The Blackwater Draw Archeological Site revealed bones and artifacts dating to as far back as 13,500 years ago. It contained evidence of the oldest defined cultural group in North America; the Clovis people.
The small Visitor Center included information, photographs, spear points and knife blades, and bone samples excavated from the area. Helpful docents provided good explanations of what the site was like, its history, and discovery.
A trail followed the edge of what once was a prehistoric lake and spring where the artifacts were found. It doesn’t look as it did then due to gravel mining which uncovered the treasure. A few signs along the way explained the discoveries. Several ancient wells have been found.
A metal building covered the main excavation, with exposed bone piles of critters. Ice Age Bison which were 1/4 larger than those today, Columbian Mammoths (28 found in the area), and other assorted animals like peccary, saber-toothed tiger, and dire wolf.
The site is operated by Eastern New Mexico University, and is only open on weekends for a small entry fee in April, May, September, and October (if docents are available). The main museum (at another location) has closed. The collections that were there are being moved to the main campus and should be available when completed.
Camp: Oasis SP drycamp
Scene: Displays, bones, tools, trail
I haven’t heard anything about the Clovis people for a long time. Did they just disappear or did they meld into other cultures. I’d like to see that museum but I’m afraid my traveling days are over.
There is some DNA evidence that the Clovis are distant ancestors of native tribes. That perhaps they dwindled and dispersed and became identified as other pre-historic groups. Look them up on Wikipedia for a good overview.