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A Journey to a New Land

Bison
Post secondary Level Resources

Blackwater Draw

The Blackwater Draw archaeological site, located near the town of Clovis, New Mexico, is the type site for the Clovis archaeological culture. The distinctive fluted Clovis points were identified for the first time during excavations at this site in the early 1930's. Radiocarbon dates put the Clovis occupation of the site at about 11,300 – 11,000 years BP.

The fluted points, along with other types of stone and bone tools and weapons, were found in association with the remains of Pleistocenemegafauna, including mammoth and bison. Other animals, such as the short faced bear, dire wolf, camel and saber-tooth cat, were also represented at the site.

An interesting and unique feature found at the Blackwater Draw site was a hand-dug water well that dates to the Clovis period. This is the oldest known water well in America.

In addition to the Clovis occupation, multiple cultural layers were identified at Blackwater Draw, indicating that the site was occupied for thousands of years after the Clovis period.

Blackwater Draw is one of the best known archaeological sites in North America, and has been designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States government.

Clovis point

Clovis point

Further Reading:

Hester, J. J.
1972 Blackwater Locality No. 1: A Stratified Early Man Site in Eastern New Mexico. With sections by Ernest L. Lundelius, Jr. and Roald Fryxell. Fort Burgwin Research Center, Southern Methodist University, Rancho de Taos, New Mexico.