Across Atlantic Ice: The Origin of America's Clovis Culture

by Dennis J. Stanford

Other authorsMichæl Collins (Foreword)
Hardcover, 2012



Call number

E99 .C832


University of California Press (2012), Edition: First Edition, 336 pages


Who were the first humans to inhabit North America? According to the now familiar story, mammal hunters entered the continent some 12,000 years ago via a land bridge that spanned the Bering Sea. Distinctive stone tools belonging to the Clovis culture established the presence of these early New World people. But are the Clovis tools Asian in origin? Drawing from original archaeological analysis, paleoclimatic research, and genetic studies, noted archaeologists Dennis J. Stanford and Bruce A. Bradley challenge the old narrative and, in the process, counter traditional--and often subjective--approaches to archaeological testing for historical relatedness. The authors apply rigorous scholarship to a hypothesis that places the technological antecedents of Clovis in Europe and posits that the first Americans crossed the Atlantic by boat and arrived earlier than previously thought. Supplying archaeological and oceanographic evidence to support this assertion, the book dismantles the old paradigm while persuasively linking Clovis technology with the culture of the Solutrean people who occupied France and Spain more than 20,000 years ago.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member davidveal
This is a masterful presentation of a fascinating new dimension to Native American studies, anthropological and prehistoric. It should be useful to the professional, but it is quite readable to the serious amateur.
LibraryThing member ritaer
I will admit that I read only the introduction and the summary of this rather technical book. The average lay person will probably do the same as pages of drawings of flint points are rather dry reading. Some may trumpet this work as proof that the America's were peopled from Europe rather than Asia in furtherance of some theory or other. The author's theories are far more modest. They point out that the Beringian hypothesis has been challenged on several fronts. Furthermore, ancestral forms of Clovis style weapons have not been found in NE Asia or in N Central North America, where they might be expected. On the other hand, they lay out convincing comparisons of Clovis points to the productions of the Solutrean cultures that lived along the icy northern shore of the Iberian Peninsula during the last great ice age. They hypothesize tha peoples reliant on hunting sea mammals along the pack ice could have moved north and west and eventually reached N. America, eventually abandoning marine resources and moving inland. Quite an interesting idea. The main problem with verification is rising sea levels submerged much of the land on which these peoples would have lived, making discovery of artifacts difficult.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date



0520227832 / 9780520227835

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