Site of mammoth, bison kill to be dedicated

2013-03-22T00:00:00Z Site of mammoth, bison kill to be dedicatedDoug Kreutz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 22, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Here's an opportunity to step back in time - we're talking about 13,000 years ago - at a Southern Arizona site where mammoths once roamed.

The public is invited to attend the dedication Saturday of the Murray Springs Clovis Site as a National Historic Landmark. It received the designation in October.

Archaeologists excavated the site east of Sierra Vista in the 1960s and '70s - finding evidence that nomadic hunters killed and butchered a mammoth and bison there 13,000 years ago.

The hunters were called "Clovis" in reference to the distinctive spearpoints they left behind, which were first found near Clovis, N.M.

"It's one of the best-dated Paleo-Indian sites in North America - and it's a great way to introduce your family and children to the area's history and pre-history," said Deborah Stevens, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The bureau manages the Murray Springs site as part of the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area.

A University of Arizona team led by archaeologists C. Vance Haynes Jr. and Peter Mehringer excavated the site - turning up thousands of stone tools, fossils and other artifacts now housed at museums.

Visitors should be aware they won't see remains of mammoths or other artifacts at the Murray Springs site today.

"You can see some of the cross-sections of the soil where they did excavations," Stevens said. "And interpretive signs along a trail give information on what was found."

if you go

• What: Dedication of the Murray Springs Clovis Site as a National Historic Landmark.

• When: 10 a.m. Saturday.

• Where: From the intersection of Arizona 90 and Arizona 92 in Sierra Vista, drive east on Arizona 90 four miles to Moson Road. Turn left (north) on Moson Road and go a mile to the entrance road for the site.

• Cost: Free

Contact Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@ azstarnet.com or at 573-4192.

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