Document Type


Publication Date



A number of functions have been proposed for cached Clovis points. The least complicated hypothesis is that they were intended to arm hunting weapons. It has also been argued that they were produced for use in rituals or in connection with costly signaling displays. Lastly, it has been suggested that some cached Clovis points may have been used as saws. Here we report a study in which we morphometrically compared Clovis points from caches with Clovis points recovered from kill and camp sites to test two predictions of the hypothesis that cached Clovis points were intended to arm hunting weapons: 1) cached points should be the same shape as, but generally larger than, points from kill/camp sites, and 2) cached points and points from kill/camp sites should follow the same allometric trajectory. The results of the analyses are consistent with both predictions and therefore support the hypothesis. A follow-up review of the fit between the results of the analyses and the predictions of the other hypotheses indicates that the analyses support only the hunting equipment hypothesis. We conclude from this that cached Clovis points were likely produced with the intention of using them to arm hunting weapons.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Publication Title







© 2012 the authors. Published under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0. Original published version available at

Buchanan B., Kilby J.D., Huckell B.B., O'Brien M.J., Collard M.. 2012. A morphometric assessment of the intended function of cached Clovis points.

Included in

Anthropology Commons