Illustration of a worked mammoth tusk excavated and on display at the Blackwater Draw site.
Archaeologically speaking, finding the raw material (mammoth ivory), or finding finished tools (ivory rods, shaft wrenches…), is far more common than finding ivory in the process of being modified. The stone tool marks on this artifact are quite distinctive and clearly visible to the naked eye. Read more about this interesting artifact in the 1990 article written by Jeffrey Saunders et al. Dr. Saunders is responsible for most of the identification and stabilization of the faunal remains excavated during the 1960s. He is currently a curator at the Illinois State Museum and his work is displayed with pride at the BWD site’s visitor center.
Saunders, J.J., C. Vance Haynes, Jr., Dennis Stanford, and George A. Agogino
1990 A Mammoth-Ivory Semi-fabricate from Blackwater Locality No. 1, New Mexico. American Antiquity 55:112-119.