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Pre-Clovis sites

 
Author elsslots
Admin
#1 | Posted: 8 Dec 2021 06:59 
I am in the process of cleaning up various American archeology connections.

One of them is https://www.worldheritagesite.org/connection/Pre-Clovis+archaeological+sites+in+the+Americas# -> this had only 3 sites, and I now have removed Cueva de los Manos as it really isn't before Clovis (the intro text on the Unesco website says "executed between 13,000 and 9,500 years ago", but other sources including the AB ev and the Rock art catalogue of the Bradshaw foundation place it around 9,000 years BP)

A potential replacement could be El Pinacate, which we have as part of https://www.worldheritagesite.org/connection/Paleo-Indian . Its 20,000 year age however also seems to have come from only 1 source . Others place it much later as well. Or even as early as 40,000 years ("Human occupation in El Pinacate y Grand Desierto de Altar dates back to approximately 40,000 years ago (Hayden, 1976, 1998). In this place, the occupation and abandonment of land, and therefore the use of natural resources, has been linked to periods of drought." nom file)

Any other insights or potential WHS to add? Otherwise I have to remove the connection as it doesn't have 3 entries anymore.

Author Assif
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 9 Dec 2021 16:28 
We should probably erase the sites on the Pre-Clovis connection from Palaeo-Indian so that there is no doubling. El Pinacate seems to be a solid candidate to save the Pre-Clovis connection.

Author elsslots
Admin
#3 | Posted: 9 Dec 2021 23:50 
Assif:
We should probably erase the sites on the Pre-Clovis connection from Palaeo-Indian

Would not be in favour of that, as the Pre-Clovis connection is trivial and the Paleo-Indian encompasses a real timeframe.

Author Assif
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 10 Dec 2021 06:07 
But all Pre-Clovis sites are Palaeo-Indian.

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 11 Dec 2021 06:21 | Edited by: Solivagant 
elsslots:
Any other insights or potential WHS to add?

Re "Pre Clovis sites".
I came across this recent introduction to a (UK) Channel 4 production about Pre Clovis discoveries and as well as being centred around those of Serra da Capivara it also refers to Chiribiquete.

I haven't looked at the full program but, as far as I can see, no mention is made of El Pinacate - though other sites in Mexico and Texas are referred to as follows -
"Recently, allegedly 30,000-year-old stone tools were unearthed in the Chiquihuite cave in Mexico in 2010. The Buttermilk Creek site, in Texas, uncovered 15,000-year-old artefacts in 2011. However, skeptics question that enduring cultures such as Chiquihiute left no other traces. Ancient dating provokes criticism and demands more scrutiny since the natural process of erosion can mimic potentially human-made objects." (Chiquihuite is near Zacatecas) .

This comment re-iterates that there is still a lot of controversy about "Pre Clovis" sites (though, seemingly not about the pre Clovis dating of Capivara and Chiribiquete?). My understanding is that
a. Undoubtedly (?) there are "Pre Clovis" sites in both North and South America
b. The migration(s?) which created them are not yet clear - the above article sets out the 2 main current theories quite nicely
c. Any particular site is potentially subject to over-optimistic claims by Archaeologists whose career can be made from finding a new "Pre Clovis" site!! Technologies in use some years ago for dating sites were not as good as those available to day - nor was the knowledge about identifying "false" indicators as good.

Which takes us to El Pinacate. In the Connection text for it, Els mentions, as references - "Hayden, 1976, 1998". It appears that Julian D Hayden is the "grand old man" of Pre Clovis archaeology and worked in the Pinacate desert for over 40 years! The 2 reference dates given are both some years ago - but I haven't been able to discover any serious article totally refuting the proposal that the Pinacate area contains Pre Clovis sites - but it has been subject to some criticism.

This article from 2004 states
"Though many potentially pre-Clovis sites have been investigated in the Americas no archaeological site south of the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets has yet been demonstrated to unequivocally predate Clovis. Julian Hayden's Malpais model is one such claim from the American Southwest. Unlike idiosyncratic preClovis claims, Hayden's Malpais model attempts to demonstrate a recurrent pattern of related pre-Clovis sites. In order to re-investigate Hayden's Malpais model, it is necessary to re-examine the intellectual history of the Malpais model. Although some features of the Malpais model are problematic, committed reinvestigation of the Malpais model could contribute to the understanding of early American prehistory"
The first comment is rather surprising and would seem to have been definitely overtaken by later studies at Monte Verde in Chile (the prime site for arguing the Coastal migration theory) and Capivara/Chiribiquete etc etc.

This extract from a book titled "The Archaeology of Southern Arizona" from 1997 does go so far as to completely question the Malpas model on which Hayden based his dating.

The Pinacate nomination file from 2013 was only for a Natural nomination and says remarkably little about any potential "Archaeological Importance" for the site other than that it "has enormous potential for development of research in fields as diverse as archaeology, climatology, ecology, mastozoology...." A bit surprising really to have such a blank in a site which could be so significant in American paleo-archaeology (and had been so badged some years before the Nomination)? Natural nominations usually "fill in" with references to cultural, archaeological etc aspects of the site even if not strictly relevant to the nomination. Possibly with the hope that they might lead to a WHC recommendation to progress the subject further!!!

Author elsslots
Admin
#6 | Posted: 11 Dec 2021 09:33 
Thanks Solivagant. I will leave El Pinacate in both connections for now, until better research becomes available.

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 Pre-Clovis sites

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