Contact: Wendel Sloan at 575.562.2253
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University’s Blackwater Draw site is holding an open house on Saturday and Sunday, April 24-25. Gates open at 9 a.m., followed by demonstrations from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
The Site is located approximately six miles north of Portales on Highway 467 (on the way to Cannon Air Force Base).
Also known as “the Clovis Site,” it is famous worldwide for its archaeological discovery of the oldest positively identified North American culture, early-American extinct species such as the wooly mammoth, and geologic record dating back to the Ice Age.
“The open house demonstrations will include primitive technologies, from atlatl throwing to pottery firing,” said George Crawford, Site archaeologist who will also be a demonstrator. “The mobile museum called the ‘Van of Enchantment’ will be on-site Sunday with displays from the state collections.”
Eric Blinman, director of the New Mexico Office of Archaeological Studies and also a renowned potter, will demonstrate his works and pottery-making technology. Ulysses Reid, artist and potter known for his work with Zia and Mesa Verde pottery designs, will also show his work.
Others will demonstrate hide-working, cooking, sandal-making, fire-making and other associated prehistoric fundamental skills.
“The technologies are nearly universal and are known worldwide from many cultures. Stylistically, the pottery demonstrations will emphasize several types common to the Four-Corners region,” said Crawford.
He hopes these presentations will encourage more people to gain an understanding of and become interested in these skills.
“Some of these skills probably helped define us as humans for two million years and have only been lost to the western world in the last few generations,” said Crawford.” If nothing else, participating in these activities will bring us closer to our ancestors and our humanity.”
For more information, call Crawford at 575-356-5235.