The archaeological record in some 17,500 sites offers evidence for the presence of prehistoric or early historic people over an incredible expanse of time from perhaps 30,000 years ago to as recently as the Dust Bowl era.

Within North and South America's archaeological community a heated debate concerns the Early Arrivals who first peopled the New World.

Stalking and killing mammoth or giant bison, large and potentially dangerous game, was not a capricious activity; it required complex knowledge and strategy far beyond that needed for hunting deer or other modern game (with perhaps the exception of bison).

Both societies used well-designed, chipped-stone tools. Their spear points, in particular, reflect special craftsmanship.

Our only well-documented Clovis sites are Domebo in Caddo County, where a group/band of these people killed an Imperial Mammoth some 11,800 years ago, and Jake Bluff in Harper County, a bison kill.

Two Folsom sites are present in Harper County in northwest Oklahoma.

For many years conventional wisdom held that "Clovis culture," existing here approximately 12,000 years ago, represented the hemisphere's initial immigrants.

Scholars generally also accepted the idea that Clovis culture was the primary pulse of early settlement.

However, other less-well-known Native people inhabited Oklahoma for many thousands of years prior to European arrival on the southern plains in the mid-1500s.

The Wichita and the Caddo can be traced back in prehistory at least two thousand years, and the Osage and Apachean-speaking people can perhaps be documented here prior to the arrival of Europeans.

In two locations credible evidence for pre-Clovis settlement exists: the eighteen-thousand-year-old Cooperton mammoth remains in Kiowa County, and the Burnham site in Woods County with a suite of relevant radiocarbon dates ranging from 28,000 to 32,000 years ago.

Both locations hold material associated with extinct Ice Age animals.

While artifacts of Clovis people occur throughout the state, Folsom materials are restricted to the southern plains or the western part of the state.