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Heizer

Heizer

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132
 Despite a great deal of theorizing (which goes back to the
lime 
of Columbus) over the question oj how old man in North America was (Wilm-sen
1965),
it 
wasnot unti11926 that a discovery was made which establisheonce and for ali the fact that man had been present in the New World aa time when animals of now extinct species were living. The announcemenof that discovery
is
presented below. Since this historic event oj nearly ahalf century ago, an imposing collection oj information on ancient man inthe New World has been made (Sellards
/952;
Wormington
1957;
Willey1966, chap.
2).
AI this time there is no acceptable evidence (though
(here
are numerous claims) that man waspresent in North America before 10,000to
11,000 E.C.
(Haynes
1965;
Graham and Heizer 1967).
THE FIRST CLEAR EVIDENCE OFANCIENT MAN IN NORTH AMERICA'
J.
D, Figgins
. ~hen we analyze the technical opposition to the belief that man has
inhabitej
America over an enormous period of time we find it is not onlyrestricted to an indi:idual minority, but it also appears to be traceable tothe results of .a too circumscribed viewpoint, _ a failure to appreciate prop-erly
all
th~ ~vldence, and a seeming unwillingness to accept the conclusionsof authontIes engaged in related branches of investigation.
It
is a fact, of course: that .the nature of the material evidence upon which opinions a~e.based .ISan lmportant factor, and when such evidence is not abundant, ItIS obvIOUS. that students cannot successfully restrict their studies if theywould aVOid the dangers that arise through a lack of continuity in one ormore threads of evidence.. This appears to be very well illustrated by individuals learned in phy.slc.al ant~ropology, comparative craniology and racial relationships. Thechief deOlals of man's a t' ". . ..'n IqUlty m Ameflca appear to have their oflgm
JD
those Sources of investigation. Such criticism would doubtless have weighta.nd value were .skeletal evidence abundant. But such evidence, representa.tl.ve of t.he perlO~S ant~dating that which is regarded as "modern," orsmce Pleistocene times, IS exceedingly meager. Indeed,
it
is far too scant
·The Antiquity of Man in NOrlh America, by
J.
D.No.3, 229-239,1927. Excerpt here from pp. 229-234.Figgins. Natural History, Vol. 27,
2
I
I
I
r
I
r
(
r
. .
(
I
r
I ,
!
i
[
r
!
First Clear Evidence of Ancient Man in North America
133
 \ 
to make possible intelligent comparisons and safely arr!ve at definite con-clusions. Therefore, to be of value, it is essential that ~t.be supple~e~tedby those branches of the sciences that are capable of fixing ~eologlC timeperiods- the sole means of bridging the weaknesses that .oc~ur
in
t.h~ threadof evidence represented by skeletal remains .. Wit~ou.t this aid.' .0pInlOns arenot only venturesome, but distinctly misleading, I~given pubhclt~. .Readers of the discussions relative to the anuquny of man In Ameflc.amust frequently wonder because of the antipathy for the acceptance of eVI-dence of that character, and often they may have inq.uired "W~~ shouldwe not expect to find such evidence, since there are nelth~r CO,~dltlon.s norfacts that interfere in the slightest w.ith such. an expectation? ?bVIOUSI~then denials of the antiquity of man
10
America, without convmcmg yroothat' we could
not expect 
to find such evidence, are pure~y su~posltlons.However the purpose of the present paper is not a discussion ?f the
r
' " I d need but a presentation
0
relative merits of arguments previous y a va '. dnew evidence of man's antiquity in A~e~ica. As th~ wnter ?as not ma ~a special study of this subject, his oprruons regarding the Importance
0
the evidence would be valueless, and for that rea~on ~e expresse~ none
d
He merely views it in the light of substantiating earlier fmds. of a like ad~"" h I ther and more Important IS-similar nature and as pomnng t e way
00
. .'. d
i
f
th facts as he knows them.covenes HIs tas
IS
the recor mg o e
M' hIl
In '1923
Me.
Nelson
J.
Vaughan, a resi~ent of Colo~ado, ~~s ~nCounty Texas in a letter to the writer, descnbed a deposit of bo h
" "U
est Mr Vaug anthe bank of Lone Wolf Creek, near his home. pon requ '. .
f
dI d
M
m of Natural History or e-forwarded examples to the Co ora
0
useu .
bi
and
f
T d
arts of an exunct rson,termination. These proved to be OSSIize p th locality forthe following season, 1924, Me. H. D. Boyes was sent to ethe purpose of making excavations. . . ( d
i
d and elsewhereAfter the removal of the overlying formation stu
1 \ 
alaeontologydescribed by Me. Harold
J.
Coo.k, honorary .cur.ator ~ ~rtions of th~Colorado Museum of Natural History) and fmdlOdg°t tPemove them. . . d ed most expe len
0
rskeletal remams associated, It was eem. til th fossils werein sections. This was accomplished by workm~ dow~ ~n I I ethus formingexposed, cutting channels through the deposit .at m ervads," burlap and' " h . t n bemg encase 10'blocks" of considerable Size, t ese m ur., ced and when a block plaster of Paris. A heavy crate was t?en mtrodu 'Then with the usewas firmly fixed in the latter, undercuttmg t?ok ~Ia:~d turned on edge forof tackle, the blocks were released from their be I k" over the bottomsh . t'x and p an 109t e purpose of removlOg the excess ma n, I lete skeleton of anof the crates. During these operations, the near YI~omp 'Is lefl side This" "Itdandymgonl.adult bison was uncovered, qUite artlcu a e .". . d k P as descnbed above.was dIvided mto sections an ta en u d f the under side o" b " g remove romWhen the excess matnx was em . I few dorsals and theirIh
f"
I " " g the cervlca s, a ,e Irst block (the one con amm h d (the term arrow-attached ribs, and the forelimbs), a complete arrow ea
 
