Solutrean Settlement of North America? A Review of Reality

by Lawrence Guy Straus
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Title:
Solutrean Settlement of North America? A Review of Reality
Author:
Lawrence Guy Straus
Year: 
2000
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American Antiquity
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65
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2
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219
End Page: 
226
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English
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SOLUTREAN SETTLEMENT OF NORTH AMERICA? 
A REVIEW OF REALITY 

Lawrence Guy Straus

The Solutrean techno-complex of southern France and the Iberian Peninsula is an impossible candidate as the "source" for eitherpre-Clovis or Clovis traditions in North America. Primarily this is because the Solutrean ended ca. 16,500-18,000 B.P (at least 5,000 years before Clovis appeared) and was separated from the U.S. eastern seaboard by 5,000 km of ocean. In addi- tion, there are major differences between the Solutrean and Clovis (and even more between it and "pre-Clovis") irz terms of the composition of lithic and osseous technologies and with regard to evidence of artistic activity. Nor is there any eviderlce that Solutrean people had rzavigation, deep-seaJishing, or marine mammal hunting capacities which could have made a transat- lantic crossing even conceivable. Furthermore, there is no evidence that people lived above about 48" N latitude in western Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum, making a '?jumping-ofS" point from the (then largely glaciated) area of the current British Isles unlikely. The peopling of the Americas, even if the result of several "migrations," was from Asia.

El complejo Solutrense del sur de Francia y de la Peninsula Ibe'rica es un candidato imposible como 'Ifuente" de Ins tradiciones Clovis o pre-Clovis en Ame'rica del Norte. Este es el caso especialmente dado que 10s hechos de que el Solutrense terlnind hacia 10s 16.5 a 18 mil aiios antes del presente (a1 menos 5,000 aiios arztes de la aparicidn de Clovis) y estula separado de la costa este de 10s EE. UU. por unos 5,000 km de oce'ano. Ademds, existen diferencias muy importantes entre el Solutrense y Clovis (y mds au'rz entre aquella cultura y el supuesto pre-Clovis) en cuanto a la composicidn de sus tecnologias liticas y dseas y en relacidn con la evidencia de actividad artistica. Tampoco hay evidencia de que las gentes del Solutrense tuvieron concocimiento de la navegacidn, la pesca en alta mar; o la caza de nzamij%ros marinos, lo cual habria concebible una travesia del Atldntico. Finalmente, tampoco hay evidencia de que hubo humanos viviendo a1 norte de 10s 49"de latitud en Europa occidental durante el ziltimo mdximo glacial, lo cual hace altamente inverosimil un punto de partida desde el drea de las actuales Islas Britn'nicas (que entonces estuvieron en gran parte bajo el hielo). La primera colonizacidn de Ins Ame'ricas, aunque fuera el resultado de varias olas de migracidn, fie desde Asia.

ecent popular-albeit influential-writings the time of my writing and as far as I know) unpub(e.g., Preston 1997-in The New Yorker; lished (except for Stanford's highly non-specific Web Begley & Murr 1999-in Newsweek) on the page: "www://mnh.si.edu/arctic/htmvdennis

stanpeopling of the New World in the wake of Ken- ford.html"). Even Michael Collins' new study of newick Man, cite some prominent Paleoindian Clovis blade technology (1999: 179) has to cite Pre- authorities (notably Dennis Stanford and Bruce ston's article to reference Bradley's idea that over- Bradley) as suggesting a European origin for at least shot flaking may link the Solutrean and Clovis. one episode of settlement of North America during Although I have tried to set the factual record the late Upper Pleistocene. Unfortunately, although straight, my attempts to publish letters to the editors this hypothesis has now been widely disseminated of The New Yorker and Newsweek have been and is playing a part in public debate over the rela- rebuffed. As an Old World prehistorian who lives and tionship between living Native Americans and pre- teaches in the United States, I feel an obligation to historic populations of the New World, the ideas of clarify the factual archeological record, especially these prehistoric archeologists on the subject are (at since the issue has been overtly linked to the sup-

Lawrence Guy Straus .Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131

American Antiquity, 65(2), 2000, pp. 219-226 
Copyright O 2000 by the Society for American Archaeology 

posed "caucasoid" appearance of certain Paleoin- dian skeletal remains, with all the implications that would carry for public policy and the practice of both biological anthropology and archaeology in the United States (and presumably Canada). I am con- cerned that scientific debate must not be conducted primarily in the news media, where standards of argument and proof are very different than in acad- emic discourse, but where the ramifications may be most serious, given mass dissemination and easy misunderstanding.

