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Destination Texas: Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark is known for its archaeological and natural history preserves. For over 85 years, Lubbock has held more the 12,000 years of evidence by the ancient people.

Years of sediment covered traces of human and animal activity until 1939 when explored sites uncovered ancient material.

“This landmark is rare, and it’s not something you come across… this is just a dream,” Lila Jones, researcher aid at Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark, said.

According to archeologists, the landmark is 336 acres that study over 80 areas of historical preserves, and it has four hiking trails.

“Archeology is about location, location, location,” Susan Rowe, heritage education program manager at Lubbock Lake National Historic Landmark, said.

The story began in the 1930s, around the time of the drought. The City of Lubbock was looking for water sources and started digging.

“Then two teenagers were fiddling around and discovered an arrowhead and took it to a professor from Texas Tech’s house,” Rowe said.

From the ’30s to the 1960s, much research was done until excavation started in 1972.

“They have found kill sites and butchering sites. They find butcher marks of someone scraping meat off a bone and then can distinguish that between marks an animal would make.” Rowe said.

According to researchers, evidence of butchered bison bones, stone tools, debris and so much more are still found to this day.

“We have found full skeletal remains of camels, Columbian mammoths and ancient bison,” Rowe said.

They tell the story of continuous human occupation in the region for the past 12,000 years. Even studying animals from the Pliocene era from about 2.6 million years ago.

To find out how you can volunteer and travel back in time with ancient animals and Paleoindians in a landmark that is designated National Historic and State Archeological Landmark, you can visit their website.

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