Molly the mammoth, lived, grazed and died about 13,000 years ago near a spring that today is a part of great development in the Douglas County. 5,000 years later, the first North American humans they spent time in that same spring, where they killed and massacred bison.
We do not know if the humans visited the spring at the same time as Molly, but yes that the place Lamb Spring offers evidence that they did, and you have hope, the place could rewrite the scientific and cultural history of North America, and perhaps offer the Denver area a new attraction.
Lamb spring It is located on the Chatfield Count, between South Platte Canyon Road and Chatfield Reservoir. "Be there and look around. You realize that you are in the middle of one of the fastest developing areas in Colorado”Says Jim Walker, Southwest Region Director for Archaeological Conservation, an Albuquerque nonprofit that buys archaeologically promising land and guarantees its development.
- Lamb Spring is becoming a major archaeological site in Colorado
Conservation bought the Lamb Spring site in 1995. "The fact that we were able to find the site, buy it, and preserve it in the time that we did, was a miracle. I bet that area in 10 years will be covered with houses”.
Walker believes the excavations at Lamb Spring could show human activity some 13,000 and even 25,000 years ago, in which case "there would be a lot to rewrite about the people in North America. I would rate Lamb Spring very high in terms of importance", He says. "If I ranked with Lamb Spring and the other 450 preserves we have, it would be in the top 10”.
The evidence of Pleistocene megafauna Like the mammoths They do convincing digging in their own right, mammoth sites dot the west. But nevertheless, human finds are rare.
The discoveries could contribute more to what we already know: what Humans roamed North America 11,200 years ago. Some archaeologists believe that Lamb Spring could offer a solid evidence, rather than speculation, that people lived in North America long before.
Today, the excavations of Lamb spring they amount to little more than a thorn-and-trash-filled depression in the ground, a cavity surrounded by 35 acres of rolling prairie fences. An information plate is located next to the closed dirt road that leads to the area. Once a week for half a year, people can watch a video about the place and then follow a tour guide to the gutter to observe the grass.
If it hadn't been for the wish of a rancher 50 years ago, Molly's bones and 30 other mammoths (the largest discovery in Colorado and the third largest in North America) would remain buried. But in 1960 Charles Lamb decided to use a dock on his land to create a fishing pond and while he was digging he found large bones. Geologists identified them as mammoth.
- Mammoth Skull Molly
In 1981, Smithsonian Institution archaeologist Dennis Stanford excavated the site and found many more bones mammoths, as well as camels, horses, sloths, llamas, and wolves.
Stanford also found a 30 pound stone. The markings on the stone suggest that it was used as a butcher block. Geological forces could not bring the stone to the site. Stanford has the theory that the first humans must have and based on location and sediment, could have happened 16,000 years ago. If the theory can be proven, it would mean that humans inhabited Lamb Spring a long time ago.
For North American archaeologists, simply by naming ‘paleo-indians'It tends to make their hearts beat faster. Walker says that “will leave everything”If you find out about a site that can be purchased. Signs of the first humans in North America are scarce because the population was small and nomadic. Most of the evidence is scattered.
But besides the threat of Lamb Spring shattering the history of the North American population, also shows clear signs of a 'Cody complex ' to kill 9,000-year-old bison similar to that found in Cody, Wyoming, where humans camped, they slaughtered buffalo, cut the meat and beat the bone against the rocks to extract the marrow. This alone makes Lamb Spring seduce archaeologists, but Lamb Spring also has hints that the site it was more than a season for the first hunters.
“I think Lamb Spring was able to generate what would be a greater discovery, a village or a camp"Says Walker. "That would be incredible”.
“The place tells us about the old environment, about the environment of Front Range and the hills, about how it was in the past, how it has changed, how the climate has changed”Says James Dixon, an anthropology professor at the University of New Mexico who has been active at Lamb Spring. "And it has the archaeological history, the last chapter. Has a lot of potential”.
This potential seems to extend beyond Lamb Spring. Just three-quarters of a mile away, archaeologists at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science have discovered mammoth bones and signs of early humans in the place called Scott spring.
“It's like a mini Lamb Spring”Says Steven Holen, the museum's curator of archeology. "In Scott Spring we are seeing even older bones that appear to have been broken by humans. That's what we're doing here, looking for evidence of pre-Clovis humans (11,200 years ago)”.
The team began work on the site in 2010 and excavated a test bed where a prairie dog scavenged for a mammoth tusk.
“There was ivory aroundHolen says. Without going any further, they have identified a mammoth, a camel and a horse from the Pleistocene. "These places are promising, ”he says. “They used these springs and hunted around the springs for thousands of years”.
With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.