According to the Stanford-Bradley hypothesis as interpreted by reporters, a European peopling of America would supposedly have taken place by crossing the ice-laden northernmost Atlantic on foot or by boat. Specifically, similarities are claimed between certain lithic and osseous artifacts of the Solutrean "culture" of southern France and Iberia and some items typical of the Clovis "tradition" in the eastern three-quarters of the United States. These putative resemblances are then translated into an hypothesis of migration, "explaining" Clovis with reference to the Solutrean. This is in fact an old the- ory, having been proposed by Emerson Greenman in 1960 (1960, 1963; see Sellet 1998). Seductive though such hyper-migrationist ideas apparently still seem to be in the archaeology of 2000, they are no more based in reality than they were 40 years ago. As a specialist in the Upper Paleolithic of western Europe in general and in the Solutrean in particular (e.g., Straus 1975, 1983, 1990a, 1990b, 1991a, 1991b, 1992, 1995, 2000; Straus & Clark 1986), I propose to set the record straight on the Solutrean and to show that the appearance of bifacial foliate "points" and bone "rods" in Clovis is merely one more instance of widespread technological conver- gence or parallelism in prehistory. Rather than requir- ing the presence of "sophisticated" paleo-European immigrants to develop the Clovis technology, it was the work of Native Americans, undoubtedly of trans- Beringian Asian origin.

Chronology

Stanford, in his Web page, states that the Solutrean is "not that much older" than Clovis. However, even the oldest bifacial foliate point (unfluted and straight- based) from the supposed "pre-Clovis" context in Meadowcroft Rockshelter is bracketed by radiocar- bon dates of 11,300 and 18,800 B.P.' (Adavasio 1993)-and that is taking these controversial dates at face value (but see Haynes 1980). The Clovis techo- complex has now been carefully dated between 11,200-10,900 B.P. (Haynes 1993; Taylor et al. 1996).

The Solutrean of France, Spain, and Portugal is now dated by over 80 credible radiocarbon dates (both conventional and AMS). In France, the distinctive Solutrean lithic technology (i.e., bifacial and unifa- cia1 leaf-shaped, shouldered and stemmed points made on flakes and blades) lasted a short time, from about 20,500 B.P. to about 18,500 B.P., when it was replaced by the flake-based Badegoulian (aka Mag- dalenian 0+1) technology in the southwest (e.g., Gen- este & Plisson 1986; Laville et al. 1980) and by the derivative Salpetrian industry in the southeast (e.g., Bazile 1990). In Cantabrian (Atlantic) Spain, the dates for the Solutrean range from about 20,500 to 17,000 B.P., after which it was gradually replaced by backed bladelet-rich assemblages labeled "early Magdalen- ian"(e.g., Rasilla 1994; Straus 1995; Straus & Clark 1986). In Mediterranean Spain (Catalonia, Levante and Andalusia), the Solutrean dates between about 21,000 and 16,500 B.P. and is followed by an early Magdalenian or "Badegoulian" (e.g., Aura 1997; Ripoll &Cacho 1990; Villaverde &Fullola 1990). In Portugal, recent research, principally by J. Zilhao (e.g., 1990, 1996), shows that Solutrean technology developed as early as 21,000 B.P. and was replaced at some time between 17,000-16,500 B.P. by a bladelet-rich "early Magdalenian." In short, thelatest Solutrean stone points are more than 5,000 radibcarbon years older than the oldest Clovis points.

Geographic Distribution

The Solutrean techno-complex coincided with (and clearly represented a behavioral adaptation to) the Last Glacial Maximum, centered on 18,000 B.P. Prior to ca. 25,000-22,000 B.P., northwestern Europe (i.e., northern France, southern England and Wales, Belgium and Germany) was occupied by humans making backed andlor tanged lithic projectile points associated with the Gravettian technological tradi- tion (e.g., Otte 1990; Straus 1991b). With the onset of the extreme cold and, especially, the aridity of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), the human geo- graphic range gradually contracted, resulting in the total (or near-total) abandonment of these previously occupied regions. They were not to be reoccupied until the Late Glacial. Specifically, although there may have been some ephemeral "visits" to or "explo- rations" of northern France, Belgium and southern Germany by around 16,000 B.P. or slightly earlier, actual resettlement of the Paris Basin, the Belgian Meuse Basin, southern England, and Germany only occurred between 13,000-12,500 B.P. (e.g., Charles 1996; Fagnart 1997; Housley 1991; Housley et al. 1997; Otte & Straus 1997; Rensink 1993; Smith 1992; Street et al. 1994; Taborin 1994). This recol- onization came during the distinct warming trend (Bolling sensu lato) that was well underway by ca. 13,000 B.P. Culturally, this period corresponds to the late Magdalenian, materially defined by the frequent presence of antler harpoons, whereas the earlier Late Glacial (Oldest Dryas sensu lato) corresponds to the "early Magdalenian," often rich in antler spear points and backed bladelets, but with no foliate or tanged lithic projectiles.

