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Solutrean Settlement of North America? A Review of Reality

  • Lawrence Guy Straus (a1)

The Solutrean techno-complex of southern France and the Iberian Peninsula is an impossible candidate as the “source” for either pre-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 addition, there are major differences between the Solutrean and Clovis (and even more between it and “pre-Clovis”) in terms of the composition of lithic and osseous technologies and with regard to evidence of artistic activity. Nor is there any evidence that Solutrean people had navigation, deep-sea fishing, or marine mammal hunting capacities which could have made a transatlantic 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-off” 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.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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