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From amazing dinosaurs to Native American ruins…stay tuned to number 1 to find out
where millions of preserved fossils are still on view!
Number 10: Blackwater Draw.
Found in New Mexico near the town of Clovis, Blackwater Draw is one of the oldest archaeological
sites in the US, with ancient artifacts upward of 12,000 years old being found there.
To put that into perspective, that is around the time that mammoths roamed the land and
arrows were the apex weaponry of the time.
This area’s claim to fame comes from the Paleoindians and the materials they would use.
They had a unique type of projectile point, called the Clovis point, made from a mixture
of jasper, obsidian and a few other types of brittle stone; although these arrowheads
were very brittle, they were unbelievably sharp.
Discovering these allowed archaeologists to date the arrowheads, as well as other artifacts
of the find.
Over the years there were more items have been found in the area, but the initial discovery
of the Clovis arrowheads is still the biggest find in the region.
Today, the area has been made into the museum where you can see the ancient weaponry and
admire photos from their discovery.
Number 9: Bighorn Medicine Wheel.
This piece of history is rather interesting for 2 reasons.
First, it was supposedly used by American Indians to read the stars.
And, second, because there are actually hundreds of Medicine Wheels throughout the US.
It is actually quite likely that if you live in the US there is one relatively close to
you right now.
What makes the Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Lovell, Wyoming special is that it’s the biggest one
found to date, and is also the most studied.
That particular wheel has been dated between 300 and 800 years old.
These structures got their names from their shape and its uncanny likeliness to a wagon
wheel; each of these has a central cairn that is large enough to sit in and spokes leading
to an outer circle which also have a few cairns spread out throughout its circumference.
If you sit in the middle and look down at another cairn on the wheel they will lead
you to a point on the horizon, archaeoastronomer Jack Eddy has studied these and has concluded
that some of these pointed in the direction of the sunset and sunrise during the summer
solstice while others point towards significant star alignments.
Number 8: Horseshoe Canyon.
Located in beautiful southern Utah, Horseshoe Canyon is a great place to visit for 2 reasons,
if you are a hiking enthusiast, it has an incredible 7 mile hike through Canyonlands
But, more to the point, it also has some of the best examples of Native American cave
drawings you will ever find.
This is especially impressive when you consider that some of the drawings are said to be among
the oldest ever recorded, between 700 and 2000 years old.
The most famous point is known as the Great Gallery and is over 200 feet wide and 15 feet
high, featuring an array of life size anthropomorphic images as large as 7 feet tall.
To take the hike that will go past the drawings you will need to begin at the Goblin Valley
State Park and take the 30 mile drive to the canyon before beginning your 7 mile round
trip hike, viewing not only the drawings but all the nature that Utah has to offer.
Number 7: Nash Dinosaur Track Site.
If you want to walk where dinosaurs have walked, maybe even compare your foot size to that
of beasts from millions of years ago, then luckily we know just the place you should
The Nash Dinosaur Track Site is located in South Hadley, Massachusetts in the Connecticut
River Valley area, and is a great place to take your family to experience a piece of
The first tracks were found here back in 1802 by a farmer’s son named Pliny Moody and were
that of a small, long extinct bird.
Although they didn’t know it at the time, that very fossilized footprint, as well as
one other, would eventually make their way to Amherst college to be studied, bringing
about the interest in the area and leading to the Nash Dinosaur track site being built
in 1939…just one mile from the first footprints discovery.
If looking at tracks in the on-site museum and out in the surrounding areas of the park
isn’t awesome enough for you then you can always buy your very own dinosaur footprint
or fossils at the on-sight gift shop that is guaranteed to give your home that added
classy edge that others just don’t have.
I need to know, though…would you own your own dinosaur track?
Let us know in the comments below!
Number 6: Crystal River Mounds.
This archaeological site is labeled one of America’s longest, continually occupied sites.
It is believed that the Native Americans would even travel hundreds of miles to this Floridian
location to trade and to bury their dead.
During its busiest time of operation it would see around 7,500 visitors a year.
Covering 61 acres the Crystal River Mounds contains multiple burial grounds where around
1,200 and 1,500 people were buried; temple mounds, that would be used to communicate
with ancestors; a plaza area, where the trading would take place; and something called a midden
which was basically a trash dump, and found to contain all kinds of things from human
waste right up to human bones.
