In some parts of the country these peoples targeted elephants and other large game, but no evidence for this has yet been found in Georgia.Once local resources were exhausted or depressed, they relocated to a new area, possibly quite some distance away.The initial human settlement of Georgia took place during one of the most dramatic periods of climate change in recent earth history, toward the end of the Ice Age, in the Late Pleistocene epoch.Exactly when human beings first arrived is currently unknown, although people had to have been present 13,250 years ago: distinctive artifacts of the Clovis culture (so named from the New Mexico town of Clovis, where the characteristic stone projectile points with a central groove were first unearthed) have been found at a number of locations across the state.Several such moves may have occurred over the course of a year.
Several hundred Paleoindian points are currently known from the state, although the number is tiny compared with the tens of thousands of later points that have been found. Stone tools, particularly early in the period, were commonly made of the highest-quality materials.Over the course of the Paleoindian era, comparatively fixed base camps gave way to more mobile foraging, with people readily and repeatedly moving their camps as they exhausted the food supply in their immediate area.Global temperature was rising rapidly during the interval from 15,000 to 11,000 years ago, albeit with occasional sharp reverses, and the great continental ice sheets were retreating, causing the coastline to move rapidly inland. The Early Paleoindian is characterized by Clovis and related projectile point forms.During this interval massive extinctions of such animals as elephants, horses, camels, and other megafauna took place, and plant communities shifted location and composition in dramatic fashion. These forms have relatively large lanceolate (lance-shaped) points with nearly parallel sides, slightly concave bases, and single or multiple basal flake scars, or flutes, that rarely extend more than a third of the way up the body.No large Paleoindian sites have yet been excavated in Georgia, and much of our knowledge about these peoples is based on discoveries elsewhere in the region and beyond.