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The Earliest AmericansEarliest Americans home >> Print text
THE NORTHEAST >> SEASONED SURVIVORS EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN TELLING ARTIFACTS
   

Fluted spear points and knives are the characteristic traces of the earliest people. Later Paleoindians did not use fluted tools, and preferred to make their implements from glassy rocks that yield a sharp, easily maintained edge. Many of the cutting tools, piercers, and scrapers are unlike styles of later times, making it possible for archeologists to identify the camps, dwelling places, and quarries of the Paleoindians by their signature implements.

The earliest people were diligent and observant searchers, locating the best sources of stone almost as soon as they arrived. Tools have been found far from where they were made, suggesting that the Paleoindians traveled extensively. It is unlikely their travel can be explained by long-distance trade. With the population spread so thin, most groups were probably unaware of each other.

  (photo) Spear point left behind by America’s earliest visitors.
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(photo)

Stone tool probably damaged during use.

MJB/EJL