Archaeologists believe the point, thought to have been crafted between 10,000 and 11,000 years ago, represents a significant find and could be representative of the ancient people referred to by the name "Clovis," an appellation given to a group of artifacts discovered in the early 1930s near Clovis, N.M.
"Its manufacturing technique appears to be Clovis," said Matthew Zweifel, archaeologist for the monument that is administered by the Bureau of Land Management with headquarters in Kanab.
"It's old, old."
As Zweifel held the exquisite object in his fingers Wednesday, he pointed to fluted edges that gradually smoothed out where the point would have been attached to a shaft.
"That's so it wouldn't cut through the sinew, or whatever was used to secure it [to the shaft]," he said.
It is the oldest artifact he knows of that has been found on the southern Utah monument, and an extremely rare example of a Clovis point.
He said several scientists agree it comes from the Clovis period, 8,000 to 11,000 years ago.
One group examined microscopic cracks in the 2 1/2 -inch stone point and was convinced of its authenticity when the weathering patterns inside the cracks matched those on the stone surface.
"There are a lot of good 'flint-nappers' out there now," said Zweifel, referring to folks who create counterfeit stone points. "And we didn't want to be fooled."
He praised the person who found it - Garfield County resident David Holliday - for doing the right thing.
"He left it where it was, photographed it and notified us," said Zweifel. "We hope anyone who makes a similar discovery does the same thing - instead of taking it home and just putting it on their mantel."
Holliday reportedly was traveling in Mexico and unavailable for comment.
Zweifel plans an excavation at the site - he declined to give a precise location - to see if there are other cultural artifacts identifying the prehistoric people who might have left the point in the area.
It is made from stone not indigenous to the monument. But Zweifel said he does not yet know where it came from. It is also surprisingly small compared with other Clovis points that were used as spears tips.
The point could have been used or dropped by a roaming band of Paleo-Indians, or found and recycled by prehistoric Indians from the Archaic period, which lasted between 3,000 and 8,000 years ago, or by later groups, such as the Fremont or Anasazi who populated the area from A.D. 400 to 1200.
"It looks like it was manufactured somewhere else," said Zweifel.
"Maybe on the Great Basin or elsewhere on the Colorado Plateau, and carried into this part of the world."
He said the earliest known occupation in the region was from the Archaic period with evidence of daily living found at a southern Utah area around Big Water.
Joel Janetski, an anthropologist at Provo-based Brigham Young University, has examined the point and concurs that it appears to be an authentic Clovis because of its construction techniques and thickness.
He said whenever an artifact is found lying on the surface by itself, questions of origin are raised - as opposed to those found buried several feet underground, usually with related artifacts.
He said some of the major Clovis finds are on the Great Plains where points, along with bone tools and campsites, have been uncovered among the remains of extinct animals such as mammoths.
Besides some finds in Arizona, not many Clovis points are found in the Rocky Mountain region, he said.
Marietta Eaton, science programs administrator for the monument, agrees the Clovis point is an exciting find.
"It's spectacular and so petite for a Clovis point," she said. "It's exciting to think that people were here that long ago."
The point is likely to end up in a display case for public viewing at the Anasazi State Park Heritage Museum in Boulder, Garfield County.
"It should be seen in a place near where it was located," she said.
Eventually she hopes to see it taken on tour to schools around Utah because it now is a piece of Utah history.
"People should see it," Eaton said.
"This is not going to be just locked in a drawer and forgotten," he said.