The Kimmswick Site (23JE02) is a highly significant archaeological site in Missouri that is protected within Mastodon State Park. Several excavations have taken place at the site, but proof of its significance as a Clovis kill site would not come about until the excavations in 1979, 1980 and 1984.

Clovis point from layer C-3 in excavation unit L-22, specimen no. 32. This artifact is similar to examples from sites in the West such as Blackwater Draw and Naco. It was found amongst disarticulated foot bones of an adult mastodon and adjacent to a lenticular concentration of botryoidal manganese. Length = 102.0 mm. Width = 24.2 mm. Thickness = 6.9 mm. Weight = 21.1 grams. The flute flake removed from the obverse of the Clovis measures 18 by 12 mm.

Clovis point found in situ during the 1979 excavation season. Found in layer C-3 in excavation unit L-22, specimen no. 32. The point was discovered by Judy Caito - a volunteer and member of the Mound City Chapter of the Missouri Archaeological Society. Slide loaned by Dr. Russell Graham.

Clovis point found in situ beneath a large bone fragment during the 1980 excavation season. Found in Layer C-3 in excavation unit H-22; specimen No. 83. It was extensively resharpened by the Clovis hunters. It was 1.25 meters away from the Clovis point in excavation unit L-22. The elevation of the two artifacts differed by only 1.5 centimeters. Slide loaned by Dr. Russell Graham.

Resharpened Clovis Point found in excavation unit H-22. Length = 30.4 mm. Width = 19.1 mm. Thickness = 6.0 mm. Weight = 4.4 grams.

Clovis point from the Kimmswick Site in Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago). Length = 50 mm. This point was discovered by uncontrolled excavation during the early 1900s by C. W. Beehler. The black-and-white photographs are from the excavation report by Dr. Russell Graham. Field Museum of Natural History No. 205526; Univ. of MO No. 79-22 Eichenberger cast collection. The color image was copied from the University of Missouri Anthropology Museum website (

Reverse Hinge Fractured Clovis preform from the lowest Clovis layer (Layer C-1) at the Kimmswick Site. Black-and-white image scanned from a slide provided by Dr. Russell Graham. Length = 41.6 mm. Maximum Width = 32.8 mm. Thickness = 8.2 mm. Weight = 15.5 grams.
Click here to see a reverse hinge fractured Clovis preform from the Martens Site (23SL222) in St. Louis County, MO.

Dr. Russell Graham gives a tour of the Kimmswick Site to members of the Missouri Archaeological Society during 1981. Dr. Russell Graham excavated at the Kimmswick Site on behalf of the Missouri Parks Department and the Illinois State Museum. He uncovered one Clovis point during the 1979, and continued working at the site during 1980 and 1984. A Clovis point was discovered during 1980 and another during 1984. Michael Fuller visited the site during 1979 immediately after the discovery of the first Clovis point and took Kodachrome slides during that visit. The slides were digitized by St. Louis Community College Instructional Resources.

Adult Mastodon tooth and other teeth in plaster jackets. Upper Clovis component at the Kimmswick Site. Slide loaned by Dr. Russell Graham.

Utilized flake from the Clovis layer C-3. Bifacial tool fragment from the Clovis Layer C-3. Graver on the edge of a chert flake from the Clovis layer C-3.

Generalized stratigraphic profile of the Kimmswick Site. Copied from a Missouri Archaeological Society publication.

Top plan of excavation areas at the Kimmswick Site. Copied from a Missouri Archaeological Society publication.

Plot of excavation units yielding Clovis points and the St. Charles point. Copied from a Missouri Archaeological Society publication.

Excavation unit at the Kimmswick site where the Holocene (after Ice Age) soil deposits have been removed until the top of the Pleistocene (Ice Age) deposits appear. A deep probe (in the foreground) shows the depth of Pleistocene boulder and clay deposits. The Clovis points were found in two stratified and superimposed pond deposits.

Transit set up at the site during 1979 to measure elevation of bones and artifacts uncovered by the excavation at Kimmswick.

Excavating at Kimmswick during summer 1979.

Excavating at Kimmswick during summer 1979.

Excavation unit at Kimmswick where the Holocene soil deposits are removed in half of the square to reach the Pleistocene deposits.

Soil from the Kimmswick Site was wasterscreened through a sieve lined with window screen mesh in order to find small bones and waste flakes.

Basal fragment of a St. Charles Notched type that was found in the Holocene (post Ice Age deposits) above the Ice Age deposits containing the Clovis points. This specific artifact was found in stratigraphic unit D of excavation unit P-26 at the site. This type of stone tool was manufactured between 7500 and 7000 based upon radiocarbon dating of charcoal samples from other sites with St. Charles points. Slide provided by Dr. Russell Graham.
Animals bones found in the Ice Age deposits:
American Mastodon (Mammut americanum)
Moose (Cervalces sp.)
Elk (Cervus sp.)
Cottontail rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.)
Squirrel (Sciurus sp.)
Marmot (Marmota cf. monax)
Bog Lemming (Synaptomys cooperi)
Pine or prairie vole (Microtus pinetorum/ochrogaster)
Meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus)
13 lined Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus cf. tridecemlineatus)
Wood rat (Neotoma sp.)
Field Mouse (Peromyscus sp.)
Pocket Gospher (Geomys bursarius)
Long tailed weasel (Mustela frenata)
Jefferson's ground slothMegalonyx cs. jeffersoni bones
Paramylodon ossicles (they loved prairies) Long nosed peccaryMylohyus nasutus
White tailed deerOdocoileus virginianus

Lizard, snake, and turtle
Freshwater Drum (Aplodinotus grunniens)

Russell Graham found in situ Clovis points with teeth of an adult Mastodon and a juvenile. His assumption is a cow and calf kill. The limbs of the animals were missing, carried away.


Chapman, Carl
1975 The Archaeology of Missouri, Volume 1 . University of Missouri Press, Columbia

Graham, Russell W., and Marvin Kay
1988 Taphonomic comparisons of cultural and noncultural faunal deposits at the Kimmswick and Barnhart Sites, Jefferson County, Missouri. Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 33:227-240.

O'Brien, Michael and W. Raymond Wood
1998 The Prehistory of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Special thanks to Dr. Russell Graham for loaning slides from the excavation for use in teaching Missouri Archaeology. Many thanks to Ken Cole, Nancy Smith and Brook (Missouri Dept. of Natural Resources - Mastodon State Park) for allowing me to examine the original artifacts and to study spear vulnerability of a Mastodon. Special thanks to Ettus Hiatt for her help with text and content editing.

Webpage Created 29 August 2003
Webpage Updated 22 September 2009