Basel Thinned Clovis Style Point

Age and Culture: Paleo

Distribution: Throughout the North America.

Text provided by: Arrowpack Members


Picture By: Gerry Phillips


Picture By: Rocky Falleti


Picture By: Steve Lowell

Lake Blackshear Ga

Picture By: Kevin Dowdy

DESCRIPTION: The Non-Fluted Clovis Point is speculative. Here is what Arrowpack Members had to say:

There is no such thing as an unfluted Clovis. Here's what I found...Most examples called unfluted Clovis points are really Suwannee or Dalton points. All Suwannee points aren't eared and all Dalton points aren't serrated and re-sharpened to death. A super well made Cowhouse Slough point can also be mistakenly called a Clovis, but remember the Cowhouse basal treatment can be concave, straight, convex and fluted both sides, one side or unfluted.

I live in southwest GA and in northern FL we find more unfluted examples than fluted. They have every Clovis trait, except for the flute. This is a regional peculiarity that is recognized by most typologists. In fact, I have submitted local examples, of the nonfluted variety, to Greg Perino, just to get his opinion. He stated in his evaluations that they are unfluted examples that have been basely thinned.

I have to agree with you 100%. I personally believe that the evidence is unrefutable that a unfluted Clovis type exists. However, most points that are called Unfluted Clovis' in typology books seem to have attributes of non-clovis manufacturing techniques. What people must realize is that not every biface is fluteable once it gets to its final stages of manufacturing, NO matter how gifted the knapper is, and a good percentage of the time that determination is not known until the final stages of the process. Also, quality of stone is a major determining factor in the ability to flute a projectile point. Did Clovis man simiply throw away a perfectly good biface or decide not to use it after all that energy was put forth just because it was not going to be able to be fluted? I think not. What we end up with then is a basally thinned Clovis projectile point. They are, very rare. And so are fluted Clovis'. People may then ask why do so few examples exist in comparison to the fluted type? There may well be many factors to consider and in the south quality of raw stone is a major contributor however, another is that for more than 50+ years and especially the last 15 years modern knappers have been reproducing Fluted Clovis' in huge quantities. Everyone wants a big fluted point. From a knappers perspective Big flutes sell and unfluted lanceolates do not. Just something to think about and put in perspective.

A Clovis will usually have a flute on at least one face. If fluting is totally absent, then how does anybody know they have a Clovis. At the same time, not every point that is fluted is a Clovis. So there are typological considerations that always must be considered. It will always be a tough call but strictly based on typology, there are basally thinned Clovis points that weren't fluted. But they will be rare occurrences.


Robert Converse uses the term "Unfluted Fluted Point". This doesn't make sense to me, except to indicate there is a relationship between this point style and fluted points, but this relationship hasn't been proven to my knowledge. If it has been proven please some one tell me the site and the report that documents it.

I've always heard the discription of Colvis "as a fluted point..." To me that means if it isn't fluted it isn't a Clovis. Therefore, the "Unfluted Clovis Point" isn't a Clovis. This would be the same as the Midland Point being an unfluted version of a Folsom Point. We know that they are the same culture because the Folsom and the Midland have been found together at the same level in controled digs, but the Midland isn't a Folsom Point.

Now I have a Folsom Point that is Only fluted on one side-I guess it is a Folsom/Midland- Two points in one. But, remember Folsoms and Midland have been found together in an archaeolgical context so we know it was the same people making them. Does anyone know of a site where they found Clovis and "Unfluted Clovis" points in the same archaeological context? I'm not aware of one. Clearly, to my definition of Clovis as having to be fluted, then unfluted points aren't Clovis Points by this definition. Are we confused yet??? or is it just me? 

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