c. 13,000 years old, Natural History Museum
Beautifully crafted blades point to America’s first successful culture
Author Charles C. Mann writes in our 101 Objects Special Issue:
Clovis points are wholly distinctive. Chipped from jasper, chert, obsidian and other fine, brittle stone, they have a lance-shaped tip and (sometimes) wickedly sharp edges. Extending from the base toward the tips are shallow, concave grooves called “flutes” that may have helped the points be inserted into spear shafts. Typically about four inches long and a third of an inch thick, they were sleek and often beautifully made.
Read more of Mann's essay.