Today, the entire 61-acre site on the gulf coast of Florida has been labeled a National
Historic Landmark, with guided tours through the area, as well as a museum that houses
some of the artifacts found there.
Number 5: Mystery Hill.
When somebody mentions the name Salem, most minds automatically jump to Salem, Massachusetts
and the witch trials of the 1690’s; that is everybody apart from those living in Salem,
This “Salem” is home to a place called Mystery Hill, and is considered America’s Stonehenge,
containing a network of buildings that were first discovered in the 1930’s.
Believed to have been built by the Native Americans of the time, its construction started
around 3,000 years ago and was still in use until around 200 years ago.
Spanning 105 total acres, scientists are not too sure what the network of stone chambers
was actually used for, but most hypothesize that it was a religious or spiritual center.
Number 4: Blythe Intaglios.
Native American drawings in caves and on walls are very popular throughout the US, however,
the Mohave and Quechan Indians have a different approach to this method of art and communication.
These tribes choose not even to draw in caves, but right across landscapes!
The best example of this is the Blythe Intaglios just a few miles outside of Blythe, California.
There are other world famous geoglyphs in locations such as Peru, and over 300 of these
landscape drawings exist in the American Southwest and surrounding regions.
The drawings, though, are believed to be anywhere from 450 to 2000 years old and the artist
would make the drawings by scraping the rock off of the desert floor to expose the lighter
The largest of these figures is around 170 feet tall and, interestingly, are almost impossible
to identify from the ground.
As such, they weren’t discovered until 1932 when a pilot flew over and happened to see
them down on the ground below.
What that does mean is that you won’t really be able to see these drawings unless you fly
over them in a plane, but, this creates a mystery as to how exactly the drawings were
made from a strictly ground level perspective.
It must have been aliens!
Okay, well, conspiracy theorists believe that it was aliens, but let us know your own theories
on their creation below!
While you’re there, take a moment to like this video and subscribe to our channel for
more Zero2Hero videos!
You probably already know that mammoths have been extinct for thousands of years, but,
luckily, in Hot Springs South Dakota, you can visit a location that has the fossils
of no less than 61 mammoths!
Mammoth Site is quite accurately, if not unimaginatively named, because it contains the largest known
concentration of mammoth fossils, including 58 North American Columbian mammoths and 3
woolly mammoths…all at the bottom of an ancient sinkhole that was around 65 feet deep
and 150 feet wide and formed during the Pleistocene era.
First discovered in 1974 when a construction worker found an unusual bone that was later
recognized as the tooth of a mammoth.
The landowner of the time halted the construction and agreed to have the area investigated for
Jump ahead a few years and we now have the site that is today the home of a massive heard
A museum has been erected in the area, and visitors can see first-hand the mammoth fossils
still embedded in the rock and sand that lies there.
It is a fascinating site to visit and is definitely worth a family visit.
Number 2: La Brea Tar Pits.
If there is one location that deserves at least one visit in your life, it’s this one!
Located in Los Angeles California, the La Brea Tar Pits are well worth your time.
To date, around 3.5 million fossils have been found in the tar pits, with the oldest specimen
found being a dire wolf dated around 44,000 years old.
What makes the tar pits so special is how well the asphalt preserved the fossils, and
how it has even preserved entire ecosystems of plants, bees and other small insects.
There was even the body of a 20 something year old woman found here!
The tar pits, themselves, are blocked off to the public, but visitors to the park can
watch real live excavations in progress, as the excavation of fossils continues even today.
Only the fossils themselves can’t be seen for free, but you can always buy admission
into the museum and take a look at some of the 1 million fossils that remain on site.
Number 1: Dinosaur Valley State Park.
If there is one archaeological site that does it all, then the Dinosaur Valley State Park,
near Glen Rose, Texas, is definitely it.
Not only does it offer you a day of hiking along trails where dinosaurs themselves walked,
but it also offers many family activities, including horse-back riding, hiking, and even
geocaching, if you’re into that.
Things got started for this park way back in 1908 when a massive flood washed through
the area that the park now stands, revealing 3 toed tracks in the mud.
Years later, a fossil collector saw the tracks in a shop in New Mexico and decided to research
it a bit further.
The result of this was the opening of the park in 1972, sealing off the 1,587-acre piece
of land with the intention of preserving the tracks for future generations.
Let us know what you think of these finds in the comments below, and take care!
This post was previously published on YouTube.