Situated within the Soapstone Prairie Natural Area, the Lindenmeier Site is one of the most significant archaeological sites in North America. Here, in 1924 on what was then the Lindenmeier ranch property, amateur archaeologists Claude C. Coffin, his son A. Lynn Coffin, and friend C.K. Collins discovered interestingly shaped spearhead points that they knew were unusual. It took several years to identify what the objects were but eventually they were conclusively dated to the Folsom period, which dates to about 10,000-11,000 years ago (this period is also referred to as the Ice Age). Two years later in 1926 (and before the artifacts at the ranch were identified), points and other artifacts of the same period were found near Folsom, New Mexico and were collectively named after the town. Over time, excavations in the 1930s and 1940s at the ranch revealed the site to be the most extensive Folsom site found so far. The evidence indicated that the Folsom peoples were more sophisticated than previously thought: they stayed in one place for long periods of time, they had the time to make functional and decorative objects, they made many non-hunting tools (such as tools to butcher animals), and they had advanced social skills (as evidenced by the need to cooperate when hunting big game). As such, the site revolutionized the understanding of human habitation on the continent.
Backstory and Context
Brenda Martin, et al. "The Excavation of Lindenmeier: A Folsom Site Uncovered 1934-1940." Fort Collins Museum & Discovery Science Center. 2009. http://fcmod.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/lindenmeier.pdf.
"Soapstone Prairie Natural Area." City of Fort Collins. Accessed November 23, 2016. http://www.fcgov.com/naturalareas/finder/soapstone.