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Folsom Site

NM: Colfax Co.: 36°53'N, 104°04'W; 2111 m.


Location of the Folsom site.Age. Radiocarbon dates include 10,260 ± 110 on Bison antiquus bone collagen and an average of 10,890 ± 50 on five charcoal samples (Morgan and Lucas 2005).

General Description. Wildhorse Arroyo about 15 km northwest of Folsom (Morgan and Lucas 2005).

Discussion. A famous archaeological site in that this is the first site to convincingly demonstrate the co-occurrence of extinct, ice-age mammals with humans (Hay and Cook 1930). As Hay and Cook (1930:7) described it, "Here were discovered more than thirty skeletons of a new race of extinct bisons, Bison taylori, together with a few bones of other mammals; and with them and in situ, were discovered some 17 flint points of a previously unreported type. Some of these were studied in situ by representatives of several technical institutions, both of this and other countries." The points, of course, were of the type now known as Folsom points.


Cynomys ludovicianus—Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Hay and Cook 1930)
Spermophile Ground Squirrel—Spermophile Ground Squirrel (Hay and Cook 1930)
Thomomys bottae—Botta's Pocket Gopher (Hay and Cook 1930)
Lepus californicus—Black-tailed Jackrabbit (Hay and Cook 1930)
Odocoileus hemionus—Mule Deer (Hay and Cook 1930)
Bison antiquus—Ancient Bison (Hay and Cook 1930)

Literature. Hay and Cook 1930; Morgan and Lucas 2005.


Last update: 3 May 2009