But during the LGM (i.e., during the Solutrean), the human occupation in western Europe was restricted to several refugia in southwest and south- east France and (mainly) to the lowland peripheries of the Iberian Peninsula (Vasco-Cantabrian, eastern and southern Mediterranean Spain, and Portugal) (e.g., Gamble 1986; Jochim 1987; Rigaud &Simek 1990; Straus 1990a, 1991a, 1991b). The very north- ernmost Solutrean site, Saint-Sulpice-de-Favikres (Sacchi et al. 1996), is south of Paris at ca. 48"30' N.Although this site is undated, the absence of shoul- dered points and the presence of many large bifacial laurel leaf points and blanks at this specialized lithic quarry-workshop camp might suggest repeated brief visits at a relatively early Solutrean date, before the height of the LGM. Otherwise, the northern frontier of Solutrean settlement seems to have corresponded to the Loire River valley, at ca. 47"30' N, where there is a cluster of sites, notably Fritsch, Fressignes, and Tannerie, with radiocarbon dates between 19,000-18,000 B.P. (e.g., Schmider 1990). In sum, there were simply no people living in (or even visit- ing with any degree of frequency) the regions north of Paris during the period from about 22,00G16,000 B.P., which is when the peopling of the New World now seems to have occurred. And there were certainly no people even in the southern part of England until ca. 12,500B.P. (Tolan-Smith 1998), so humans could not have crossed on pack ice between the British Isles and the Maritime Provinces. On the other hand, the distance from Portugal toVirginia is 5,000km straight across the open mid-North Atlantic Ocean.

Technology

Despite a few superficial similarities-which can easily be attributed to independent invention-there are vast differences between the Solutrean and Clo- vis technologies.

The technological traditions of the Franco-Iber- ian Solutrean were firmly rooted in those of the Gravettian (middle Upper Paleolithic) of western Europe. Depending on the local availability and qual- ity of lithic raw materials, as well as on site function, blanks used for making stone implements were flakes, blades, and bladelets ("micro-blades" in American terminology), although the Solutrean leaf, shouldered, and stemmed points were usually made on blades often produced from diverse specific forms of prismatic cores. The hallmark of Solutrean lithic technology is indeed its projectile component, con- sisting of both a variety of single-element tips (of widely varying sizes and weights, including many "laurel leaves" that may actually have been used as knives) and (especially in later Solutrean contexts) backed bladelets that were used multiply as barbs andlor tips of projectiles, whose other elements were basally beveled antler points. Modern-quality Solutrean excavations (using fine-screening tech- niques) are yielding backed bladelets in quantities up to 40 percent of the total retouched tool fraction, although 5-20 percent is a more common range of proportions (e.g., Geneste and Plisson 1986; Straus and Clark 1986).

The classic Solutrean stone points include unifa- cia1 and bifacial pieces, often worked by invasive per- cussion (and sometimes pressure) flaking, with occasional evidence of heat treatment. The finest pieces are finished with ribbon removals that some- times overshoot the opposite edge. But most pieces are far less sophisticated. (Overshot flakes are com- mon whenever facially working techniques were used, as they were in many times and places in the prehistory of the world.) The Solutrean bifaces come in a variety of forms: long, narrow "willow leaves," classic bipointed, convex-sided "laurel leaves," rhomboidally shaped pieces, different classes of asymmetrical bifaces, pieces with a slight central tang, ones with arounded base, others with a straight base, and bifaces (and some unifaces) with a con- cave base. Bases are neverjluted. There also exist a variety of shouldered points, which are integral com- ponents of the Solutrean arsenal: these include both fully and partially invasively retouched (mostly uni- facial) pieces in a variety of standardized forms, as well as pieces whose tang has been formed by abrupt retouch and which are otherwise (marginally) retouched. Finally there are true stemmed points in various forms and sizes that resemble (and may actu-

ally have been) "arrowheads" (e.g., Mufioz 1999).

