We are all human. Throughout our entire history, and across all cultures, societies, and philosophies, humans have always had the same needs to be fulfilled. We al need to eat, sleep, be sheltered from the weather, reproduce our culture, love, laugh, believe, and communicate. How humans accomplish this, however, varies greatly across time and cultures.

A variety of peoples have occupied the Lubbock Lake Landmark over the past 11,500 years. Because no written history was left by the native populations, we cannot know many aspects of their cultures. We can, however, learn more about these peoples by examining the materials they left behind. These materials are most often stone or bone tools used in hunting and processing animals for food and other necessities.

Listed below are the types of materials found from each period of occupation.

Paleoindian Occupations

Clovis Occupations

These sites have Clovis projectile points associated with mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) and other late Pleistocene megafauna. At Lubbock, a Clovis age Rancholabrean megafaunal processing station is known. Animals include mammoth (Mammuthus columbi), extinct bison (Bison antiquus), two varieties of Pleistocene horse (Equus mexicanus and Equus francisi), camel (Camelops hesternus), giant armadillo (Chlamytherium spetentrionalis), and short faced bear (Arctodus simus). Most remains exhibit evidence of cultural modification, indicating these animals were probably sources for food and other uses.

Folsom Occupations

This cultural group is generally identified on the basis of the distinctive Folsom projectile point and radiometric evidence. Folsom artifacts are most often found in association with extinct bison. Lubbock Lake probably is best known as a Folsom locality. Many Folsom points have been recovered from the numerous bison kills explored.

Plainview Occupations

The Plainview period is the earliest post-Folsom occupation on the Southern Plains and is restricted to around 10,000 years before present (B.P.). Plainview occupations are identified on the basis of the Plainview point, usually associated with extinct bison. At Lubbock Lake, the Plainview period bison kill/butchering locales represent kills of only a few bison at a time.

Firstview Occupations

The Firstview period dates from around 8,600 years B.P. on the Southern High Plains. Tool types common to this cultural group include Firstview points, large hammerstones, large flake knives, snubnosed end scrapers, side scrapers, bone needles, tools with denticulate edges, and lithic and bone anvils. At Lubbock Lake, Firstview points were recovered from within a bison kill/butchering locale and camping area.

Archaic Occupations

The Archaic is the longest cultural period known on the Southern High Plains (8,500 to 2,000 years B.P.). This period is subdivided into Early (8,500 to 6,400 years B.P.), Middle (6,400 to 4,500 years B.P.), and Late Archaic (4,500 to 2,000 years B.P.).

Evidence for human occupation on the Southern High Plains during the
Early Archaic is sketchy. Butchered remains of pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra americana) were recovered at Lubbock Lake, as were extinct bison which existed into the earliest part of the Early Archaic. The environment was becoming hot and dry.

Archaeological materials from the
Middle Archaic documented at Lubbock Lake include butchered remains of modern bison and a large oval basin filled with ash and capped by a layer of burned caliche cobbles. This was the time of the Altithermal; the climate was very hot and very dry.

Late Archaic cultural remains are more common on the Southern High Plains than for earlier subperiods. At Lubbock Lake, considerable archaeological remains, including Bulverde and Ellis points, were recovered and indicate renewed use of the site. Climate conditions returned to more equitable conditions approaching the cooler and more moist weather we have today.

Ceramic Occupations

The Ceramic period begins about 2,000 years B.P. and ends about 550 years B.P. (A.D. 1450). Ceramic technology is characteristic of this period throughout the Plains and describes a dominant part of the material culture.

Central and southern sections of the Southern High Plains have sites that have Puebloan pottery and Plains artifacts. Plains artifacts associated with Puebloan pottery include triangular arrow points, metates with oval basins, small end scrapers, alternately beveled four edge knives, and bison hunting. At Lubbock Lake, evidence of occupation during this period is indicated by Chupadero Black-on-White pottery.

Protohistoric Occupations

The Protohistoric period on the Southern High Plains begins about A.D. 1450. The end of the period is marked by the appearance of European influence in the archaeological record (late 1600's). This period for the region is defined on the basis of radio-carbon dated archaeological features at Lubbock Lake and ethno-historic data.

This time period is marked by numerous occupation levels attesting to intense and repeated use of the area. Radiocarbon dates are available ranging in time from A.D. 1445 through A.D. 1665, corresponding to the known time span of Apache on the Southern High Plains. Activities include camping areas and secondary processing stations. The diagnostic artifact is the Garza point, a small triangular point with a basal notch. Pottery is thick-walled, coarsely tempered, brushed, utility ware; and thin-walled, mica tempered, utility ware.

Historic Occupations

The Historic period begins when evidence of European influence is recorded in archaeological deposits. The Historic period spans the time from the late 17th century through the late 19th century, including both aboriginal and European occupations. Remains of modern horse (Equus caballus) are the principal evidence of European influence on aboriginal culture along with metal and glass.

Apache and Comanche peoples are known to have occupied the Southern High Plains successively during this time period. Evidence at Lubbock Lake is strongest for Apache occupation. Comanche occupation may be represented in features where diagnostic artifacts were not recovered but date within the known Comanche period in the area.

European occupation of the Southern High Plains began in the middle to late 1800's. The first occupants of the area were comancheros, buffalo hunters, and U.S. military units followed by traders and settlers. Few excavations of these sites have been conducted. One of the first permanent settlements was Singer Store, a trading post located at Lubbock Lake from 1881 to 1886.
Artist's representation of the interior of the Singer Store, the first trading post on the Southern High Plains.

Learn more about these aspects of cultural history by exploring the following pages:

Folk Arts
Natural Resources Use
Travel and Trade