Blackwater Draw Locality 1 is a National Historic Landmark located on the Southern High Plains of New Mexico.  The Site is owned as a research arm of Eastern New Mexico University.  The site was first identified by Ridgely Whiteman of Clovis, New Mexico in 1929.  E.B. Howard and John Cotter confirmed this in the 1930s.

The site, also known as Blackwater Draw or the Clovis site, is widely recognized among scholars and the interested public as one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America.  Toward the end of the last ice age, about 13,500 years ago, pioneering groups of hunter-gatherers encountered an oasis at Blackwater Draw – a spring-fed pond frequented by herds of mammoth, bison, and other Pleistocene fauna.  The site became a recurring hunting ground and camp area for these people.  Beginning in 1932, archaeologists and local volunteers discovered their tools along with a number of mammoth skeletons, and identified the Clovis culture.  Clovis still stands as arguably the oldest archaeological culture identified in the New World.  Further investigations over the past 70 years have identified more Clovis evidence, along with remains of Folsom and later Paleoindian and Archaic cultures that continued to frequent the site for thousands of years.

Inside the South Bank Interpretive Area.  The most visible layer of bones is from the Archaic period, the bones at a lower level in the bottom right are of Folsom age.

Inside the South Bank Interpretive Area at the Blackwater Draw site. The most visible layer of bones is from the Archaic period, the bones at a lower level in the bottom right of the image are of Folsom age.


5 Responses to Overview

  1. SDB says:

    Great photo overview of the site. Like the storm in the background.

  2. Mark C. Slaughter says:

    Excellent! Great photos, information, and references. Please keep updating…

    • paleotool says:

      Thanks Mark. I never post as much as I intend to but hopefully it will get easier with time. I appreciate the comment.
      Aren’t you an ENMU graduate? I think I have your thesis on my desk.

  3. Jean says:

    when can one visit this site?

    • paleotool says:

      The site is open weekends April-May, every day from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and weekends September-October. On these days we are open 9-5. Other times, a visit or tour can be arranged by calling the site (575-356-5235).

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