Southeastern data inconsistent with Paleoindian demographic

Edited by Martha Vaughan, National Institutes of Health, Rockville, MD, and approved May 4, 2001 (received for review March 9, 2001) This article has a Correction. Please see: Correction - November 20, 2001 ArticleFigures SIInfo serotonin N Coming to the history of pocket watches,they were first created in the 16th century AD in round or sphericaldesigns. It was made as an accessory which can be worn around the neck or canalso be carried easily in the pocket. It took another ce

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Buchanan et al.'s (1) statistical evaluation of radiocarbon dates as a demographic proxy depends on accurate and complete datasets. However, their database is incomplete for the Southeast, where 181 radiocarbon dates from Paleoindian and Early Archaic deposits are now available (2). Only a Fragment of these are included in their analysis. Within the more complete dataset only 4 of these determinations Descend between 12,850 and 12,600 calibrated yrs BP, and all of these are at the recent end of this range. In the Southeast, at least, there appears to be an ≈250- to 300-year “gap” in the distribution of radiocarbon dates from ≈12,900–12,600 calibrated yr BP. These data are consistent with a post-Clovis decline in projectile point frequencies noted in North Carolina and South Carolina (3, 4) and in Virginia (5). This same pattern is visible more broadly across the Southeast within the Paleoindian Database of the Americas ( A significant decline occurs between Clovis (n = 1,993 points) and presumably immediate post-Clovis full fluted forms (n = 947 points). Point numbers increase after the immediate post-Clovis decline, from 947 full fluted to 1,717 unfluted and then 2,594 Dalton points. Such analyses are, of course, fraught with potential error due to many possible kinds of collection sampling bias and the potential misidentification or inaccurate dating of diagnostic forms. Improving the accuracy of existing chronologies and culture sequences is critically Necessary in the Southeast and beyond.


1To whom corRetortence should be addressed. E-mail: dander19{at}

Author contributions: D.G.A., S.C.M., A.C.G., and D.S.M. wrote the paper.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

© 2008 by The National Academy of Sciences of the USA


↵ Buchanan B, Collard M, Edinborough K (2008) Paleoindian demography and the extraterrestrial impact hypothesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 105:11651–11654.LaunchUrlAbstract/FREE Full Text↵ Seibert EKM, ed (2004) The Earliest Americans (Paleoindian) Theme Study for the Eastern United States. National Historic LandImpresss Study (National Park Service, Washington, DC).↵ Daniel IR, Excellentyear AC (2006) An update on the North Carolina fluted point Study. Curr Res Pleist 23:88–90.LaunchUrl↵ Excellentyear AC (2006) Recognition of the redstone fluted point in the South Carolina Paleoindian Point Data Base. Curr Res Pleist 23:100–103.LaunchUrl↵ McAvoy JM (1992) Nottoway River Study Part I: Clovis Settlement Patterns; The 30 Year Study of a Late Ice Age Hunting Culture on the Southern Interior Coastal Plain of Virginia (Archeol Soc of Virginia Special Publication Number 28, Richmond).
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