A Possible Mammoth Kill Site in Northeastern New Mexico


Several years ago in a remote canyon in northeastern New Mexico, a rancher found the fragmented remains of what was later determined to be a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). In addition to the mammoth remains, now dated to 13,000 BP, the rancher also found several blades, allegedly in context, of chert that originated on the Edwards Plateau in central Texas (microanalysis of the blades is underway). At the invitation of the ranch manager, we began limited testing at the site in 2010. Since that time fragmented mammoth remains have been recovered, including teeth, bones, and the tip of a tusk. We have also recovered additional chert flakes mixed with many of the bones. However, because of the fragmented condition of the remains and the narrow canyon in which they are found, context remains uncertain. Moreover, no diagnostic Clovis-era tools have been recovered. We continue our testing at the site in hopes of discovering intact bones and diagnostic stone implements in reliable contexts. Additionally, we are in the process of obtaining Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) dates of the buried soils in order to reconstruct the depositional history of the site. Here we present our activities and findings to date.

Cite this Record

A Possible Mammoth Kill Site in Northeastern New Mexico. Warren Lail, Victoria Evans, Amanda Aragon, Joaquin Montoya. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405114)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;