Archeological Progress Report No. 5, Field Season of 1960


The primary purpose of these informal reports is to outline the current work in the Missouri Basin and discuss some of the general problems involved. Response to such reports in the past has been encouraging and helpful, even aiding in the settling of some future policies. We hope we will, with this report, continue to receive response and constructive criticisms that will assist in getting the most out of the Salvage Program. This is one of the most crucial periods in the entire Inter-Agency Archeological Salvage Program. Two of the largest reservoirs on the Missouri, the Oahe and Big Bend, are rapidly nearing completion. Despite the all-out effort for the past several years, in these reservoirs, almost two-thirds of the sites that were recommended for investigation remain unsampled. This makes a truly gloomy picture sound worse than it really is. Of the 460 sites initially recommended for investigation, careful selection and excavation of what appeared to be key sites has reduced the number now considered to be of major importance by nearly half. Under ordinary, non-salvage circumstances, one might ideally wish to excavate all of the potentially productive sites; that is, the sites that would be recommended in the initial surface surveys. It is obvious that in an emergency salvage situation this just isn’t possible. Once a series of related sites has been investigated, other sites that promise to be of the same kind, even though productive, must be by-passed in favor of investigation of other kinds of sites. This factor, then, has eliminated from the program the kind of site that has already been dug and which promises to do no more than add to the trait inventory of a modestly-known culture complex. Even so, eliminating this “site repetition,” there are some 48 sites in the Oahe reservoir and some 32 sites in the Big Bend reservoir that yet must be investigated in order to obtain a reasonably adequate “minimum sample” of the prehistory of the areas. In Oahe, some sites of major importance were lost to flooding this year before they could be investigated. Others will be lost next year and by the summer of 1962, only a few sites at the highest levels of the pool edge will remain available. In Big Bend, the present construction and flooding schedules indicate that by 1964 only the sites at the very highest elevations will be available for study.

Cite this Record

Archeological Progress Report No. 5, Field Season of 1960. Smithsonian Institution, Missouri Basin Project, Lincoln, NE. 1517 O Street, Lincoln 8, Nebraska: Smithsonian Institution, River Basin Surveys, Missouri Basin Project. 1960 ( tDAR id: 391103) ; doi:10.6067/XCV87M08W8

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.854; min lat: 42.163 ; max long: -95.098; max lat: 49.611 ;

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
archeological-progress-report-no-5.pdf 484.92kb May 15, 2013 3:34:59 PM Public