Paleo Indians (9500 BC to 6000 BC)
NPS/JCPappas and A. Garcia
The Clovis Mammoth Hunters are the earliest known group of people to have used Alibates flint. The Clovis Mammoth Hunters were big-game hunters living near the end of the Ice Age, around 9500 BC to 9000 BC. They shared the Llano Estacado with mammoths, mastodons, straight-horned bison, and other Ice Age animals. The Clovis people hunted these animals with spears and atlatls, and often used projectile points and other tools made of Alibates flint. Spearheads and atlatl points were used for hunting wild animals, while stone knives and scrapers were used to process game and other resources. The Clovis people were highly mobile, perhaps following game across long distances. Caches of their stone tools have been found more than 300 miles from the stone's source.
Another Paleo-Indian group to use Alibates flint was the Folsom culture (8000 BC to 6000 BC). The Folsom people hunted the Bison antiquus, which was an extinct, straight-horned bison that was a fourth larger than today's American bison. The Folsom people did not use very much Alibates flint--most of their projectile points are made of Edwards Plateau chert--but a few Folsom projectile points made of Alibates flint have been discovered.
Did You Know?
Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is in the Texas Panhandle, where weather goes to extremes, from blizzards to dust storms to hail and high winds. More...