Most Famous Dig Sites Across North America

6 Of The Most Famous Dig Sites Across North America

April 7th, 2015, By Jessy Troy

All around the world you can find clues and images of the past. From fossils that show the way creatures of all kinds (humans included) have evolved, to the ruins of ancient cities, temples and homes. They give us a fascinating peek into how life used to be, and how it has developed into what we now know today. In some instances, they even show similarities to our world now that are nothing short of astounding.


Because there are so many archeological dig sites around the globe, it is difficult to isolate the most famous or incredible. It helps to narrow things down, such as looking at the most famous dig sites around North America. This is only a flash in the pan, but here are some of the most famous dig sites around the North American continent.


Calico Early Man Site (Calico Mountains, California)

Calico Mountains, CaliforniaThis is probably the most controversial dig site on the list. Located in the Mojave Desert, the Calico Early Man Site it contains tools and signs of industry believed to be more than 14,000 years old. At least, that is one of the theories.

Another is that these are not tools or man made at all, but naturally occuring geofacts that were worn down by time, weather and other factors.


The consensus tends to swing from one side to the other, depending on the study. However, right now the primary opinion is that these are geofacts, not artifacts. Unlike other digs that are found to have been 10,000+ years old, there are no clear signs of human involvement. This opinion could likely change with further digging and study, and has many times in the past.

L'Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland, Canada)

Newfoundland, CanadaNamed a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the L'Anse aux Meadows is one of the most famous ancient cities in the world.

Not only was it in good enough condition to be reconstructed into an accurate portrayal of the original site, but it is the earliest example found of Norse/Viking colonization in North America. Meaning it dates all the way back to the year 1,000.

It is also one of the few proofs of trans-oceanic interaction with indigenous people within the Americas.

One more interesting fact is the possible connection with legendary explorer Leif Ericson.


Buttermilk Creek Complex (Salado, Texas)

Salado, TexasAs far as we know, the earliest indigenous people of the Americas was the Clovis culture (named after the area where signs of their existence were found in Clovis, New Mexico).

They were believed to have lived around 13,000 years ago. But if the Buttermilk Creek Complex findings are confirmed, it would turn out that they are not the oldest, but were predated by as much as 2,500 years. That is the significance of the Buttermilk Creek Complex in Salado, Texas.

It appears to be the remains of a settlement from the paleolithic period, notably a vast collection of stone tools. While it has yet to be confirmed for certain, there is strong evidence to suggest this is the case.

Cacaxtla (Tlaxcala, Mexico)

Tlaxcala, MexicoMexico is full of evidence of ancient cultures, especially the Mayans and Aztecs that left behind whole cities barely ravaged by time.

Most people have heard of Xochitecatl, and every year many tourists flock there to see it for themselves. But less known is Cacaxtla, what was at one time a massive palace constructed in the Mayan style.

Perhaps the most notable thing at the site is a battle mural that shows the remnants of a painting showing a war.

Though faded, you can see the unique colors and imagery of the Mayan people in great detail.

Cholula (Puebla, Mexico)

Puebla, MexicoOriginally a city that spans back thousands of years, Cholula, just west to Puebla, now holds the largest pyramid in the American continents.

While much of the pyramid remains in its ruined state, there have been some areas restored by experts including a large staircase going up the side.

Every day people from surrounding cities and beyond go to walk up the stairs and see the view from the top ridge of the structure.

Cholula is is divided into two municipalities, called San Pedro Cholula and San Andr├ęs Cholula.

Lubbock Lake Landmark (Lubbock, Texas)

Lubbock, TexasOne of the most important archeological sites in Texas, the Lubbock Lake Landmark is 336 acres of protected federal land hosting a number of ancient wonders.

These include the remains of people and even extinct animals, thanks to more than 12,000 use by cultures through its history.

It is now a national landmark, and a must see if you are passing through the area.

Do you have an archeological site you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!

Featured images:

Jessy Troy is an adventurous traveller and writer collecting her favorite finds at