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Museum replicating rare Clovis artifact found in Victoria County

Clovis Core This Clovis blade core unearthed in Victoria County is being replicated by 3D scanning and printing to create a display at the Museum of the Coastal Bend.

Victoria College's Museum of the Coastal Bend is in the process of linking two “cutting-edge” technologies that are 13,000 years apart for an exhibit to open in the near future.

The museum has contracted Custom Creations of Austin to produce 3D scanning and printing of a rare Clovis blade core found in Victoria County. The core, which is on loan from Victoria County resident Marcy Worsham, is just over 7 inches long and approximately 2¾ inches wide. Blade cores were used by prehistoric cultures to knap or fracture in the process of manufacturing stone tools and weapons.

The people who manufactured Clovis points are considered to be North America’s and South America’s earliest inhabitants from around 11,500 B.C., and ancestors of most indigenous people of both continents. Their unique points were first found by archaeologists near Clovis, New Mexico in the early 1900s, and similar points found throughout the Americas have since been referred to as Clovis points.

“It is very rare to find Clovis blade cores, and Clovis stone tools in general, because they are around 13,000 years old,” said Elizabeth Neucere, Museum of the Coastal Bend exhibits & collections manager. “The core is what is left after the flint knapping. It’s referred to as a core because it’s the piece that Native Americans worked on to break off pieces of it that would be worked into various stone tools.”

There will be two replicas made – one for the Worsham family and one for the museum. Neucere said the museum plans to create a display on the Clovis artifact and tie its prehistoric technology with the evolving technology of 3D printing. The museum will document, with video, the 3D replication process to further inform visitors about how old and new technologies can merge.

“Both the original artifact and replica will be on display along with Clovis points that will be 3D printed,” Neucere said. “Presenting it this way will be beneficial to VC students and all visitors, as they will be able to see the differences between two forms of technology – flint knapping versus 3D printing. It will also show them how new technologies like 3D printing can be applied in a variety of ways.”

The Museum of the Coastal Bend is located on VC’s Main Campus at 2200 E. Red River Street in Victoria and is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information on the museum and its exhibits and events, visit MuseumOfTheCoastalBend.org or call (361) 582-2511.