Finding Clovis, Part 1 -The Topper Site

Who were the first South Carolinians? The Clovis people were prehistoric nomads, fantastic hunters, and creators of amazing stone tools. This program takes a look at how these people arrived in South Carolina. People wandered in and out of the region, driven by their basic needs for food and warmth.

Topper is an archeological site located along the Savannah River in Allendale County, South Carolina, named for its finder, David Topper.  When Topper was introduced to the scientific community in 1981, it quickly became known as a treasure trove for artifacts, especially from the Clovis culture. The Topper site is one of the most remarkable Clovis assemblages ever found in North America, certainly in the southeastern United States.

The Clovis people, named for a town near an archeological site in New Mexico, lived in South Carolina and much of the eastern and western United States around 13,000 years ago, near the end of the last Ice Age. These fearless hunters attacked their prey in groups. They hunted megafauna: bison, mastodon, and mammoth. Clovis used a characteristic fluted point, grooved on both sides so it could be attached, or hafted , to a shaft. This is known  as bifacial technology and is highly advanced. The Clovis people were perhaps the most remarkable, the best lithic technologists or stone knappers that ever occurred in North America.