13,000 yr old spear tip sheds light on ancient Americans (Corrected)

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Washington, August 26 (ANI): Archaeologists have unearthed a rare Clovis point spearhead in the town of Sahuarita, Arizona, US, dating back to 11,000 to 13,000 years, which could help illuminate the way early humans lived in this part of the state.

According to a report in The Sahuarita Sun, authored by Daniel Newhauser, the white rock spearhead, roughly two inches long and an inch wide and missing its tip, likely dates back 11,000 to 13,000 years when the earliest well-established human inhabitants of North America fastened objects like it to the end of wood poles and hurled them at mammoths, bears and other large prey.

These Clovis people, as they're now called, are the predecessors of the ancestors of Native Americans.

They hunted and gathered all over the continent and in the Southwest, they primarily inhabited New Mexico and the San Pedro basin, which runs north from Sonora, Mexico, along the San Pedro River in Southeastern Arizona.

As a result, the bulk of the state's Clovis points are found at mammoth kill-sites near Naco and Sierra Vista.

But a find in the Tucson basin, which roughly covers the area between the Santa Rita Mountains and north Tucson, could indicate a broader inhabitancy, according to Arthur Vokes, who has curated the Arizona State Museum's architectural repository for nearly 30 years.

"Human beings have been in this region for about 11,000 years or so. It does reflect the age of regular occupation here," he said.

By examining the type of rock the point is made out of, Vokes said he could learn about ancient trade and hunting routes.

The spearhead was discovered during a routine archaeological survey on Arizona State Trust land by an environmental consulting company, according to Steve Ross, an archaeologist with the State Land Department.

It's distinguishable from more contemporary arrowheads because it's larger and matches a style of tool construction used by ancient people halfway around the world.

"Through research, they've traced this type of point-making back to the Asia area," Ross said. "So as they migrated over the land bridge (between modern-day Russia and Alaska,) they brought this type of point-making with them," he added.

According to Ross, spearheads like it were eventually phased out, perhaps due to extinction of large animals or even the annihilation of the Clovis people by an environmental event, like a comet. (ANI)

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