Mapping Clovis Man vs Mammoths – Just Asking

Mirrored from Feet2TheFire blog.

By Steve Garcia

I’ve been reading a paper, Wagespack and Surovell 2003, as a starting point to see what Surovell’s other papers are about.  His paper attempting to shoot down the Younger Dryas Impact hypothesis was pretty bad science; since he was incapable of following test protocols. So when I got a line on some of his other papers, I decided to see what kind of work he normally does.

In this paper I am seeing that he makes an awful lot of assumptions, ones he thinks are reasonable.  But his selection of data is dumbfounding.  He seems to just make shit up too; such as a table on what the average density of mammals large and small over the whole of the USA.  With the vast array of ecosystems slash environments in the USA, it is unfathomable that anyone would make up ONE table and give ONE average density and think it could or would apply to the entire country.  One of the oddest things about it is that it includes both Asian elephants and African elephants – but does NOT include mammoths – the subject of his paper.

To cut to the chase, let’s show some maps…

PIDBA Figure 01

I LOVE this map! Except for a few regions (which may be a long term sampling problem) you might match this up quite well with maps of population density in North America in modern times. Does this mean, I wonder, if Paleo-Indians were as bright as we are in terms of livable land? Also, note the quite dense artifact density in the Southeastern and Appalachian regions.  (source: http://pidba.org/content/PIDBA%20Figure%2001.jpg)

Mammoths-North-America-map

Note here, in particular, the lack of mammoths and mastodons in the SE USA and Tennessee valley and southern Mississippi valley. Basically next to no mastodons and mammoths. (source: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-es4V_24PSA8/UEknF8fpF5I/AAAAAAAAErY/som51D_p0V0/s1600/Mammoths-North-America-map.jpg)

Clovis sites used in Waguespack & Surovell 2003

And here, Surovell’s/Waguespack’s map, discussing the hunting preferences of Clovis Man, which purportedly is discussing how Clovis Man might have hunted other game than mammoths and mastodons. Note that where the most PEOPLE (artifacts) are found, Surovell and Waguespack don’t show ANY sites studied. They ONLY show them in the regions where mammoth bones and mastodon bones have been found.

Okay, so those captions should give some idea of where I am going.  S&W 2003 biases their entire paper by using data ONLY from locations INSIDE the mammoth-mastodon areas.  Now if the real purpose of the paper were to offer that Clovis Man actually hunted OTHER than mastodons and mammoths, one would think the authors would pay SPECIAL attention to the areas where it seems mastodons and mammoths simply didn’t go – the areas in which hunters COULD NOT hunt mastodons and mammoths, simply because there WERE NONE.

If Clovis Man was a predominantly or solely mastodon and mammoth hunter, WHY would they locate so much in areas where mastodons and mammoths didn’t exist?

It doesn’t matter WHAT they found in areas where mastodons and mammoths DID exist, if the question is “What else might they have hunted?”  The clear answer would SURELY be in the regions lacking mastodons and mammoths.

Is it just me, or does everyone smell cherry picking?

Yet W&S simply IGNORE that region.

They make sure that they ONLY look in mastodon and mammoth regions to find out wheat else Clovis Man was eating.  One would think it is only necessary to look at what was in the Tennessee River Valley and the lower Mississippi Valley, and the Great Smokies and Blue Ridge.

My one visit to the Smokies/Blue Ridge area happened to be in August of 1997, when everything of north was all brown and dried up from lack of rain and too much sun.  Even lower down, around Charlotte, everything was brown and dried up.  Not so, the Blue Ridge.  I honestly thought it was the greenest place I’d ever seen.  My traveling companion, my boss, told me that it was the original home of the Cherokee Indians.  I could see why they would choose it – they weren’t stupid.  Neither, I suspect, were the Clovis people who lived there.  If heaven has any prettier places, then heaven is worth seeing.

In climate change/global warming articles and most papers, it is humorous how, even when it isn’t appropriate, in the last paragraph or so, there is some bow to the “CO2-is-evil” mantra.  Shall we put this cherry picking by W&S down to obsequiousness on their part, a bow to the OTHER mantra?  That “Clovis Man-was-Evil”?