One of the most distinctive aspects of this wide array of Solutrean projectiles is their regionally-spe- cific character; while standard "laurel leaves" are fairly ubiquitous, many others have very limited geo- graphic distributions (Smith 1973; Straus 1977a, 1977b, 1990b). Notably, the true stemmed points are found in Mediterranean Spain (from Catalonia to Chdiz) and in southern Portugal. The basally con- cave points are mainly found in the eastern half of Asturias and in Cantabria, with a handful of outliers (exchange items, curiosities?) that have been found in the adjacent Basque Country and French Pyrenean foreland. (The concavities are slight-rarely deep, as in many Clovis points. According to Collins [1999:46], "complete, pristine [Clovis] points gen- erally exceed 100 mm in length," whereas the aver- age length of whole Solutrean concave base points is 634 rnm [Straus 1990b:438].) There are different shouldered point types peculiar respectively to Asturias-Cantabria, Dordogne-Charentes, Gascogne, Girona, and, more generally, the Mediter- ranean regions. This regional point style phenome- non is suggestive of an increase in territorialism associated with a compressed, circumscribed area of human occupation during the Last Glacial Maxi- mum in southwestern Europe.

But Solutrean lithic technology is far more than just projectile elements. There are many different kinds of endscrapers, perforators, knives, and true burins (i.e., pieces from which one or more lateral spalls have been struck by the burination technique). This diversity of lithic tools and production strate- gies is accompanied by an organic technology that includes a couple of major Solutrean innovations: the eyed bone needle and the antler spearthrower (Gen- este and Plisson 1993)-in addition to a wealth of beveled antler points and possible foreshafts (or even self-barbed point [Pokines & Krupa 19971). Antler and bone artifacts, while not as common as in the subsequent Magdalenian, are not at all rare in the Solutrean. They are in Clovis.

Most significantly, Solutrean technology is thus very different from both the well-known Clovis and much less-understoodpre-Clovis industries of North America, both in its specific artifact forms (e.g., true burins, backed bladelets) and in its diversity of pro- jectile types, as well as other lithic and organic imple- ments and fabrication techniques.

Insofar as it is formally described (e.g., Bradley 1993; Collins 1999; Dincauze 1993; Stanford 1991), Clovis technology can be characterized as follows: bifaces (some of which are concave base,JZutedpro- jectile points, others probably knives) and unifaces, both made either on flakes or blades depending on local raw material availability; a limited variety of other lithic tools including end- and sidescrapers, gravers, but very few true burins; rare ivory and bone points or foreshafts (e.g., Lahren and Bonnichsen 1974); one example of a bone shaft wrench (Haynes and Hemmings 1968). Microblades, tanged and shouldered points-all common in various Solutrean assemblages-are absent in the far more limited tech- nological repertoire of Clovis. While there are super- ficial similarities (e.g., some concave base foliate projectile points, some organic points or foreshafts with anti-skid engraved lines on basal bevels), these are most parsimoniously explainable as independent developments-similar solutions to similar func- tional problems, given limited available lithic and osseous materials and manufacturing techniques. The fact that red ochre was used by people in both techno-complexes-as cited by Stanford-is meaningless, as such pigment use is virtually a cultural universal among Homo sapiens foragers worldwide.

Subsistence: Marine Resource Exploitation?

The transatlantic migration hypothesis would require that people in western Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum have a highly specialized mar- itime adaptation.

