Research ArticleANTHROPOLOGY

The age of Clovis—13,050 to 12,750 cal yr B.P.

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Science Advances  21 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 43, eaaz0455
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaz0455


Thirty-two radiocarbon ages on bone, charcoal, and carbonized plant remains from 10 Clovis sites range from 11,110 ± 40 to 10,820 ± 10 14C years before the present (yr B.P.). These radiocarbon ages provide a maximum calibrated (cal) age range for Clovis of ~13,050 to ~12,750 cal yr B.P. This radiocarbon record suggests that Clovis first appeared at the end of the Allerød and is one of at least three contemporary archaeological complexes in the Western Hemisphere during the terminal Pleistocene. Stemmed projectile points in western North America are coeval and even older than Clovis, and the Fishtail point complex is well established in the southern cone of South America by ~12,900 cal yr B.P. Clovis disappeared ~12,750 cal yr B.P. at the beginning of the Younger Dryas, coincident with the extinction of the remaining North American megafauna (Proboscideans) and the appearance of multiple North American regional archaeological complexes.

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