* * * *

And now, to add insult to injury. . .

It is WELL KNOWN that all searches for Clovis points in Siberia have turned up nothing.  The standard line that Clovis Man was THE first people to come to the Americas – called “Clovis First” – was busted in 1997 with the long overdue acceptance of the Monte Verde site in Chile, which predated by about 1,000 years the opening or the :ice free corridor” in the eastern Canadian Rockies.

A VERY IMPORTANT POINT:  The vast majority of mammoths were not in North America.  Where WERE they?  In Siberia!  and where is the evidence IN SIBERIA that humans were killing off the mammoths THERE?

If you answer “none” you win the golden ring.

Look at the maps above and see how FEW flaked points have EVER been found in the NW of North America.  String that together with Siberia and we have a VERY long trail of. . . well, pretty much NOTHING.  The Hansel and Gretel trail that SHOULD point back to Siberia – DARN!  It isn’t there!

So, in Siberia – where the Clovis people were supposed to have come from  -there are no Clovis points or anything LIKE them, AND in Siberia there is no evidence of humans wiping out mammoths.  No evidence. No evidence.  But for close to SEVENTY years, that was what was not only taught and repeated, but defended almost at the point of a gun.

Now, where do we REALLY see Clovis points?  (Trust me, people, they do NOT want you noticing this…)

In the FAR CORNERS of North America, that’s where.  The farthest regions from the corner where the Asians came from.

One of two things is suggested as most likely here:

1.  The men that came from Asia (and the DNA does say that they DID), did NOT bring Clovis points with them.  (this would suggest that the Clovis points met up with them in the Eastern USA.  In other words, there would be no connection at ALL between the Clovis points and the people as they crossed Beringia.

2.  The mammoth hunters came OUT OF THE EAST – evidently AFTER encountering the bifacial fluted points now called Clovis points.

It all remains to be see.

But the “Clovis came over Beringia” idea is based on PREMATURE conclusions,  so common in paleontology and archaeology.  Out west they had a FEW evidences of Clovis points in widely dispersed locations, and the first ones were found out West, and they had already decided that the first Americans had come over the land bridge, so they simply mooshed the two ideas together, without even ONCE saying that the idea was tentative.  So since they found them out west first, of COURSE they came from somewhere out west, right?  VOILA!  Clovis Man came over the land bridge and started killing mammoths for all they were worth.

It was a simple random – and VERY misleading – chance occurrence that that first Clovis point was found near Clovis, NM, instead of in, say, Kentucky.  If that point had been found in the East somewhere, the bulk of the 20th century would not have been wasted on that stupid, STUPID premature conclusion.

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Published in: Uncategorized on May 10, 2014 at 9:33 pm  Comments (8)  

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  1. Interesting problem/solution. Reminds me of that comment in Firestone, West, Warwick-Smith’s book “Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes” about blood types. I don’t have the book to hand, but thye pointed out the fact that inhabitants of South and North America, before the arrival of the Europeans, were almost exclusively Type O as if they had been there a very long time and were “homogenized” so to say, or had originated from a single group and had spread out from there. Yet, the standard explanation for the diversity of genetic/blood types in Africa is that “they have been there a long time, enough time to split into different groups, mutations, etc.” Dunno if that is making any sense, but it strikes me as a problem particularly since blood Type O is supposed to be the OLDEST blood type…. You would think that there would be a strong representation of the oldest blood type in Africa. How is it that the genetically oldest blood type come to dominate South American and most of North America?

