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45.98, -110.65
United States of America
Site identifier:
Homo, Homo sapiens
Time periods:
Pleistocene, Tarantian

The Anzick site (24PA506) in Park County, Montana, United States, is the only known Clovis burial site in the New World. The term "Clovis" is used by archaeologists to define one of the New World's earliest hunter-gatherer cultures and is named after the site near Clovis, New Mexico, where human artifacts were found associated with the procurement and processing of mammoth and other large and small fauna.

In 1961, while hunting marmots at a sandstone outcrop on the Anzick family property, about one mile south of Wilsall, Montana, Bill Roy Bray found a stone projectile point and bones that were covered with red ocher. In the same area, in May 1968, Ben Hargis and Calvin Sarver of Wilsall, Montana were removing talus from the same outcrop and inadvertently found the red ocher-covered partial remains of a one- to two-year-old child (Anzick-1) associated with stone (8 fluted projectile points, scrapers, heat treated bi-faces), bone and antler artifacts, totaling 90, that were radiocarbon dated at about 12,000 years Before Present. Nineteen additional artifacts were found in the area. Two antler rods associated with the burial also radiocarbon dated to the same time. The stone came from 6 different quarries. In another location in the same area, not associated with the Clovis child, the men found a partial skull fragment of a 6- to 8-year-old male child (Anzick-2) that radiocarbon dated to around 8600 years Before Present. Dr. Larry Lahren, a North American archaeologist from Livingston, Montana was the first researcher to examine and record the site (24PA506), artifacts and human remains at the request of Ben Hargis not long after the discovery in 1968. The artifacts, not including the human remains, are at the Montana Historical Society and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

The first systematic excavation of the site was performed under the direction of Dr. Dee C. Taylor of the University of Montana in 1968. Dr. Taylor published his findings in 1969. He reported that none of the artifacts and skeletal remains had been left in-situ by Hargis and Sarver, and that soil and objects from multiple stratigraphic layers had been mixed and back-filled by the ranch owner before archaeological examination was undertaken. According to Dr. Taylor, the 90 artifacts recovered by Hargis and Sarver included items from multiple eras, leaving carbon dating as the only means of establishing the site as a Clovis-era burial.


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