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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
A couple of hours drive west from where I live, located in the foothills of the Rockies, is Head-Smashed-InBuffalo Jump, possibly the largest and best preserved buffalo jump in North America.
For those unfamiliar with buffalo jumps, they were one of the most efficient means which native North Americans used for hunting. They selected sites where the topography obscured the edge of a cliff or bluff, and then drove the buffalo across the plains and over the edge; the buffalo were butchered down below. A good hunt could sustain a tribe for several months.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Such sites are identified for their importance in world history. And this particular site has 6,000 years of history. It is older than Stonehenge; older than the Pyramids. And unlike those sites, this one was in continual use for nearly the entire 6,000 years; abandoned only when the buffalo were hunted to near extinction, thanks to firearms and the white man, in the late nineteenth century.
Understandably, the site is considered sacred by the Blackfoot who have been associated with the long history of the site.
There are those who believe, thanks to Bishop Ussher's calculations, that the world is about 6,000 years old, the same as this buffalo jump..
To square those beliefs with the continuous archeological record of 6,000 years at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump can only result in the following conclusions: The Garden of Eden was located in southern Alberta; and, Adam and Eve must have been early members of the Blackfoot Nation.
Travel Note: For those interested in visiting, the site is located just north-west of Fort Macleod, Alberta, with signs to the site on Highway 3 (east/west) or Highway 2 (north/south.) It has a first class visitor centre, seven stories high and cleverly built into the cliff face, so as to almost disappear. Other sites in the immediate area worth a visit are the RCMP museum at Fort Macleod, the Bar-U Ranch; and the Frank Slide. And it's all just a day's drive from Wallace, covered in Meditation 120
- The name is a reminder that it is unwise to stand beneath the buffalo jump hoping to see what it looks like as the buffalo are driven over the edge.
- Using similar logic, one could conceivably claim, based on the 6,000 year record of continuous human occupation of the Orkneys, that Adam and Eve were Scots and the Garden of Eden was some cold, rainy, and windswept island. But that would be ridiculous.