Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000 Page: 33
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roadmap for readers. In his discussion of
blade technology, he provides an excellent
discussion of lithic technology in general.
Collins alternates between photographic
sequences of Glenn Goode demonstrating
knapping techniques with line drawings of
the core and blade products of the process.
He provides, in short, an interpretation of
how Clovis knappers could have made
their tools and establishes the importance
of the whole technology, which includes
blades, flakes, incidental tools, and the
more distinctive Clovis projectile points.
He demonstrates in a spare 30 pages the
elegance, sophistication, and ingenuity of
paleoindian lithic technology.
Collins then moves on to discuss the
general research history of the Clovis period.
The few early discoveries that associated
Clovis settlement with megafauna biased
investigators make too much of the
big-game hunter as opposed to the generalist
lifeway proffered to explain Archaicperiod
peoples in the New World. Poor
preservation of organic materials at
paleoindian sites have undoubtedly biased
research; selective preservation of sites toward
what are thought of as kill sites such
as Blackwater Draw and Domebo, and
probably destruction of Clovis-age landforms
by later climatic changes after the
end of the Wisconsinan period of glaciation
have made the discovery and interpretation
of paleoindian sites problematic.
Collins discusses the biases and the research
landscape of many of the known
Clovis period sites. The discussion is not
exhaustive but provides a useful context
within which to consider the importance
of blade tools in the Clovis lifeway. Further,
it demonstrates connections with Old
World European and Asian tool complexes
from the same or earlier periods.
Collins does not push the interpretation
but speculates on the links with these traditions
outside the New World. He pulls
back from overstating these connections.
The Bering Straits land bridge model of
paleoindian peopling of the New World
isn't challenged directly, but Collins does
teasingly suggest other possible antecedents
than the Arctic for the Clovis horizon. A
safe harbor for Collins' analysis is in his
emphasis on the similarity of"techno-complexes"
that may or may not have direct
historical or geographical connections.
Collins considers the correlation of
blade tool assemblages from other Clovis
sites in chapter eight, "Comparisons", and
deftly demonstrates the similarity of blade
attributes; in chapters nine and ten he discusses
caching behavior and Clovis caching
behavior briefly. These chapters contribute
to current theoretical discourse on
the character and the geographic range of
Clovis settlement. Despite some differences
in specific attributes, the Clovis projectile
point is remarkably similar over a broad
area of North America; Collins demonstrates
that the blade technology that he
has described and documented shows this
same extent over a remarkably short period
of paleoindian settlement history in
the New World. As he had earlier discussed
the continuity or connections with other
Old World technologies, he proffers in
these chapters a context for the manufacture
and use of lithic tools in the littleknown
This book sets a high standard for archaeological
reporting. It is readable, informative,
educational; it links data and
interpretation in compelling fashion and
is thoughtful and provocative without overinterpreting
the data. This is a fine contribution
to paleoindian lithic studies and an
appealing introduction for non-specialists.
Enjoy the hall eritage - 19th century maps and
our finely detailed handmade replicas of the historic flags of the
Republic of Texas.
Visit us when you are in Austin. Call or write for a brochure.
The Gallery of the Republic
In the Four Seasons Hotel
Post Office Box 156 * Austin, Texas 78767 (512) 472-7701
HERITAGE * 33 * SPRING 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 18, Number 2, Spring 2000, periodical, Spring 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45390/m1/33/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.