134
MAN'S DISCOVER Y OF HIS PAST
Fig. 18. The bison bed at Folsom N . .
, ew Mexico, during excavations of 1926.
head is used in a broad sense . .head) was discovered ivi b '
Since
th~ artifact may have been a spear-in contact
with
the I ,yt"g Actween the fifth and sixth cervicals and nearlya cr. s the matrix . dof cemented sands g 1 was very hard, being compose
f
h' rave s, and clays and ..o arnmer and chisel th
,necessItating
the constant usemain fragments and nu e arrowhead was detached and broken into twoof these parts were recuomerodussmall slivers before
it
was discovered. Mostvere and have br~storation. In removing the sec' mee. ~en assembled without othernbs, a second arrowhead non containing the dorsal vertebrae andits presence was noted b ~a\~ncovered and likewise was detached beforefigured here. Accounts'
hUt
ISexample later disappeared and cannot bepied was possibly
in
th' °hwever, suggest that the position which it
occu-
e t ora
x
b '.?f the last block resulted' th f: ~t
It
IS not so recorded. The removal
di
In
e
mdmg of 
a .
d
rmme
lately beneath the
I
ft
f ..
poruon
of a third
arrowhea
th
t
i .
e emur m ctrcum
sta nr-ee
! .
a IS,
In
removing the rna"
f'
umstances Identical with the first;
I
nx
rom the d idndependent of th 1 un er sr e of the block.th. e ost arrowhead hi h .. . .Ole first, two artifacu ' w ic
IS
descnbed as very similar'I' were take
b
snrzed skeleton of an e
ti
bi n rom
eneath
an articulated and fos-recognized the full impoXtlnct rson .. That Mr. Boyes seems not to have. h·. r ance and
Sl
T
In
IS permilting the loss f h
gru
rcance of these finds is suggestedor otherwise-and the fa
0
h. e seeo.nd example-whether through theftth The fl ct t at he did t k " e~: e first intimation the wri no rna e an Immediate report
0
a visitor to the Museum h h Iter had of their discovery came through,w
0
ad been present when the first arrowhead
i
Firs! Clear Evidence of Ancient Man in North America
was uncovered. Replies to inquiries and later verbal details by Mr. Boyesverified and enlarged upon this account in all particulars.Deeming it of greatest importance that the age of this deposit be de-termined, the writer requested Mr. Harold
1.
Cook to make a detailed in-vestigation, particularly in relation to the geology and association of otherfossil species ....As critical studies of the artifacts found associated with the bison re-mains near Colorado, Texas must be left to the archaeologist, but brief 
detailed
mention of them will be made here. There are two or three pri-vate collections of arrowheads that were picked up' on the surface in thevicinity of Lone Wolf Creek, all of which have been examined by Mr.Cook and Mr. Boyes. None contained examples approaching in similarity,either in form or workmanship, those found with the bison skeleton. Thelatter are of grayish flint, quite thin, and are devoid of evidence of notch-ing, which is distinctly opposed to the forms found on the surface in thatlocality. Equally distinctive is their superiority of workmanship, which,
I
am told, also applied to the example that was lost. While there seems tobe no doubt that these artifacts represent a cultural stage quite distinct,as compared with that revealed in the arrowheads found on the surface,it is not the writer's intention to discuss such questions ...During the summer o
1925,
Messrs. Fred J. Howarth and CarlSchwachheim of Raton, New Mexico, informed the writer of a quantityof bones exposed in the bank of the Cimarron River, near the town of Folsom, Union County, New Mexico. Later those gentlemen forwardede~amples for examination, which proved them to be parts of an extinctbison and a large deerlike member of the
Cervidae.
Accompanied by Mssrs.Howarth and Schwachheim, Mr. Cook and the writer visited the localityin April,
1926,
and after a study of the deposti, made arrangements withMr. Schwachheim for the removal of the overlying formation, consistingof some six to eight feet of very tough, hard clays. In June, the writersent Mr. Frank M. Figgins to supervise the removal of the bones, in whichwork he was aided by Mr. Schwachheim.Not the least of the writer's interest in this deposit was the possibilitythat additional evidence of man's antiquity in America might be uncovered,and with that prospect in view, he gave explicit instruction that constantattention be paid to such discoveries- not with as much expectation of Success, as in the belief that opportunities of that nature should not bene~lected. It was therefore something in the nature of an anticipated sur-prise when sueh a find was made. In this case, it was of the greater por-tion of an arrowhead, similar in its general form to those found .atColorado, Texas, but decidedly more tapering at the point, and ?f quitesuperior workmanship. Unfortunately, this artifact had also been dlslodgedfrom the matrix before it was discovered-something the writer was anx-ious to avoid. However it was directly associated with the remains of anextinct bison, and greater caution was urged in the work of excavating.
135
 
