Clovis point variation

Artist’s reconstruction of a mastodon hunt

The Archaeology of Cultural Revitalization Movements, Clovis

Professor Bruce Bradley

Revitalization Movements may not be restricted to settled societies and there are a number of documented examples in the colonial history of North America.  Perhaps the best known is the Ghost Dance.  In my research into Clovis archaeology a number of lines of evidence point to this phenomenon being more than simply a founding society of big game hunters who spread all across North America and all of the way to northern South America through basic ecological adaptation; as many of the current theories suggest.

Instead, I have proposed that the evidence fits well with an interpretation of Clovis as being the result of a Revitalization Movement that spread through already existing populations; probably originating in the Southeast and as a reaction to quickly changing environmental conditions, specifically acute sea level rise, and the rapidly progressing mass extinction of large pray animals such as mammoths and mastodons.  This idea was presented to academics and the public at the Paleoamerican Odyssey conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is published as a chapterin a volume resulting from the conference (