ENMU curates a large collection of cultural materials and fauna from the Blackwater pond area. The artifacts represent a human presence in the area from the end of the Pleistocene through late-prehistory; in all over 12,000 years. Faunal remains from the site extend back even further into the last ice age. The most ubiquitous animals represented in the collections are bison, followed by mammoth, and a variety of other plains animals including deer, pronghorn, fox, and wolf.
As part of the site’s long-term goal, portions of the Archaic and Paleoindian-age bone beds have been left intact and preserved under a building. This project preserves the faunal remains in a display fashion for the public to view just as they were uncovered by the archaeologists. Preservation of bone is generally good at Blackwater draw, as most of the bones were covered by sediments almost immediately after deposition. Aggradation occurred in some cases by water deposition, and later by wind-blown silt and sand. The photo below shows a portion of the late-Paleoindian kill-site.
The site, as well as the Clovis “culture” generally are associated with the distinctive projectile points identified here in the early 1930s. Although known for showing little variation in morphology across most of North America, there is some real variation, within a ideological type at this site and elsewhere.
A range of Clovis types.
And rounding out the set…
Its amazing to think that this, along with so many other early point types are consistent in form and technique over thousands of miles. This specimen is made from Alibates flint, probably from the Canadian River area over 200 km away.
The tool we refer to as an endscraper in the Paleoindian tool-kit is much more than a tool fro scraping hides (if it was ever used for this at all). There are projects underway currently looking at these interesting tools and attempting to understand their full range of functions. Click the photo below to see more “endscrapers” from the collection:
Click the point above for more late Paleoindian tools.