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The Arch Lake human burial site, discovered in 1967 in eastern New Mexico, contains the third-oldest known remains in North America.
Since its original excavation and removal to Eastern New Mexico University's Blackwater Draw Museum, the 10,000 radiocarbon-year-old burial has been known only locally. In February 2000 an interdisciplinary team led by Douglas W. Owsley reexamined the osteology, geology, archaeology, and radiocarbon dating of the burial. In this first volume in Peopling of the Americas Publications – released by Texas A&M University Press for the Center for the Study of the First Americans – Arch Lake Woman presents the results of this recent analysis of the skeleton and site.
In addition to color and black-and-white illustrations, Arch Lake Woman includes extensive tables describing the team's discoveries and comparing their results with those of other ancient burials.
"Doug Owsley and his colleagues present the results of a forensic investigation of a young woman who lived and died more than 1,500 years before the better known Kennewick Man. This 'biography' of one of America's earliest known inhabitants puts a human face on one of humanity's most epic achievements – the discovery and colonization of a New World."
– Bradley T. Lepper, curator of archaeology, Ohio Historical Society
Douglas W. Owsley, lead investigator for this study, is the division head for physical anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Margaret A. Jodry is a Paleoindian archeologist and a senior adjunct scientist in the department of anthropology, National Museum of Natural History in Washington. Thomas W. Stafford, Jr., of Lafayette, Colorado, is a geochronologist, biogeochemist, and quaternary geologist working on late Pleistocene human origins and animal paleoecological studies throughout the New World. C. Vance Haynes, Jr. is a Regents Professor Emeritus specializing in the geochronology of Paleoindian archaeological sites. He resides in Tucson, Arizona. Dennis J. Stanford is the head of the division of archaeology at the National Museum of Natural History and director of the Smithsonian's Paleoindian/Paleoecology Program.