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Gone, but not forgotten: Newton County's prehistoric past


In 1903, Waldo Conard was searching for lead deposits along the Buffalo River. Instead, he found Conard Fissure, a site that yielded thousands of bones, including twenty new animal species. These prehistoric animals were dated to be 25,000 years old and were hunted by the Sandia Man, the name archeologists gave to this early group of humans. They hunted these creatures, which included mammoths, with spears. These prehistoric people are believed to have lived in bluff shelters and in caves. Evidence of prehistoric people living in some of the caves along Cave Creek was found in 1968 when Jack McCutcheon, owner of the property, was put in charge of the excavation of the site, which was conducted by the University of Arkansas Geology Department. His finds included bits of charcoal, which were carbon dated to 900 BC. Bones of extinct animals were also found in the cave, along with beads and a flint knife. (Arkansas Gazette, 19 Sept. and 29 Dec., 1968)

Barbara LeRoy is the author of “Which Side Were They On?,” a new 302 page book listing biographical sketches of the Newton Countians who were involved in the Civil War, available for sale either in the Bradley House Museum or by purchasing online at www.newtoncountyar.com. The book sells for $33.