Palaeo Period

10,000 to 6,000 BC

The Arrival of the Big Game Hunters

Clovis Point

The Palaeo, or Palaeoindian, Period, is the earliest firmly established era of human activity in Manitoba. It began approximately 12,000 years ago, and some archaeologists attribute its development to the Aboriginal discoverers of North America, who migrated over the Bering land bridge that once connected Alaska and Siberia. These early inhabitants are widely identified by the appearance of similar technologies and subsistence patterns throughout the continent. As elsewhere, Palaeo cultures are represented in Manitoba by the predominance of skillfully crafted stone spearheads, such as the Clovis point in the picture to the left.
Ways of life depended upon the hunting of now extinct giant mammals, such as the mammoth, that thrived in the Ice Age environments typical of the time. This emphasis earned Manitoba's First Peoples the title of "big game hunters".

Artist's rendition of a mammoth kill.
Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, and Citizenship
Historic Resources Branch

The Palaeo period in Manitoba can be subdivided into three successive traditions known as, Clovis, Folsom, and Plano, each of which is marked by new tool kits that were developed in response to changing environmental conditions. The Clovis and Folsom artifacts are sparsely distributed and confined to the southwestern part of the province. Evidence of Plano cultures is much more widespread and assumed the form of three regional variants, each of which was especially suited to exploit the particular food resources within the local environment.

The Palaeo Period in Manitoba

paleoindian period - 

© 1998 Manitoba Archaeological Society
Web Development: Brian Schwimmer, University of Manitoba
Text and Graphics: Brian Schwimmer, Virginia Petch, Linda Larcombe
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