Clovis Culture

From Ohio History Central

9500 B.C. to 8000 B.C.

The Clovis culture is one of the oldest widely recognized cultures of pre-contact American Indian peoples in North America. The archaeological hallmark of the Clovis culture is the Clovis spear point. It is named for Clovis, New Mexico, where it was first recognized as a tool of Ice Age people. Archaeologists have found Clovis points from Alaska to northern Mexico and from California to Maine. They are especially common in Ohio and other eastern states. Radiocarbon dates on Clovis sites across North America indicate these people lived between 9500 to 8000 B.C.

In the southwestern United States, Clovis points have been found stuck in the ribs of mammoths. In eastern North America, they have been found with mastodon skeletons. It is likely that these hunting and gathering people ate a variety of plants and animals.

See Also


  1. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005. 
  2. Haynes, Gary. The Early Settlement of North America: The Clovis Era. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2002. 
  3. Lepper, Bradley T.  "Forensic mystery: the Burning Tree mastodon."  Timeline 23(4):22-31, 2006. 
  4. Lepper, Bradley T. and Robert E. Funk "Paleo-Indian: East." Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 3, edited by Douglas Ubelaker, pp. 171-193.  Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 2006. 
  5. Meltzer, David. First Peoples in a New World: Colonizing Ice Age America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009.