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New Investigations into a Late Paleoindian Bison Kill and Terminal Pleistocene Environmental Change at Blackwater Draw Locality 1

Author(s): David Kilby ; Stacey Bennett ; George Crawford

Year: 2015

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Intensive investigation of an area of Blackwater Draw Locality 1 known as "Isequilla’s Pit" has revealed a well-preserved stratigraphic sequence and the remains of a Late Paleoindian-age bison kill. The work constitutes a resumption of excavation in this area of the South Bank, as Alberto Isequilla abruptly abandoned his fieldwork in 1969, leaving behind an open excavation pit and few field records. Over the past 6 years, the ENMU Archaeological Field School has successfully relocated and mapped Alberto Isequilla’s excavation grid, and carried out excavations of Unit E (Carbonaceous silt/Late Paleoindian) and Unit D (Diatomite/Folsom) sediments. Both stratigraphic units contain faunal remains and sparse cultural material, but the concentration of bison remains in Unit E appears to represent a portion of an extensive Late Paleoindian (presumably Cody) bison kill. Paleoenvironmental investigations indicate that this kill was made near the outlet channel of a prehistoric body of water that was in transition from a Younger Dryas-age freshwater pond to an increasingly alkaline early Holocene marsh. This paper presents the results of an integrated series of archaeological, faunal, geomorphic, and paleoenvironmental investigations, and attempts shed additional light on a relatively poorly known time period in the Southwest and Southern High Plains.

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New Investigations into a Late Paleoindian Bison Kill and Terminal Pleistocene Environmental Change at Blackwater Draw Locality 1. David Kilby, George Crawford, Stacey Bennett. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398281)



Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America