    • Laura –
      Good stuff to address, the blood types.
      Serendipity reins, at the moment. You mentioned “Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes” (CCC), and I just happen to be reading it for the 3rd time and it was only 4 feet away on my table. I ALSO just bought a Kindle novel entitled “The Atlantis Gene” 3 days ago and am reading that, too. I rarely read fiction, but I needed a break. That book seems to have ties to CCC. In it a megolomaniacal has an operation entitled the “Toba Protocol”. The book talks about a population bottleneck at about 50,000 years ago, having to do with the Toba suprvolcano eruption, and how it decimated the Asians, and took the planet’s population down to about 10,000 or so.
      I reviewed in CC to the part about the blood types, and lo and behold, there was the Toba eruption and the bottleneck.
      It’s a small world, that I can RANDOMLY pick out a sc-fi novel that just happens to include all that about what is in Firestone’s book. And be reading BOTH at the same time. And have YOU point me to it at THIS time. . . . Life is like a box of chocolates…
      LINGUISTICS
      It sounds similar to what I’ve recently encountered, about the push-back that some linguists have been making about the massively numerous languages in the Americas. They argue that it would take (if I recall correctly) over 100,000 years to have that much diversity, and they wonder out loud if the migrations weren’t maybe the other way around. Of course, that is not the mainstream, but it is a reasonable-sized number who wonder about that.
      Now, THAT poses a confllct.
      How do we have over 100,000 years of language variations on one continent, when the whole world 50,000 years ago had only a few tens of thousands of humans?
      It’s a conundrum. I love conundrums. But I don’t have an answer. Give me ten years, and I will see what I can come up with…. LOL
      ADDENDUM…
      BOTTLENECKS
      I won’t go all la-la land on you here, but I don’t mind mentioning that the 50,000 year bottleneck dovetails with the date that the psychic Edgar Cayce named for the first (and worst) of the cataclysms that took out the fabled Atlantis. For what it is worth.
      Bottlenecks are going to happen ANYTIME a large impactor hits Earth. No matter HOW developed or undeveloped humans are, an impact, with its climate effects (not to mention direct kills) means that food supplies drop terrifically. Reading up on the Little Ice Age, it was amazing to find out how devastating the erratic climate was during that ~300 year period, causing famines and starvation. Each of those was a bit of a bottleneck. Mike Baillie’s 536/540 AD event, whatever it was, created a significant devastation in countries all over the world, which population-wise manifested as a bottleneck of some degree. But Baillie never asserted it was a HUGE impactor (though now he’s found evidence that it was possibly volcanic – like Toba). What happens as the impactor size is seen to be huge? More of a bottleneck, certainly. The YDB certainly was a bottleneck – especially in N America. ANY extinction event is a bottleneck. That humans survived and NA megafauna didn’t doesn’t mean humans didn’t have their butts kicked and didn’t die off and have to “go back to the stone age.” Clovis not only had a bottleneck, but apparently they didn’t survive at all.
      I honestly wouldn’t bet on that, though. Those maps show that most Clovis people were in the eastern USA, NOT out west where arkies have pointed us. What happened to them in the deciduous forests of the eastern USA should have been different from what happened out in the high desert plains out west. But apparently it DID. Again, what do we do with THAT?
      Always more questions. That is GOOD. It means that we are increasingly encountering the facts but don’t YET have enough facts to put 2 and 2 together to make 4. But fact collecting is always NECESSARY, because in finding them, we learn which questions to ask next. We are NOT going to uncover it all at once. And – this is important – early conclusions are always premature and (in hindsight) naive.
      So, long story, short, we don’t KNOW enough to come up with the right answers, but we are beginning to find new questions, as we should. Trying to guess what it all means is a good mental exercise, but from where we are, we aren’t going to come up with the right answers. As long as we know that the overall view is tentative, we will remain objective enough to read the new clues in a useful manner.

      Then there is all the DNA evidence. But that is for another time…

      • Hi Steve, Sorry the Cosmic Tusk was shut down by the “Borg” we
        had some good banter just starting. ” They” want free speech on their own terms. I’ve been lurking on these sites for years and finally
        had some ideas I thought I would share and bam 2 comments later bye-bye. Hope George can get it going again. I didn’t mean to step on any ones toes LOL!

        I saw Laura’s comment. Love her site sott.com taught me a lot about comet impacts in the past along with Clube and Napier,
        Lewis and Firestone.

