AVIM building Antelope Valley Indian Museum
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Antelope Valley Indian Peoples

The Early Visitors: The Paleo Period

(Text that appears in red indicates basic characteristics of the various culture periods. Text in blue denotes important additional details.)

Although there is increasing evidence that human occupation of the Mojave Desert may have taken place much earlier, it is known that the Antelope Valley has been inhabited for at least the past twelve to thirteen thousand years. From the Early Prehistoric period to the present time, the Antelope Valley has been home to many different groups of American Indians.

Woolly mammoth
Inhabitants of Antelope Valley who arrived as the Ice Age (Pleistocene era) was ending are referred to by anthropologists as PaleoIndians. These peoples were believed to have been hunters of the large game animals (such as mammoths and mastodons) that had become extinct by around 10,000 to 9,000 BCE. Few traces of these groups remain, but scattered evidence implies that their quests for food resources may have required frequent or continuous moving over sizable distances.

Clovis fluted point

Folsom fluted point


Among these hunting people's weapons were spears with large "fluted" flaked stone projectile points such as the Clovis and Folsom points shown here. The atlatl, a special spear-throwing device that greatly increased the projectile's thrust and force, was of great strategic importance during this period. Its use, in fact, continued over the next several thousand years.

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Antelope Valley Indian Peoples
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