Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve

A nonprofit organization

$6,014 raised by 24 donors

100% complete

$5,000 Goal

Lamb Spring is a unique and valuable resource for public education and research because the site contains what may be some of the best-preserved evidence of the earliest humans to live in the North American Continent, as well as the remains of many extinct Ice Age animals.


The Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve (LSAP) is proud to promote the "Mammoth Site" of Hot Springs, South Dakota as a "sister site" to our own unique preserve. The Mammoth Site is an active paleontological dig, which boasts the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world. Friends and colleagues at the Mammoth Site have been generous with their time and advice regarding the growth of our preserve. If you visit western South Dakota, please visit their site and be sure to leave a comment regarding your interest in both preserves!


To promote education, stewardship, and scientific research at the Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve, through responsible conservation and development.

Background Statement

Mr. Charles Lamb, a rancher from Littleton, Colorado, dug a spring in 1960 to create a stock pond on his property by the South Platte River. He found mammoth bones and other fragments near the spring. Dr. G. Edward Lewis of the U.S. Geological Survey identified the bones as from Pleistocene mammals, like mammoths, horses, camels, bison, and smaller animals. Geologist Glenn Scott joined Dr. Lewis to study the bone fragments around the spring. They discovered worked flint chips, indicating ancient human activity.

In 1961-62, Smithsonian researchers conducted excavations, uncovering different geological levels with bones and artifacts. They speculated about Pleistocene people's involvement in modifying the animal remains but couldn't confirm. The excavations resumed in 1980-81, revealing more evidence of human occupation, including a Cody complex bone bed and stone artifacts.

In 1980 and 1981, scientists named Dr. Dennis Stanford and Glenn Scott from the Smithsonian Institution continued work at the site, with the help of Dr. Russell Graham from the Illinois State Museum and Mr. Jim Rancier. They did tests on the bones and discovered they were around 13,000 years old. Also, they discovered bones from bison (bison antiquus) and hunting points that people might have used. Dr. Stanford and his team stopped digging in 1982. Several items from Lamb Spring are stored at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

In 1995, The Archaeological Conservancy, with help from Douglas County, DMNS, and the Smithsonian Institute bought the land containing Lamb Spring.

In 2002, Dr. E. James Dixon and Dr. Murphy excavated a juvenile Columbian Mammoth skull. The skull was conserved by experts from various organizations, including the Smithsonian and Denver Museum of Nature and Science. A cast was made of the juvenile Columbian Mammoth skull - which is on display at the site today. The original skull remains at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

The Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve (LSAP) was established in 2006, with a focus on education, stewardship, and interpretation of the site. LSAP collaborates with The Archaeological Conservancy and other partners to protect and study the site's rich history.

Organization Data


Organization name

Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)



Arts, Culture & Humanities

Organization Size

Small Organization

Colorado State Tax Credits

Colorado Enterprise Zone Credit


W. Titan Road
Littleton, CO 80125


8155 Piney River Ave Suite 200
Highlands Ranch, CO, CO 80129


8155 Piney River Ave Suite 200
Littleton, CO 80125

Service areas

Douglas County, CO, US





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