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Portales, New Mexico: Ancient Bones Dig Site

Stand indoors and watch scientists dig up bones of mammoths and other animals killed by ancient people. Supposedly the oldest known site of human activity in the Americas.

Blackwater Draw Locality #1

Hwy 467, Portales, NM
Blackwater Draw Locality #1. From Portales drive northeast on US Hwy 70 for one mile. Turn left (north) onto Hwy 467. Drive five miles. You'll see a big historical marker for the Blackwater Draw on the right; the entrance is opposite it, on the left side of the highway. Gated after hours.
Summer Tu-Su 9-5; weekends only Spring and Fall; closed in Winter. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
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Dig site.

Blackwater Draw Locality #1 Dig Site

Blackwater Draw is famous for being the site of the discovery of Clovis people, the oldest "modern" human culture found in the Americas. "Locality #1" is the dig site, north of Portales. A small museum with fossil casts and real mega-fauna fossils is there along with self-guided tour of the dig site. The highlight is the covered building where the strata are exposed showing the huge jumble of bones that were uncovered and are still being uncovered at this prehistoric site. Locality #1 is also notable for having the oldest human-dug water well in the Americas.

Go early or late in the day; there's not much shade!

[Bill Basco, 07/07/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Personal Collection of WindmillsPersonal Collection of Windmills, Portales, NM - 6 mi.
Pioneer Dugout ReplicaPioneer Dugout Replica, Portales, NM - 7 mi.
Norman and Vi Petty Rock 'n' Roll MuseumNorman and Vi Petty Rock 'n' Roll Museum, Clovis, NM - 11 mi.
In the region:
Billy the Kid's Caged Grave, Fort Sumner, NM - 51 mi.

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