136
'fA . DISCOVERY OF HIS PASTNot until nearly the close of the season was additional evidence uncovered,thfs proving to be a second arrowhead almost identical with the first inform, and, like the first, having the proximal end missing. The materialfrom which
it
was fashioned is distinctive, being a very pale gray ground,through which run narrow, diagonal streaks of red. This artifact, too, hadbeen dislodged before its presence was suspected. but at the Spot fromwhich
it
came, the tool struck a hard substance, which, upon being ex.posed, proved to be a wedge-shaped fragment of Ilim, approximately one.quarter of an inch in width
by
three quarters of an inch in length, lyingin a fixed position, adjacent to a bison rib. This was removed withoutbeing disturbed, in the form of a small block and in addition to the flintand rib in close contact, there are also in the' block rwo toe hones and anatlas. ~pon its arrival at the laboratory, immediate attention was givento cleaning the fragment of flint, which proved to
be
of the same materialas that of the larger portion of arrowhead, and suggested that it might
be
part of the missing proximal end. When a test was made, a perfect con-tact resulted. The perfection of this contact, together with the peculiar
Fig 19 H '
, , .m pomr from
the
Fohom sue, Nc:,.,'
 \lC:IliKo.
markings and col f hhibi or
0
t
e material from which the artifact was fashioned,pro I Its any conclusIOn h d hsame artifact
F" )
II
ot er than that they are parts of one an t e. rg.
I
ustrates the F
I
'f
I
I
reducedhere] is a very thi
n'
a Sam arn acts. o. rep .a quality of kin tnt ,of a dark reddish-brown color, and represent1n,gwor manshlp the writ h
II
d 2
IS
also very thin and hil "
fl
er as rarely seen equa e. o., w
I
e
It
IS not qUI
I'
fi
f
hi ping asdisplayed in No I hi ne equa m meness
0
c rp "the material fro~
w t / 
~s hmaybe, and probably is, due to a difference
III
Compared with I~het ey,are fashioned.amples are distinctly artifacts from Colorado, Texas, the Folsom eXd"more Pcmted , but whether this difference in form an
137
i
First Clear Evidence of Ancient Man in North America
superiority in workmanship is traceable to individual preference and ski,lIthe writer does not venture an opinion, He does, however, make compan-sons with flints found on the surface, in the region about Folsom andRaton New Mexico, and in this connection it is of interest to note thatthe latter are unlike such surface artifacts from the vicinity of .Co,lorad~,Texas,-being usually very small and evidencing far greater skill
In
theirmanufacture. The writer has examined a large part of the Carl Schwach-heim collection of flints, from northern New Mexico, and
~r.
Schw~ch-heim verifies his conclusions that it contains nothing resembhng the flintsfound in association with the bison remains near Folsom. ,Until the studies now in progress are completed, the ge~loglcal age of the Folsom bison will not be known. That it is of an exunct race thereis no question. ,We have, then, in the Folsom arrowheads, the third ',nstance, of a ~erysimilar type of artifact being found immediately associated ~,th extmctbison, in circumstances which l~ad geologists and palaeontologists t*
* *
c1ude that they belong to the Pleistocene age. , ' .

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