the Atlantic ice while following seal migration and ended up in the Americas. Since Alaskan artifacts resemble microblade weaponry from Siberia, a migration from Beringia probably occurred, though he believes this was at a later time since they date to 14,000 years ago and the Solutrean-style Atlantic Coast artifacts discovered in Miles Point, Maryland at 21,000 years ago.
Dr. Stanford discussed many sites on the east coast they may be supporting evidence for his claims regarding an Atlantic Migration for the peopling of the Americas. Carson Con Shore (two miles long) and Saint Clare Site each have 100,000 artifacts. These two large sites are near chert sources. Along the Delimarva Peninsula, 150 Clovis sites stretch for 40 miles; there are also over 500 surfaces finds. Across the river no sites have been discovered – but as Dr. Stanford said: “There are many large urban and metropolitan areas across the river.”
One of the main points was that Solutrean and Clovis people both practiced caching. The Volgu Cache had Solutrean-style bifaces whereas the Drake Cache had Clovis bifaces. These caches are near each other. Clovis used a unique flaking technology, named by Bruce Huckell as thinning,” and the only other people to use this technology were Solutrean. I have to argue personally that there are only so many ways to flake a stone tool effectively. No one brought agriculture to the Americas yet it existed, so why couldn’t the Clovis people figure out this technique on their own?
Most of Dr. Stanford's evidence is based on unexcavated sites, faunal hairs with no evidence of human relationship nearby stone tools, and a point dated (the date comes from a mammoth bone tampered by fishermen which came out of the same bog as the point) 30 years after its discovery. This Atlantic Migration hypothesis could be valid, however the current "evidence" does not necessarily make the first Americans European migrants.
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Written by Melanie E Magdalena Permalink