Ever since we asked ourselves “Who were the first Texans? and where did they come from? We followed the amazing Steve Baird down the rabbit hole that led us to studying the immigration of the giant Mammoths and Mastodons…and the people who hunted and followed them into the North American continent centuries ago. We heard of the Clovis people and the weapons they crafted from chert. All of this led to the development of SaveWaterTexas’ DIGGING UP HISTORY program for use in 4th and 7th grade classrooms.
Today, Alex and I visited the refurbished Blackwater Draw Museum at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, NM. The new gallery provides a showcase for the archaeological work that has been done at the Clovis site over the past 85 years. According to the facility’s brochure, the archaeological finds within the landmark are traced back to prehistoric activities that occurred around an ancient lake and spring.
Some factoids for those who have not followed us down the rabbit hole…
- Most of the activity known from the Clovis site dates to the last 14,000 years.
- Humans have used the Clovis site over a 13,500 year period
- There were about 28 mammoths excavated at the Clovis site over the last 80 years
- Ice Age bison at the Clovis site were a third larger than modern Bison
- The Clovis point is the oldest and most widely distributed single artifact type in North America.
We visited with two archaeology students and enjoyed hearing of their experiences with the Clovis site and their plans for graduate work. The visit was worth every minute!
We left Clovis and traveled to Gallup — which offered scenery as a prelude to the “John Wayne” vistas to come. We head for Window Rock, the Navajo reservation, Shiprock, Monument Valley and Moab — the Red Cliff Lodge. More to come….