Archeological Mitigation of the Federal Lands Highway Program Plan to Rehabilitate Tour Road, Route 10, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Author(s): Douglas D. Scott

Year: 2006

Summary

Archival and archeological research was conducted in support of the planned rebuilding of Route 10, the tour road, from Last Stand Hill to the Reno–Benteen defense site parking lot at Little Bighorn Battle-field National Monument. Archival research in the National Archives and at the park provided back-ground information on the nature and extent of road construction by the U. S. Army in the mid-1930s that now constitutes the tour road right-of-way.

Close-order metal detecting in a corridor 20 meters to either side of the tour road alignment and at Calhoun Hill Loop recovered over 300 artifacts associated with the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. The distribution and density of artifacts recovered during the metal detecting validated the mid-1980s sampling effort, finding the predicted solider and Indian warrior positions posited in the earlier investigations.

The number of artifacts recovered was also within the predicted range based on the earlier investiga-tions. No new or unanticipated soldier or Indian warrior positions were identified, nor were any new fire-arms types identified. A number of additional individual guns were identified using comparative firearm identification techniques. The planned road reconstruction will not affect any marble marker locations, thus no additional mitigative excavations are required. Based on current plans for the road rehabilitation the close-order metal detecting has mitigated the effect of the road construction along the right-of-way. A multi-instrument geophysical survey was conducted around the Reno–Benteen parking lot to ensure that no buried riflepits or other battle features will be impacted by reconstruction efforts in that area. Once the current asphalt overlay is removed, it is recommended that metal detecting of the original base be con-ducted prior to reconstruction in order to ensure there are no buried deposits in the roadbed.

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Cite this Record

Archeological Mitigation of the Federal Lands Highway Program Plan to Rehabilitate Tour Road, Route 10, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana. Douglas D. Scott. Midwest Archeological Center: Technical Report ,94. Lincoln, Nebraska: national park service. 2006 ( tDAR id: 372131) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81Z4302

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.398; min lat: 45.499 ; max long: -107.353; max lat: 45.549 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): National Park Service; Midwest Archeological Center

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