At La Riera Cave, a two-hour walk from the pleniglacial shore of the Cantabrian Sea during the Solutrean, we documented evidence of significant marine mollusc collection and minor fishing (of salmon and trout, which are anadromous to varying degrees and could have been taken at the shore or in nearby estuaries or freshwater streams)(Straus & Clark 1986). Similar evidence exists at other Solutrean sites in the region (e.g., Cova Rosa, Altamira), and presages a major boom in aquatic resource exploitation during the Magdalenian (e.g., Freeman 1973). However, there is no evidence in Cantabrian Spain (or elsewhere) for Solutrean pre- dation on deep sea fish or marine mammals. (There is one rear first phalanx of a common seal in the Solutrean collection from Obermaier's 1924-25 exca- vations at Altamira that could well represent a scav- enged animal [Altuna & Straus 19761. No additional seal remains were found in the recent Altamira exca- vations of Gonzilez Echegaray and Freeman [I9961 .) Humans were certainly acquainted with the seacoast, as attested by the penguin drawings and seal engrav- ings of possible Solutrean age in Cosquer Cave, coastal southeast France, as well as fish and seal images in a number of other caves, such as Candamo in Asturias, La Pileta and Ardales in Andalusia, attrib- utable for stylistic and archaeological reasons to the Solutrean (Clottes & Courtin 1994). However, there are no representations of boats and no evidence what- soever either of seafaring or of the ability to make a living mainly or solely from the ocean during the Solutrean. For Vasco-Cantabria and Aquitaine, at least, this is not surprising, as the Bay of Biscay, with its very steep thermal gradient, due to the clash of polar and latitudinally depressed Gulf Stream waters off the coast of Galicia, was a cold, windy and intensely stormy sea during the Last Glacial Maxi- mum (Butzer 1986; CLIMAF' 1976). In sum, there is simply no empirical support for assertions that Solutrean people could have survived on pack ice or navigated across the open Atlantic. The Solutrean was essentially a terrestrial adaptation, despite the peri-coastal distribution of many of its Iberian sites.

Depending on the region, hunter-gatherers dur- ing the Solutrean subsisted in largely treeless grass- lands and heaths, mainly hunting medium to large terrestrial ungulate game: principally reindeer and horse in France, red deer and ibex in Iberia, with smaller numbers of bison, chamois and other mam- mals in all regions (Delpech 1983; Straus 1977~). There are trace quantities of mammoth remains in a few Solutrean sites of southwest France and Cantabrian Spain, but these are mainly pieces of worked ivory that could have been scavenged. The mammoth was already a rare creature on the land- scape by this time in southwest Europe. There is no evidence for any degree of Solutrean mammoth hunt- ing (specialized or not), in contrast to at least several classic Clovis sites.

Whereas Clovis pyrotechnology is said not to have included the use of stones to bank heat or to roast (Collins 1999:44), such techniques are com- mon in the Solutrean.

Art & Ornamentation

A major distinction between the Solutrean and Clo- vis lies in the area of artistic and decorative activity.

Although not as reknowned for works of portable or rock art and ornamentation as its successor the Magdalenian, the Solutrean is in fact better endowed with such images and artifacts than had been widely recognized until recently. Direct AMS dating of some of the charcoal drawings in Cosquer Cave prove that they were executed about 18,000-19,000 B.P. (Bahn and Vertut 1997), and new dates from La Pileta and Nerja in Andalusia yield ages of ca. 20,000 B.P. (Sanchidrihn 2000). There are strong stratigraphic and/or indirect (but closely associated) radiocarbon arguments for attributing cave art in a number of other sites in France and Spain (e.g., Le Placard, Cougnac, T&te de Lion, Les Escabasses, Peiia de Candamo, El Bux6) to the Solutrean (see summaries of arguments in Straus 1987 and Bahn &Vertut 1997, with references). Even some of the spectacular lime- stone bas relief or deeply engraved friezes in South- west France (e.g., Roc de Sers, Fourneau du Diable, Isturitz) are be attributable to this period (Lejeune 1990; Smith 1966).

Of the over 5,000 engraved and painted limestone or slabs from Parpall6 Cave in Valencia, more than half are from Solutrean levels (Villaverde 1994). By comparison with the Parpall6 portable art objects, other rock art sites (notably the open-air figures of the C6a Valley in northeast Portugal, together with similar manifestations in nearby areas of Spain, as well as Portugal's only cave art site, Escoural) have been attributed to the Solutrean (e.g., Balbin and Alcolea 1994; Lejeune 1997; Ripoll &Zilhao 1996; Zilhao 1997). Engraved stone slabs have been found in other Solutrean deposits, and engraved and "tick- marked" bones and ivory lamellae, perforated ani- mal teeth and shells are common (see Corch6n 1994; Gonzhlez Morales 1986; MenCndez & Ocio 1997; Straus and GonzBlez Morales 1999).

In short, one of the defining cultural characteris- tics of the Solutrean, along with the foliate and tanged points, is a wealth of both wall and portable art and ornamentation typical of neither Clovis nor "pre-Clo- vis." The facts that bones are well-preserved in many Clovis sites and that Solutrean rock art includesopenair examples (not just caves), are arguments against this distinction being merely one of differential preser- vation between the two cultural phenomena.

