|On the Kelp Way in Clallam County, looking over at Vancouver Island.|
It does not much matter, since Clovis people came along after others. Earlier sites have emerged over the years, and though plenty of people argue against the 40,000 year old dates in Monte Verde, hardly anybody disputes that 15,000 or so (feel free to give or take on the order of a millenium or two) is OK. In the old days, this was a problem because the period when the land Beridge was exposed was later. But now we know that people lived here before they could walk here. It already looks ridiculous and bigoted to espouse such an utterly baseless theory as "People could not get here except on foot. The land route was not available until 11,000 years ago. Ergo the hemisphere was settled after 11,000 years ago. Oh, and aren't these spearpoints cool?"
Sure, Clovis points are cool, but you know what's cooler? This:
This is an older type of point that has been found along the Pacific Coast. In the California islands, it was found along with a lot of bird bones, and is presumed to have been used for hunting them. The most common name for these is "crescent points," because they have that shape, sorta. What they look even more like is half of the bottom of a cowry shell, but the point is that they are every bit as beautiful as a Clovis point, and from a functional standpoint may be even more elegant (there are a bunch of Clovis points that would be useless for hunting, they are so big).
The photo comes from an article here: Link
I don't know a lot more about this than you (maybe less), but the idea in that article and elsewhere, that the people who made these artifacts settled the New World by boat, is hard to resist. Kelp grows continuously enough along the shores of the North Pacific that long open-water voyages are not necessary (also: not precluded) to get all the way to California. Kelp forests are incredibly rich in food, and their wave-dampening fronds offer canoe people the respite of smoother water. They offer access to shellfish clinging to rocks that would be extremely difficult and risky to get at on foot. They take People alongshore until they find a nice place to stop for a while. Or even stop forever, set up a village and stay. Even those People, however reluctant they may be to set out on a thousand mile trip, venture back into kelpy waters regularly for everything from the kelp itself to fish, birds, molluscs, pinnipeds, crustaceans, and all the other orders of life stacked in the deep larder of a kelp forest.
|Kelp Highway Off-Ramp.|