Sat, Sep 14|
2019 Fall Field Trip
Tour a U.S. Forest Service bison run site with archaeologist Troy Price, gather in Medora for a remote presentation by Dr. Christopher Roos (Southern Methodist University) on Prairie Fires and Bison Hunting, and tour historic homestead sites with National Park Service archaeologist Jay Sturdevant.
Time & Location
Sep 14, 2019, 12:00 PM MDT – Sep 15, 2019, 2:00 PM MDT
Trapper's Kettle, 803 Highway 85 N, Belfield, ND 58622, USA
About the Event
*Please note that during the trip, we will be on Mountain Time*
*Please also note the NDAA will not be providing meals*
Saturday September 14th
1 PM CT (12PM MT): Meet at the Trapper’s Kettle Restaurant in Belfield for meet and greet, intro talk (optional coffee/lunch)
2PM CT (1PM MT): Head to the site (about 30 minutes away)
2:30PM CT (1:30PM MT): U.S. Forest Service (USFS)-led tour of a bison run site south of Fryburg (Billings County). The site
includes a massive amount of lithics, a Rainy Butte silicified wood quarry/source area, and the landscape has some
indicators of having been a bison run. USFS Archaeologist Troy Price will discuss what has already been recorded, as well
as future work at the site. Participants will be able to explore the site on foot, which is accessible from the road.
3:30PM CT (2:30PM MT): Head to Medora check into lodging facility of your choice.
5:30PM CT (4:30PM MT): Meet at the Amble Inn in Medora for a presentation by Dr. Christopher Roos, who will be joining us
remotely from Dallas, TX to give the following presentation: Prairie Fires and Bison Hunting: How Northwestern Plains
Groups Used Fire to Improve the Success of Bison Jumps. The shortgrass prairie uplands of the northwestern Great
Plains are littered with stone features that demarcate long driving lanes by which native hunters drove heads of bison over
bluffs at their end. Recent archaeology in northern Montana indicates that this communal hunting strategy reached its
fluorescence between roughly 900-1650 CE. Layers of grass charcoal in young geological deposits near these driveline
complexes provide a historical record of the use of fire in these communal hunting strategies. Coinciding with regional wet
periods when grass growth was the most productive, Native bison hunters burnt the prairies near specific driveline
complexes to lure bison to the regenerating grasses, which bison prefer to graze. This strategy of burning was apparently
rotated over roughly a dozen driveline complexes in a landscape of roughly 90 km2 for more than six centuries.
Sunday September 15th
11AM-3PM CT(10AM-2PM MT): National Park Service archaeologist Jay Sturdevant will provide a guided tour of historic
ranch and homestead sites inside Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Please plan to bring your own lunch for the Sunday
tour! More details will be available when it gets closer!