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New La Bajada Hill

NM: Santa Fe Co.


Location of the New La Bajada Hill site.Age. Rancholabrean.

General Description. La Bajada escarpment, about 25 miles southwest of Santa Fe. A cap of basalt occurs at the top of the escarpment, and a cavity immediately underlying the basalt had been exposed by the road cut for US Highway 85. The cavity was about 6 ft wide by 1 ft high by at least 3 ft deep. Stearns (1942) found the cavity filled with fine brown dust with disarticulated bones spread through the deposit.

Discussion. Stearns (1942:872) gave one of the earliest attempts to estimate the biological effect of Pleistocene climate in New Mexico, suggesting that a "lowering of life zones of at least 4000 feet is indicated" by the La Bajada occurrence. He went on to indicate that the general depression of life zones must have been at least 3000 ft and possibly as much as 4500 ft.


Bird size of grouse—Grouse ? (Stearns 1942)
Bison bison—Bison (Stearns 1942)
Marmota flaviventris—Yellow-bellied Marmot (Stearns 1942)
Squirrel size of Red Squirrel—Red Squirrel ? (Stearns 1942)
Thomomys sp.—Thomomys pocket gophers (Stearns 1942)
Peromyscus sp.—White-footed Mouse (Stearns 1942)

Literature. Stearns 1942.


Last Update: 24 Oct 2008