During the installation of an irrigation line in East Wenatchee on May 27, 1987, orchard workers discovered credible evidence of what archaeologists have described as “The First Americans,” a nomadic hunting culture of the Pleistocene Epoch of the New World. The orchard workers discovered a cache of enormous spear points and knives subsequently identified as Clovis points-a designation commemorating the geographic location of the first fluted projectile point site discovered near Clovis, New Mexico.
To date, this site-the Richey Clovis Cache in East Wenatchee-has yielded one of the largest fluted stone tools ever found (9.25 inches as compared to earlier discoveries measuring 6 inches). Of even greater significance, the East Wenatchee site contained more artifacts in situ, (undisturbed) within a contained area than any site previously discovered.
During subsequent archaeological excavations, approximately sixty-nine stone and bone artifacts were removed from the shallow pit. The 1990 excavation ended in November of that year; the pits were backfilled, covered with a concrete slab, and once again, the site reverted to orchard.
Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, one of the participants in the 1990 excavation, highlights this exciting discovery with an exhibit interpreting the geology of the region, the archaeological discoveries, and a display of materials from the Clovis site. Five chalcedony pieces-a 71/2-inch fluted knife, a 6-inch knife, a scraper, an unfinished or “preform” tool and a chopping implement known as a celt will be on display in early June. Visit the Museum at 127 S Mission Street in Wenatchee and enjoy learning more about this exciting archaeological discovery as well as the history of the region.