BLM Logo
Tucson Field Office
Release Date: 03/15/13

New National Historic Landmark to be Dedicated

Sierra Vista, AZ – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Park Service (NPS), and Friends of the San Pedro River will dedicate one of Arizona’s newest national historic landmarks on Saturday, March 23. A ceremony to celebrate the new the Murray Springs Clovis Site National Historic Landmark (NHL) will begin at 10:00 a.m. at the site near Sierra Vista. The event is free and open to the public.

This important fossil and archaeological site was nationally recognized for its special scientific values on October 17, 2012, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced his designation of the Murray Springs Clovis Site as a National Historic Landmark.

Murray Springs, located within the BLM’s San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, is one of the best-dated Paleoindian sites in North America. It is also one of the most significant Clovis sites, providing evidence of the earliest well-documented culture in the Americas. The 13,000-year-old site contained a multiple bison kill, a mammoth kill, and possibly a horse kill.

Scattered across the buried occupation surface with the bones of late Pleistocene animals were several thousand stone tools and waste flakes from their manufacture and repair. Murray Springs has been called the largest single sample of Clovis flint knapping activity yet known from the western United States.  

The site was first discovered in 1966 by Dr. C. Vance Haynes and Dr. Peter Mehringer of the University of Arizona. They excavated the site from 1967-1971 as part of a large project funded by the National Geographic Society and National Science Foundation.  Many unique and wonderful stone artifacts and fossil bones were found during excavations, all of which allowed archaeologists, paleontologists, and other scientists to develop a much better idea of what life was like for both hunters and hunted in the late Pleistocene. It was considered one of the most important archaeological sites of the day.

Dr. Haynes will share his experiences about discovering and excavating the site at the dedication. He will be among several speakers that will explain the international importance of Murray Springs.

To attend the dedication, drive east on State Road 90 four miles from the intersection of Fry Boulevard (90) and State Road 92 in Sierra Vista to Moson Road.  Go left (north) 1.1 miles to the entrance road on the right (east).  

The BLM encourages visitors to walk the 1/3-mile-long trail and read its 10 interpretive exhibits. For more information, visit

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2014, the BLM generated $5.2 billion in receipts from public lands.

Last updated: 03-15-2013