The mysterious Kennewick Man, who died 9,000 years ago in the Columbia River Valley, was a seal hunter who rambled far and wide with a projectile point lodged in his hip, five broken ribs that never healed properly, two small dents in his skull and a bum shoulder from the repetitive stress of throwing spears.
He came from somewhere far away, far up the Pacific Northwest coast, possibly Alaska or the Aleutian Islands. He might even have come to North America all the way from Asia.
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Augering has determined that approximate three meters of aeolian sand has blown into the excavation in the last 40 years.
Therefore, machinery is brought in to help remove some of the overburden.
Budget constraints have limited the size and type of vehicle used but any help will be appreciated.
Excavator in action
More to follow…
I am adding a history page that will highlight some of the many photos of work related to the Clovis site over the years. Although work occurred here over many years, most of our photos date from the late 1960s or after. Click the photo or use the menu bar to see more.
Eastern New Mexico University’s 2009 Field School will be held at BWD from June 8 – July 10, and can be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. Click the Field School tab at the top of this page to see more information.
Anth 586 students are performing granulometric analyses on sediments from the Folsom wedge and the Clovis block. Students will analyze particle size distributions and make observations on the morphology of individual sediment grains. These data will help interpret the conditions under which sediments were deposited, and thus interpret the environment in which the Folsom- and Clovis-age deposits accumulated. A total of 1000g of sediment was collected from the two blocks, with each student responsible for examining a 100g sample. Sample collection in the SE quad of the Folsom wedge was complicated by the dense bone in that area.
Donald Brothers collects a sediment sample from the Clovis block. Note the sandy texture and gravels.
Sediment samples were collected by first cleaning off a fresh surface of the sediment block to avoid any foreign sediments introduced from the plaster jacket or other sources of contamination. Sediments were then excavated with trowels and bamboo tools and collected by brush into containers. When collection was complete, the contents of the containers were transferred to ziplock bags and labeled. Samples were taken to Lea Hall for preparation and analysis.
Jim McKenzie and Steve Kilgore collect sediments from NE quad of the Folsom wedge. Folsom wedge sediments are considerably more fine-textured.
Recent Anth 586 work on the Folsom wedge and Clovis sediment blocks includes combined efforts toward bone identification, mapping, and ongoing stabilization. Bone identification is challenging due to the confusing jumble of elements as well as the condition of the elements themselves. With the aid of ENMU zooarchaeologist Kathy Durand, we have identified the majority of elements visible on the surface of the Folsom wedge (including ribs, scapulae, radius-ulnae, a metapodial, and a single tooth – all presumably bison), as well as the mammoth rib fragment in the Clovis block.
Dr. Kathy Durand examines a tooth fragment in the Folsom wedge.
A radius-ulna/metacarpal articulation indicates a relatively intact forelimb in the SE quad of the Folsom wedge. Other elements appear to be disarticulated but mostly complete.
SE quad of the Folsom wedge, the radius-ulna/metacarpal articulation is visible to the left of the upper blue pin.
Due to its fragility, all bone is treated with PaleoBond preservative as its surface is exposed through cleaning or excavation. Immediate treatment seems to help minimize the crumbling and separation of cortical from cancellous bone the elements undergo upon exposure.
George Crawford applies preservative to recently exposed bone.
Both the Folsom wedge and the Clovis sediment block are being mapped in plan view. Each block has a permanent (but arbitrary) elevation datum. The Folsom wedge is gridded as a 2 x 2m unit with the 100cmN/100cmE point roughly centered on the block. The block is divided arbitrarily into directional quadrants (e.g. SW quad) based upon its present orientation. It’s original orientation is currently unknown.
Steve Knipe takes measurements from the Folsom wedge as Ben Edwards records.
The Clovis block is centered on a 1 x 1m grid, also oriented arbitrarily.