Cactus Hill vs Solutreans

24/02/2010 at 12:18 am (Prehistory)

The most significant find in American archaeology is Cactus Hill.

Until recently most Americans would have learnt at school the first people arrived in America by crossing the Baring Strait 13,000 years ago. With them they brought a unique new technology called Clovis and they became known as the Clovis people.

For a long time archaeologists had believed there were a people in America before the Clovis people, a number of finds and sites had been discovered over the years. In the 90’s the discovery of Cactus Hill finally provided the irrefutable evidence to prove this view.

Four main questions arise, who these earlier people were, where did they come from and when did they arrive? And were they the only earlier people or were there others?

In an earlier Blog I covered Solutrean Theory.

Solutrean theory has taken on board Cactus Hill and suggests the finds at Cactus Hill are the missing link between the Solutreans who disapeared 18,000 years ago and the Clovis culture which began around 13,000 years ago.

Personally looking at the Cactus Hill technology I find it far too primitive. While there is parallell flaking in Cactus Hill it is crude and nowhere near matches the Solutreans or Clovis Culture and doesn’t resemble a continuity period.

This superb documentary on Cactus Hill explains the significance of the site.
Cactus Hill Video


  1. Dennie Howell said,

    I have found a archaeology site that contains solutrean artifacts as well as a type of knapping known as levallois, if there is anyone interested in seeing these artifacts please contact me @

  2. Richard Welch said,

    It would have been virtually impossible for Asian migrants to reach the American heartland before the Bolling interstadial of ca. 14,000 years ago. Since the proto-Clovis material from Cactus Hill is clearly older than that, some version of the .Solutrean hypothesis is almost inescapable. The geography of the North Atlantic was quite different during the last glaciation than has been commonlly assumed (see Roots of Cataclysm, Algora Publ. NY 2009)

  3. JNH@SGV said,

    I have a strong feeling based on 20 years of research that people were in the americas long before 14,000 yrs. the problem is the soils that of the appropriate age and at the right location that contain these artifacts are extremely rare and have not been well preserved in the Americas for some unknown reason. The academic leaders in archeology are going to have to learn how to locate these deposits. Many experts assume that these soils are sterile and most excavations do not examine the deeper artifact bearing materials. If the soil profile has fast rates of deposition chances of finding anything are next to none. FYI

  4. af said,

    The artifact shown here attributed from Cactus Hill is from the Gault site in Texas

  5. Radolf said,

    Twelve new solutrean leaf shaped spearheads have been found in North America. They will be disclosed in October 2013 at the PaleoAmerican confrence, held in New Mexico.

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