The Folsom Site is a location in New Mexico famous for revealing crucial information about the prehistoric era of North America. It was here, in the late 1920s, that archaeologists made an incredible discovery that changed how we understand the continent's history.
In 1926, a cowboy named George McJunkin discovered a large bone sticking out of a creek bed on the outskirts of Folsom, New Mexico. He initially thought it was a buffalo bone, but upon closer inspection, he realized it was something much more significant. The bone belonged to an extinct species of bison, known as Bison antiquus, which had not been seen for thousands of years.
McJunkin knew that he had found something special, and he contacted archaeologists from the University of New Mexico, who began excavating the site. Over the next few years, they made an astonishing discovery - the remains of over 20 bison, all with distinctive fluted spear points embedded in their bones.
These spear points were the key to understanding the significance of the Folsom Site. They were unlike any other spear points found in North America, and they were remarkably similar to those found in Europe from the same era. This led archaeologists to conclude that the people who hunted these bison likely descended from the same group of people who had migrated from Asia to Europe thousands of years before.
The discovery of the Folsom Site was a turning point in the study of prehistoric North America. Before this discovery, it was thought that the first humans to arrive in North America were the Clovis people, who had lived around 13,000 years ago. The discovery of the Folsom Site pushed back the timeline for human habitation in North America by thousands of years and challenged long-held beliefs about the migration patterns of ancient peoples.
The Folsom Site continues to be an important location for archaeological research and has been designated a National Historic Landmark. It remains a fascinating and essential part of North American history, reminding us of the remarkable stories that can be uncovered by carefully studying our past.