Lubbock Lake Landmark
The Lubbock Lake National Historic and State Archeological Park, known locally as the Lubbock Lake Landmark, is an archeological and natural history preserve located in Lubbock, Texas, USA. The 300 acre preserve is located in Yellowhouse Draw, an intermittent tributary of the Brazos River. This reserve, which is managed by the Museum of Texas Tech University, is important because it contains evidence of nearly 12,000 years of use by humans as well as records of now extinct species that formerly lived in this area. It is one of the few places in North America known to have a complete record of human existence from the Paleo-Indian culture all the way through the Archaic, ceramic, and Prehistoric cultures.
Lubbock Lake Landmark received its name from a reservoir that was created in the 1930s. This area housed a natural spring fed lake until the spring began to dry up in early 1900s. In the 1930s, a project designed to dig out the springs uncovered evidence of Paleo-Indian remains. This discovery led to the first archeological dig in 1939 which was funded by the Works Project Administration (WPA). The first exploration of the area was performed by the West Texas Museum, which is now the Museum of Texas Tech University. Subsequent digs in 1941 were hampered by a rise in the water table.
By the late 1940s, irrigation had reduced the level of the water table which allowed researchers access to older sites. They unearthed remains of several bison kills from the Folsom Period (10,800 to 10,300 years ago). Charred bison bones allowed researchers to determine the first radiocarbon date for Paleo-Indian site. Subsequent digs have shown that Lubbock Lake Landmark contains nearly a complete sequence of artifacts from the Clovis period (11,500 to 11,000) years ago to the present.
Artifacts collected from the Lubbock Lake Landmark are displayed in the Interpretive Center. The Interpretive Center also hosts a gallery of murals and dioramas created by Nola Davis and Mike O'Brien of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Departments.
References and Further Reading
- Lubbock Lake Landmark. Museum of Texas Tech University. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/lll/
- Lubbock Lake Landmark. Texas Beyond History. http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/lubbock/index.html
- Lubbock Lake National Historic and State Archeological Landmark. Texas State Historical Association. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/bbl13
This article was written by a student at Texas Tech University participating in the Encyclopedia of Earth's Student Science Communication Project. The project encourages students in undergraduate and graduate programs to write about timely scientific issues under close faculty guidance. All articles have been reviewed by internal EoE editors and by independent experts on each topic.