Age: 11,300 to 10,600 B.P.

Clovis points from south central Nebraska. Private collection.

Materials: From L to R – Hartville Uplift chert, Smoky Hill chert, white translucent dendritic agate, Kansas Flint Hills Permian chert.

Clovis points in the Great Plains region exhibit an exceptionally high degree of variability and size for a single recognized type. In the Plains region, Clovis points were generally fluted or basally thinned for a distance of 15mm – 25mm. The thinning may have been created by single strikes, multiple strikes, pressure thinning, or any combination of the above. Interestingly, even though Clovis points exhibit considerable overall morphological variability, they exhibit a striking degree of similarity through their hafting areas. (Reference: Jeb Taylor 2006)

Clovis people of the Great Plains were highly mobile and carried high-quality lithic materials for great distances. Therefore it is not unusual for Clovis points found in Nebraska to be made of lithics from distant sources. Examples would be a Clovis point found in Jefferson Co. Nebraska which was made of Alibates chert. The source of Alibates is in the Texas panhandle, about 400 miles distant. Another example is a Clovis base found in Nuckolls Co. Nebraska which was made of Flattop Chalcedony. The source of Flattop is in northeastern Colorado which is approximately 290 miles distant from the find location.  

Age: 11,000 to 10,700 B.P.

Goshen point from south central Nebraska. Private collection.

Material: Kansas Flint Hills Permian chert.

In 1966 a point was recovered below the Folsom level at the Hell Gap site in Goshen County Wyoming by Henry Irwin and Cynthia Irwin Williams. Although the point was similar to the Plainview point type, it was found in a much older context and given the name Goshen by Irwin-Williams. In 1979 a second site named the Mill Iron site also produced Goshen points and the testing of this site began in 1984 with Dr. George Frison being the principle investigator (Frison 1996).

Dr. Bruce Bradley states: although basically identical in form and manufacture, Goshen from the northern Plains and Plainview points from the southern Plains are associated with assemblages that have significantly different dates and stratigraphic relationships. Goshen points from the northern High Plains are securely dated at around 11,000 B.P. and have been found in stratigraphic context below Folsom components at more than one site. The Plainview points from the Plainview site and Lubbock Lake site (Texas) have yielded dates at around 10,000 B.P. (Frison-Bradley 1996, The Mill Iron Site).

A number of the Goshen points from the Mill Iron site are very well made and exhibit a point technology more closely resembling Folsom than Clovis.

Age: 10,900 to 10,200 B.P.

            Folsom point from southwestern Nebraska. Private collection

Material: Hartville Uplift chert.

The Folsom type site in New Mexico provided the first definitive evidence for the association between humans and extinct fauna when a Folsom point was found associated with the ribs of an extinct species of bison in 1926 (Wormington 1957). The Folsom complex is typified by its diagnostic thin projectile point, usually having pronounced fluting, fine marginal retouch, prominent basal ears and a concave base. As with Clovis technology, large bifacial cores of high-quality stone served as sources for a variety of tool forms and provided flakes and bifaces from which all other tool forms could be derived.

Folsom base from south central Nebraska. Private collection

Material: Smoky Hill silicified chalk

The above Folsom was broken during manufacture. It appears the (a) side was successfully fluted. Most likely the preform broke during shaping and thinning of the (b) side in preparation for the second fluting.

Folsom point from southwestern Nebraska. Private collection

Material: Flattop Chalcedony

This Folsom is made of a high grade lithic material known as Flattop Chalcedony. The Folsom culture utilized many types of high grade lithic materials and Flattop was one of their favorites. This example was broken in use and exhibits an impact fracture which was most likely caused from hitting bone.

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