Clovis tool cache found in Colorado

Patrick Mahaffy was having some a fish pond installed in his front yard when the landscapers digging heard a clink and found 83+ prehistoric stone tools.

Researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder dated the artifacts to 13,000 years ago when the Clovis people hunter-gatherers roamed the area.

The Clovis culture populated the Americas around the same time as the first people crossed the Bering Land Bridge from Asia, about 13,000 – 13,500 years ago.

The cache is one of only a handful of Clovis-age artifacts uncovered in North America, said Bamforth.

The tools reveal an unexpected level of sophistication, Bamforth said, describing the design as “unnecessarily complicated,” artistic and utilitarian at the same time. […]

The cache was buried 18 inches deep and was packed into a hole the size of a large shoe box. The tools were most likely wrapped in a skin that deteriorated over time, Mahaffy said.

“The kind of stone that’s present — the kind that flakes to a good sharp edge — isn’t widely available in this part of Colorado. It looks like they were storing material because they knew they would need it later,” said Bamforth.

Even cooler than that, there are detectable traces of animal blood and protein on the weapons.The Clovis hunters used these tools to kill and/or butcher camels, horses, sheep and bears.

Besides the sheer awesomeness of camels in Colorado, this is noteworthy because it’s the first evidence we have of Clovis people eating anything besides woolly mammoths.

Mahaffy will donate almost all of the tools to a museum, but he plans to rebury a few of them where he found them.

“These tools have been associated with these people and this land for 13,000 years,” he said. “I would like some of these tools to stay where they belong.”

12 thoughts on “Clovis tool cache found in Colorado

  1. What luck! And only 18″ down. Really, it makes me want to take a pickaxe to my back yard. What would the landlord say…?
    Cool that the man will rebury some of the tools.
    Camels, eh?

    1. I’m pretty sure all I’d find if I took a pickaxe to my back yard is a turn of the century sewer line and a geyser of contemporary sewage springing forth from the hole I put in it. That’s where living in Jerusalem has the advantage, I think. :giggle:

      Yay for North American large mammals! It’s crazy to think of camels, lions, elephants roaming this land, but roam they did. Until we killed them all, of course.

      1. Hey, where DO you live anyway? Unless it’s a secret.
        In the village in the hills where I live we have no sewers. I can hear you saying Eeuww.

        1. OMG I totally said that!1 :giggle:

          I live in Atlanta, Georgia, so we have sewers. They’re old and desperately in need of maintenance, but at least they’re there.

  2. I wonder what they’ll think in 10000 years, when they find that wrench I threw over the highway after it slipped and I bashed my knuckles on a cultivator shovel?

      1. :no:

        I’m wondering about the motives that will be attributed to the tool-user of the tentatively-named Three’s Company Era, in caching the tool in a tall stand of Canada Thistle (fossilized thorns having been found) in the manner he did.

  3. But it all goes somewhere into the earth and does not smell. And — well, enough details.

    OMG Atlanta, Georgia?? That’s the last place I would have guessed! Actually, I thought Rome.

      1. That skull is creepy. I half believe you DID live in Rome many (thousands of) years ago. Otherwise how would you know all that history so well?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.