Paleo & Archaic Periods Essay

Total Length: 2280 words ( 8 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 6

Page 1 of 8

Commitment Expectations

The major topic I have decided to research is the topic of the progression of the ancient people from the Clovis Period to the Late Archaic Period as represented by the artifacts and art that have survived them. Specifically, the paper will use the spear points of the Clovis Period found in Iowa from 11,000 BC and the White Shaman Mural found in West Texas from 2000 BC to describe the evolution of the ancient world—an evolution that begin with the people’s need simply to survive by hunting and using the spear points as a tool; after the progression of thousands of years and the migration of peoples to a region where they had new tools—rock walls—to tell stories and communicate ideas about where life came from, the people were able to address higher needs, such as the establishment of authority in the community and a myth about where they came from and why their spiritual leaders should be respected. The lens through which these works of art and artifacts and the cultures that produced them can be viewed is the theory of the hierarchy of needs.

Preliminaries Expectations

Outline

I. Introduction

a. The story of the ancient world can be pieced together by the artifacts which have survived it.

b. The spear points and the White Shaman Mural serve as two points of reference that tell a story of progress for the ancient world.

c. From tools used to survive to tools used to create a myth for the people to believe in, this story can be seen.

d. Thesis: This paper looks at the ancient spear points of the Clovis Period in Iowa, U.S., and the White Shaman Mural of the Late Archaic Period in West Texas, U.S., to show how the early people of this part of the world developed over the course of centuries and moved from a society focused on hunting and killing to survive (represented by the spear points) to a people interested in ideas and communicating a message of creation and where they came from (represented by the White Shaman Mural).

II. Body

a. Spear Points

i. Stone hunting tools—functional rather than aesthetic use

ii. Found in Iowa

iii. Clovis Period

b. White Shaman Mural

i. Found in West Texas

ii. Late Archaic Period

iii. Aesthetic and communicative use

c. The progression of civilization in the ancient world

i. Meeting different needs

ii. The need to survive in the Clovis Period

iii. The need to communicate ideas and establish a hierarchy in the community complete with an origin story in the Late Archaic Period

III. Conclusion

a. The progress of the ancient world can be represented by the art and artifacts left behind.

b. These works tell us about who these people were, what their needs were, and how they developed over time.

From the Spear to the Mural: The Development of the Ancient World

The story of the ancient world can be pieced together by the artifacts which have survived it. Thousands of years have passed since cultures and civilizations of the past disappeared, and yet a handful of artifacts remain to offer some insight into who these people were and what they believed or what their focus in life was all about. This paper looks at two art different art pieces from two different time periods of the ancient world and from two different places; it uses these works to show how as time passed, the peoples of the world developed the tools and ideas needed to form stable societies—which is reflected in the art and artifacts that have been left behind. Specifically, this paper looks at the ancient spear points of the Clovis Period in Iowa, U.S., and the White Shaman Mural of the Late Archaic Period in West Texas, U.
S., to show how the early people of this part of the world developed over the course of centuries and moved from a society focused on hunting and killing to survive (represented by the spear points) to a people interested in ideas and communicating a message of creation and where they came from (represented by the White Shaman Mural).

The spear points of the Clovis Period located in Iowa, U.S. date from approximately 11,000 BC. These artifacts had a functional rather than an aesthetic use and their function was to enable the person using them to hunt and kill. They are flat with stony ridges and sharp edges and points that could easily be used to pierce the flesh of an animal when attached to a long rod or stick or projected with some force and velocity through the air. The…

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…shamans over the people.[footnoteRef:7] This would indicate that the Mural was used at the very highest level of the needs hierarchy—as a way for leaders within the community to assert themselves and make a claim of authority of the others in the community. The rock art indicates that whatever meaning and symbolism the Mural conveyed, it had immense significance based just on the size of the painting alone (scaffolding would have been needed to complete the painting as the Mural reaches up over 13 feet high) and the clustering of shapes and images as well as well as the variety of colors used in the painting.[footnoteRef:8] All this detail and differentiation indicates that something very significant was transpiring in this communicative text. Regardless of what it was, the progression over the centuries and millennia from hunting and living beneath the stars in the Midwest to making rock art to communicate something about the origins of life and the need for leaders to be respected shows that from the Clovis Period to the period of the Late Archaic a transformation in society occurred. This transformation was likely rooted in the development of a sense of shared identity, forged over the years as their communities stabilized and the need just to survive gave way to a need to define themselves and their relationships with one another. A need for leadership likely grew from this seed and the need for a creation story to give them a sense of place naturally emerged. Studying these works, their context and their content can help to show who these people were and what they did to progress and develop over time. [7: Powell, Eric. “Reading the White Shaman Mural.” Archeology Magazine, Nov/Dec 2017.] [8: Ibid.]

In conclusion, the progress of the ancient world can be represented by the art and artifacts left behind. These works tell us about who these people were, what their needs were, and how they developed over time. The story of the people of ancient world can be seen in the spear points of Iowa from the Clovis Period of 11,000 BC. Their story was one of survival—of hunting and living beneath the sky in the immense prairies of the Midwest, using the bison as a source of life. The White Shaman Mural of the Late Archaic period of 2000 BC tells a different story: the people of West Texas in the….....

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Bibliography

Boyd, Carolyn E., and Kim Cox. The White Shaman Mural: An Enduring Creation Narrative in the Rock Art of the Lower Pecos. University of Texas Press, 2016.

Feeney, Kevin. "Texas Peyote Culture." Cactus and Succulent Journal 90, no. 1 (2018):29-38.

Justice, Noel D. Stone Age spear and arrow points of the midcontinental and eastern United States: a modern survey and reference. Indiana University Press, 1995.

McLeod, Saul. "Maslow's hierarchy of needs." Simply Psychology 1 (2007).

Powell, Eric. “Reading the White Shaman Mural.” Archeology Magazine, Nov/Dec 2017.

Tuck, James A. "Early archaic horizons in eastern North America." Archaeology of Eastern North America 2, no. 1 (1974): 72-80.

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