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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump is located in Alberta, Canada, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

In Blackfoot, the name for the site is Estipah-skikikini-kots. According to legend, a young Blackfoot wanted to watch the buffalo plunge off the cliff from below, but was accidentally crushed (i.e., has his "head smashed in") when he wandered too close.

The Blackfoot drove the buffalo from a grazing area in the Porcupine Hills about 3 kilometers west of the site to the "drive lanes," lined by hundreds of cairns. The cliff itself is about 300 meters long, and at its highest point drops 10 meters into the valley below. The site was in use at least 6000 years ago, and the bone deposits themselves are 10 meters deep. After falling off the cliff, the buffalo were processed at a nearby camp.

The site was abandoned in the 19th century after European contact. The site was first recorded by Europeans in the 1880s, and was first excavated by the American Museum of Natural History in 1938.

The site was designated a Canadian National Historic Site in 1968, and a Provincial Historic Site in 1979. It was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981.

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