More on Clovis-Solutrean links

3 Mar 2012

At ... the title says it all and recounts the story of the scallop trawler that hauled up a mastadon tusk and a dark, tempered stone blade some 8 inches in length, a distinctive style of blade common to both Clovis people in the Americas and Solutrean people in Iberia and SW France. Until recently the consensus was that North America was unpopulated until around 15,000 years ago when people from Siberia walked or paddled their way to Alaska and down the west coast. Anything suggesting otherwise was ignored - and refuted. It was simply regarded as impossible. Hence, when the blade was handed over to the relevant archaeological interests it was largely ignored as it wasn't supposed to be there as it dated to around 22,000 years ago. The Solutreans, it seems, have their closest parallel in the modern Inuit lifestyle, hunting seals and sea birds etc (we are informed). Actually, we know very little about the Solutreans - no skeletons, no DNA, no boats (we might imagine they used something like the skin covered curraghs that have survived in use in Ireland). Arguments that European DNA is absent from Native American populations means little if we don't have the DNA of the Solutreans - who could have migrated into Europe along the edge of the ice sheet from somewhere in northern Asia, where the ancestors of the Native Americans hailed from. In addition, the geography differed. The continental shelf along the eastern seaboard of North America and offshore of western Europe, dry land during the last Ice Age, is now submerged. This is where Solutreans would have been active. Stanford and Bradley still have an uphill task ahead of them but interestingly, one of their biggest critics is an archaeologist  also critical of the YD boundary event - so what might that say?

The Washington Post piece is much more comprehensive and enlightening than the earlier post (from a day or so ago). Something worth thinking about is rock art attributed to the Solutreans that includes the portrayal of what looks very much like a halibut, a deep sea fish species.