      • Laura and Steve,

        Check out the Calico Hills site in California that Louis Leakey worked
        the artifacts were dated 100,000 or more years old. Also check the Hueyatlaco site in Mexico, artifacts and elephant bones dated 250,000 years old, the US Geological Survey worked that site with the Mexicans.

  2. The cosmic tusk is back up and running. Oh happy days

  3. Great maps, thanks !!! I think it is obvious why there are few mastadon and mammoth remains in the SE USA. Note the density of human population in the same area – massive. This could indicate a “tipping point” for game populations versus human population density. These animals were apparently mostly hunted out in these regions. Most of the bones may have been used in construction and for tools.

  4. The Carolina Bays and the Destruction of North America.

    American megafauna were actually extinguished by a meteoric impact. We know this because eastern America is dotted by 500,000 small impact craters, called the Carolina Bays. The primary impact was in the Great Lakes region, but the secondary ejecta projectiles splattered all over central and eastern America. These thousands of impacts caused:

    The Younger Dryas cooling.
    The Pleistocene extinction event.
    The hundreds of thousands of Carolina Bays.
    (The Bays are spread from Carolina to Nebraska.)

    Please see the Academia edu article:
    The Carolina Bays and the Destruction of North America:
    https://www.academia.edu/17274053/The_Carolina_Bays_and_the_destruction_of_North_America

  5. Ralph –

    This is the same Steve Garcia from David Hatcher Childress’ conferences in Kempton. How are you doing?

    FYI, this post was originally done on my blog at https://feet2thefire.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/mapping-clovis-man-vs-mammoths-just-asking/

    Also FYI, in 2013 they changed the calibration curve from IntCal09 to IntCal13. Though the radiocarbon date hasn’t changed for the Younger Dryas impact, due to new studies, the calibrated curve for 11,000 Rc changed from 12,900 calendar years ago to 12,800 calendar years ago. 12,800 is the date you should be using. The 12,900 date is based on the old calibration curve. In case you missed it, at http://www.cosmictusk.com there was a post of the 2015 paper about how close in time all the YDB evidence is, and the answer is 12,885 ya +/-50 years.

    And while the original 2007 paper talked about the Carolina bays as connected with the YD impact, they have since backed away from that. There are several dates currently being bandied about for the date of the Carolina bays formation, the 12,800 ya date is the least supported. Dates range all the way from 12,800 to 30,000 to 130,000 to 780,000. While I prefer the 12,800 age myself, I don’t have the wherewithal to check it out.

    Part of the dating problem is that they sample different parts of the bays, every study thinking that they have chosen the right spot. But the different spots – inside the bay, on top of the rim, under the rim, outside the rim – all give different results. ONE study that I found actually stated that a single Clovis artifact was found under a rim. (I have trouble finding that study each time I go back to it.) But the wording is not 100% clear. And no other CB study has found any artifacts. It seems clear to me that they would only mention artifacts if they had actually found one. But the provenance of such an artifact was not spelled out, like how deep or whatever. To me, if that statement had any support or more information, it would be a smoking gun – that the CBs date to Clovis times. But it doesn’t, so I keep an open mind. I think the 780,000 date is not correct, but I know the two people who’ve arrived at that date, and I respect them immensely. One of them is Michael Davias, of cintos.org, a site you refer to extensively (and rightly so).

    Davias and his LIDAR have now identified 45,000 CBs. When he had 43,900 he gave me a copy of his database, in .xls form. I had a brainstorm one day and followed it up. Davias had used the angular headings to pinpoint a centroid which he was able to tie to Saginaw Bay, as you certainly would know. I saw a rather circular pattern to them and decided that if they were circular then they would be the same distance from some centroid. I discus my findings at https://feet2thefire.wordpress.com/2015/05/31/another-look-at-the-carolina-bays/

    I did that wondering how close to circular the pattern was, but thought it would be elliptical to some extent. Wow, was I surprised. Something like 98% of them are within a range of +/- 50 km – even at a distance of over 1,200 km. See that link for more info…

    Ciao!


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