The Hartley Mammoth, North-Central New Mexico


A scatter of large mammal bone scrap along a shallow rill led to discovery of the Hartley Mammoth site in north-central New Mexico. Informal testing revealed a shallowly buried partial skull and a group of three rib fragments some 2 m apart. On the surface 9 m away was a small, impact-damaged Clovis point, suggesting the possibility that the mammoth had been the victim of Clovis predation. Excavations in 2015 revealed the remains of a juvenile mammoth, consisting of rib fragments, portions of the skull (including both tusks), part of the pelvis, vertebral fragments, and abundant bone scrap. The remains are contained within a remnant of a buried ephemeral stream channel, perched on an elongated slump block of Triassic sedimentary rock, 20 m below the broad Piedra Lumbre basin surface and 60 m above the Rio Puerco, a tributary of the Rio Chama. The matrix is fine sediment and at least one debris-flow deposit. Although no stone artifacts were found, more than a dozen mammoth bone "flakes" were recovered. The "flakes" are generally large and most appear to have been detached from limb bones. Studies of these specimens, the mammoth remains, plus taphonomic, chronometric, and paleoenvironmental analyses, are on-going.

Cite this Record

The Hartley Mammoth, North-Central New Mexico. Bruce Huckell, Timothy Rowe, Leslie McFadden, Grant Meyer, Christopher Merriman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405145)

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Spatial Coverage

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