Stalking and killing mammoth or giant bison, large and potentially dangerous game, was not a capricious activity; it required complex knowledge and strategy far beyond that needed for hunting deer or other modern game (with perhaps the exception of bison).Both societies used well-designed, chipped-stone tools. Their spear points, in particular, reflect special craftsmanship.For many years conventional wisdom held that "Clovis culture," existing here approximately 12,000 years ago, represented the hemisphere's initial immigrants.
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In two locations credible evidence for pre-Clovis settlement exists: the eighteen-thousand-year-old Cooperton mammoth remains in Kiowa County, and the Burnham site in Woods County with a suite of relevant radiocarbon dates ranging from 28,000 to 32,000 years ago.
Both locations hold material associated with extinct Ice Age animals.
The Early Specialized Hunters were nomadic groups who moved from one favorable location to another in search of game and perhaps edible plants.
In Folsom's case, movements were very likely dictated by bison herds' distribution and migration.
The Early Arrivals were explorers at the edge of new frontiers, and their motivations, the nature of their society, and the full implications of their actions may never be fully comprehended.
Debate about the peopling of the New World will undoubtedly carry forth, each school with its ardent supporters.
What the sites lack, however, is the clear continuity and unquestionable context found with Clovis culture sites.
Because the context is uncertain and the comparable sites are absent in Oklahoma and the surrounding region, archaeologists have difficulty characterizing these peoples' ways of life.
Another issue concerned the survival of these early arrivals.
Obviously, Clovis culture reflected a successful immigration.
However, other less-well-known Native people inhabited Oklahoma for many thousands of years prior to European arrival on the southern plains in the mid-1500s.