Paleoindian hunters were the first humans to use the Pajarito Plateau, arriving here more than 11,000 years ago.
NPS Museum Collection
Groups of Paleoindians followed the movement of large, now-extinct species of ancient bison and mammoths. For the hunt, they crafted stone spear points and cutting tools, such as the Clovis point seen here. To improve their hunting success, they propelled their sharp spears with an altatl. This tool improved the power and distance a spear could be thrown. Warming temperatures and the extinction of many species of large animals brought an end to the Paleoindian lifestyle.