Baylor University
Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences

Geology News Items

Mike Waters Distinguised Lecture to Speak on October 11

Aug. 18, 2012

Dr. Mike Waters is scheduled to speak In Search of the First Americans on October 11, 2012 at 7:00pm (location to be determined). For over a century, archaeologists have been searching for clues to understand the prehistoric colonization of the Americas. When did the first people enter the Americas? Where did they come from? What routes did they take into the New World? How did they cope with the new environments they encountered from Canada to Argentina? Since the discovery of the Clovis complex at Blackwater Draw, New Mexico, an elegant model developed that shaped our thinking for decades about the first Americans. The Clovis First Model, states that a small band of hunters entered the Americas 13,500 years ago and populated the entire New World in 800 years. According to the model, these people were the first and only early migrants to the New World. Further, all later New World cultures are decedents of Clovis. Many new archaeological discoveries and advances in human genetics are calling the Clovis First Model into question and shaping a new understanding of the first Americans. This new evidence shows that people were in the Americas before Clovis and that we must rethink what we know about Clovis and develop a new model the explain the peopling of the Americas.