The Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument was established in 1965 as the first national monument in Texas. The NPS arrowhead identifies a special place which is owned by all Americans.
The Alibates Flint Quarry was first inhabited by the Paleo-Indians at the end of the last ice age, some 13,000 years ago. The first inhabitants were nomads who followed herds of prehistoric mammoths or bisons across the plains. Until white settlers forced the native people out of the area in the late 19th century, nomadic people shared a lifestyle that dated back at least 13,000 years. Bands of 30 to 50 people made their homes wherever the mammoth, and later bison, roamed. These herds led people to the Canadian River Valley. Available on the surface, the flint was easily gathered without digging.
Then 800 years ago, a small community built a permanent community in this area.
They fabricated tools out of the flint, such as spokeshaves. These were used to shape and smooth arrows, spear shafts, digging sticks, and pry-bars for quarrying the flint.
Scrapers were used to clean flesh and hair from animal hides. They had to do this before making their leather clothing.
The people started using the bow and arrow about 1,500 years ago. Arrows can move faster and more accurately than spears. Sharp, strong Alibates flint makes arrows useful tools.
How did they survive? It is a truly remarkable that people found a way to survive here for at least 13,000 years. Some only stopped here temporarily while others made this place their permanent home. But they all used the Alibates flint to survive.
A bison's scapula was used as a digging tool. Not only did they hunt the mammoth and bison, but they also grew crops to supplement their hunting. There is no evidence of architecture, pottery or agriculture at Alibates until about 900 years ago. There are, however, Alibates flint artifacts from thousands of years earlier. Early hunters and gatherers in the Texas High Plains lived nomadic lives, following the herds of animals they hunted. They likely set up temporary camps around this area and used the flint to make tools.
Alibates flint was used in the flintlock guns which occurs by striking flint against steel. Both Indians and European settlers used the flint when guns replaced arrows on the Texas High Plains.
We saw this critter along the wall by the restroom, and the one below this one at the Visitor Center while we were eating lunch. All of a sudden, one of the guys came out and said he saw a scorpion. We looked all over and found it underneath the runner on the rocking chair Jim was sitting in. I asked the guy how he saw that little thing from inside ~ he said he looks for them. Lucy was sitting there with us so we had to keep her away from the little critter, and then it crawled up the wall. It really was tiny - about 1-1/2" long. The picture makes it look bigger than it was. Now the millipede - that was huge.