TAS Field Trip to the Blackwater Draw Clovis Site and Museum, Clovis-Portales Area – May 5 & 6 (with updated information)
Two New Mexico Paleoindian sites of world importance both gave their names to major cultures first described there: the Folsom and the Clovis. For decades the Clovis people were believed to have been the first in the Americas though it now seems clear that several sites predate the c. 13,000-13,500 B.P. oldest Clovis sites. Join us to see both the original Clovis discovery site where archaeological work continues, at Blackwater Draw (a once well-watered ravine), and in the small museum nearby largely devoted to Clovis and other New Mexico-West Texas Paleoindian and Archaic groups.
Additional Info on Blackwater Draw site field trip, May 5 & 6, 2012.
1) Dr. George Crawford, Eastern New Mexico University archaeologist in charge of the site and the museum will join us at the site to speak about past and on-going research there and will then accompany us on our site visit.
2) The Blackwater Draw site opens at 9 AM on Sunday, so we will plan on all being there at 9 AM sharp (not 10 AM as stated previously) to start our visit.
3) Saturday May 5 is, it happens, the annual open house at the site, with demonstrations of such things as stone tool knapping, pot making and firing, basket making, etc.; and Dr. Crawford urges all who can to come! Usually about 200 persons attend the event. Some of us will therefore drive to Clovis-Portales early enough on May 5th to visit the site and its events before their 5 PM closing. Kindly arrange this on your own.
4) Our first time to officially assemble will still be 6:30 PM on Saturday evening at Vines Italian Restaurant on the square at Portales, and I must make firm reservations for a restaurant very busy on Saturday nights.
The actual site is fascinating as archaeologists have preserved (and built a cover over) a large bone bed with hundreds of extinct giant bison bones still in place. We’ll also see a protected Clovis period hand-dug well and hope to have a talk by either an archaeologist or graduate student working at the site.
At the nearby museum we hope to arrange again for a local professional to speak to us about the displays and the cultures represented.
Participants make their own way to the Clovis-Portales area. (We think Route 84 from just south of Las Vegas to Route 40 outside Santa Rosa has especially nice, unspoiled scenery, and you’re nearly guaranteed to see Prong- horns.) For those who wish to camp (as Jon and I), Oasis State Park has full tent and RV facilities and is just down the road from the site. If you care to call and try to reserve a camp site ahead, their listed number is 505-356-5331.
There are many motels in the area, especially along Rts. 60/84 – your choice.
We’ll plan on first meeting Saturday, May 5, at 6:30 PM at Vines Italian Restaurant in Portales. (We found it quite good in 2010). It’s on the main square of Portales so easy to find. I’ll need to hear how many plan on dining then so I can make reservations. We’ll next meet at the Blackwater Draw site Itself at 10 AM sharp on Sunday, May 6th. It’s well signed on Rte. 467 between Clovis and Portales. Everyone please bring a pack lunch on Sunday so we’re flexible and can take all the time we need to tour the site and the museum.
The trip will end Sunday afternoon in time to drive back to Taos though some of us may camp an additional night at Oasis State Park.
Kindly contact Frank Oatman, trip wrangler, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 575-776-2551 if you plan to join us. There is no restriction on the number participating.