Faunal Remains from the Bergstrom Site (24JT0893): A Late Prehistoric Bison Kill in Central Montana

Tristan Huxtable, Brian Carr, Georgia Scott, Danielle Buchanan, and Conor Bianchi, Dr. Neeley, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Montana State University, Culbertson Hall, 100, Bozeman, MT 59717

Bison hunting was an important part of precontact subsistence practices in the Northwestern plains as is evident by the numerous archaeological sites that document this activity. In 2019, as part of the Montana State University archaeological field school, excavations were conducted at the Bergstrom site (24JT0893), a multicomponent, late prehistoric bison kill in central Montana. The fieldwork resulted in the collection of a large assemblage of bison remains from nine different excavation units representative of both early (Besant, 2000 to 1500 years before present) and late (Avonlea, 1700 to 900 years before present) phases in stratified contexts. The aim of this project is to understand how precontact peoples hunted and used bison at the site over a span of nearly one thousand years. Methodologically, the faunal remains are analyzed following standard archaeological procedures with an emphasis on identifying the number of animals represented (using the frequency of bone elements), seasonality (tooth eruption patterns in mandible and maxilla elements), and patterns of butchering (cut marks and patterns of bone breakage). In addition to identifying spatial and temporal patterns at the site level, the results will be placed within a regional perspective by examining patterns from other similar aged sites in the Northwestern plains. This will enable us to better contextualize the behaviors of these past hunter-gatherer peoples.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Tristan Huxtable

Institution: Montana State University Bozeman

Type: Poster

Subject: Anthropology & Archeology

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2020