The clovis landscape

Vance T Holliday, D. Shane Miller

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Clovis is the most geographically extensive occupation of any time in the archaeological record of the Americas. One aspect of this geographic diversity is the remarkable mobility and adaptability of Clovis people. Understanding adaptability requires, in part, understanding the environmental conditions at the time and the rate and direction of environmental change. Another aspect of adaptability, and one more germane to archaeological research, is that of land use. Where were Clovis people on the landscape, and can we tell how they used the local environment? This chapter addresses issues of climate and landscape conditions that Clovis populations had to contend with. The Clovis landscape, both in terms of geomorphology and vegetation, was undergoing significant changes before, during, and after the Clovis occupation. Continental ice sheets were retreating, and sea level, though 40 to 50 m lower than today, was rising, rapidly inundating the Gulf and Atlantic coastal plains. Stream systems were undergoing changes in discharge, sedimentology, and flow regime whether or not they had glaciated headwaters. Discharges generally were declining, but remained higher or variable compared with today. Paleo-lakes were changing dramatically, but also must have provided a wide array of resources to the early foragers. Proglacial lakes evolved as a function of changes in ice-margin position and drainage direction, and as a result of isostatic rebound. In the Great Basin and Southwest, some paleo-lakes and pluvial lakes were low or completely dry in the late LGM and then came up just before or during the YDC, while others were high before the YDC and then declined just before or during the YDC. Nonetheless many basins had either standing water or wetlands, and, therefore, an array of resources for humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPaleoamerican Odyssey
PublisherTexas A and M University
Pages221-245
Number of pages25
ISBN (Print)9781623492335, 9781623491925
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

lake
occupation
wetland
resources
ice margin
environmental factors
resource
land use
sedimentology
basin
climate
headwater
coastal plain
geomorphology
ice sheet
water
environmental change
environmental conditions
sea level
drainage

Keywords

  • Clovis
  • Geomorphology
  • Landscape
  • Younger dryas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Cite this

Holliday, V. T., & Miller, D. S. (2014). The clovis landscape. In Paleoamerican Odyssey (pp. 221-245). Texas A and M University.

The clovis landscape. / Holliday, Vance T; Miller, D. Shane.

Paleoamerican Odyssey. Texas A and M University, 2014. p. 221-245.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Holliday, VT & Miller, DS 2014, The clovis landscape. in Paleoamerican Odyssey. Texas A and M University, pp. 221-245.
Holliday VT, Miller DS. The clovis landscape. In Paleoamerican Odyssey. Texas A and M University. 2014. p. 221-245
Holliday, Vance T ; Miller, D. Shane. / The clovis landscape. Paleoamerican Odyssey. Texas A and M University, 2014. pp. 221-245
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