Lindenmeier: Looking Back 10,000 Years


Sue Kenney, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Natural Areas Department


In 1935, scientists believed and rigorously defended the theory that ancient humans had been in the new world for only a few thousand years. A member of the Smithsonian Institution’s archaeological excavation crew on the high Colorado prairie, Loren Eiseley discovered a piece of stone embedded in an animal bone. It was a fluted point made by Folsom man and it had broken off in an Ice Age bison. This discovery proved that humans had inhabited this land at least 11,000 years ago.

The discovery made worldwide headlines and turned the scientific community on its head. It demonstrated that man had lived and hunted in North America during the Ice Age. Woolly mammoths, giant sloths, camels, pronghorn, jackrabbits, turtles, and, of course, Bison antiquus were all on the menu. The number of artifacts con- tained in the Lindenmeier Archaeological site makes it the largest Folson culture site in the Western Hemisphere. The Smithsonian re-buried the site in 1940 to preserve its remaining artifacts. Today, visitors see the same scene as researchers did in 1935.

The City of Fort Collins Natural Areas Department now owns this globally significant cultural resource. Participants will explore and discuss ancient peoples at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery on the first day. They will journey to the Lindenmeier Overlook at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area and discover ancient hunting tools and techniques on the second day.

Wednesday, October 1 – Classroom Session at Fort Collins Discovery Museum: 9:30 – 11:30         Thursday, October 2 – Van to Soapstone Natural Area to visit Lindenmeier Site. 8:15 – 3:30, $25 for van and lunch.
Reservations open August 13 and are limited to first 24 reservations. (Registration # 405950-01). Please register and pay for the trip at the Senior Center front desk.