Discussion and Conclusions

The Solutrean represents the material evidence of the cultural adaptations of human groups surviving in the refugia of southwest Europe during the Last Glacial Maximum. This was a time of inventiveness and ingenuity under environmental and resource stress. The creativity of the Solutrean extended beyond the "arms race" that is attested by the plethora of lithic and antler point sizes and types (and even backed micro-blade elements) and by the invention of the spearthrower. It included new strategies for specialized, land-based, herd game hunting (includ- ing the swift, wary, cliff-dwelling ibex), supple- mented by the use of littoral and riverine (but not oceanic) foodresources. It also was characterized by a wealth of artistic and "marking" activities, no doubt related to social and ideological developments that helped humans to cope with hard times.

Significantly, Solutrean hunter-gatherers did not extend their range anywhere far enough north to put them in a geographic position to ever cross the North Atlantic to America (either on ice floes or in boats). Nor is there any evidence that they were skilled sea- farers or marine mammal hunters.

Located 5,000 km from the U.S. eastern seaboard, the Solutrean technocomplex ended 5,000 radiocar- bon years (over 200 human generations!) before the appearance of Clovis. Far more diverse in its lithic and organic technologies than Clovis, and charac- terized by an artistic tradition that is absent from Clovis, what the Solutrean would mainly seem to "share" with Clovis are concave base, bifacially- worked points. Yet such pieces in the Solutrean are found only at a handful of sites in a small area of northern Spain-not in France or in the rest of Iberia. Nor are the Solutrean points fluted, a feature which is absolutely diagnostic of Clovis points. Shouldered and stemmed points, as well as micro-blades, all so common in the Solutrean, are completely absent from the Clovis lithic repertory. And beveled antler points (or foreshafts), common in the Solutrean, are very rare in Clovis.

Thus, the most parsimonious explanation for the (superficial) similarities between the Solutrean and Clovis is the well-known (but under-acknowledged) phenomenon of technological convergence or par- allelism. In short, there are only a limited number of ways in which to make a projectile point (or knife) out of stone. Invasive retouch (by pressure flaking or by hard or soft, direct or indirect percussion), including ribbon removals with overshooting for bifacial thinning, is among them. As has long been known, the prehistory of the world is replete with examples of bifacial foliate points. Just within Europe (not to mention Africa and Siberia), bifacial foliates reoccurred in the Middle and Upper Pale- olithic (as well as in the Chalcolithic and Bronze Age) in different regions (e.g., Freund 1952). It is a tech- nological practice that has been invented and rein- vented time and time again to fulfill a set of specific purposes, namely the killing and/or butchering of ani- mals. Such convergence is recognized today in Europe, since bifaces span such vast distances of space and time that the search for "genetic" rela- tionships is now seen to be a futile exercise (see papers in Kozlowski 1990). Similarly there are only limited numbers of effective hafting treatments pos- sible for large lithic points; the basal concavity is one of them, independently invented not only in Clovis and in the Cantabro-Asturian Solutrean, but also in other prehistoric traditions (e.g., in Russia). One or two technical attributes are insufficient to establish a cultural link or long-distance interconnection.

While basal thinning has been used in various regions since Middle Paleolithic times, fluting is apparently a peculiar, specific and difficult-to-mas- ter technique for basal thinning that seems to have been a genuinely Native American invention. There is simply nothing like this form of basal thinning among the concave base Solutrean points made 9,000-5,000 years earlier. Credit should be given where credit is due: Native Americans, descended from diverse Asian populations, were the makers of Clovis and "pre-Clovis" lithics. The Solutrean of southwestern Europe was another story altogether. It seems to me particularly irresponsible-in the absence of any credible scientific evidence for pre- historic European settlement of the New World-for some professional archeologists to be suggesting that Native Americans are not the descendents of the first colonizers of this land.

Acknowledgments. I wish to thank Bruce Huckell and David Meltzer for providing me information on Clovis and for com- ments on this paper, for whose contents they are, however, totally blameless. I also thank the other reviewers, Dena Dincauze and Marcia-Anne Dobres, as well as editor Lynne Goldstein, for their constructive suggestions. My research on the Solutrean (and other Upper Paleolithic periods in western Europe) has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, the

L.S.B. Leakey Foundation and the University of New Mexico, to all of whom I am most grateful.

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Notes

1. All dates given here are approximations based on gen- erally large numbers of uncalibrated radiocarbon determina- tions. See the cited publications for exact dates.

Received May 20, 1999; accepted September 16, 1999; revised October 7, 1999.

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