Mountain Shoshone Landscape Occupation of Caldwell Basin, Fremont County, Wyoming

Author(s): Lindsey Simmons; Laura Scheiber; Amanda Burtt

Year: 2015


Interpreting the use of mountainous regions by prehistoric and historic hunter-gatherers has been hampered through the years by difficult access, excessive ground vegetation, and wilderness restrictions. Archaeologists have benefited, however, from the regular occurrence of forest fires that burn thousands of acres and expose hundreds of archaeological sites every summer, as our knowledge of campsite structure and landscape use has dramatically improved. We now know that remote campsites often contain tens of thousands of artifacts that represent a greater commitment to mountain resources and places than previously considered. New recording methodologies are now being employed to properly document these sites. In this paper, we describe a second field season’s efforts to investigate the Caldwell Creek sites, which were exposed by the Norton Point fire in 2011. In addition to an overwhelming number of lithics, the fire also revealed numerous diagnostic Mountain Shoshone artifacts, including ceramics, side-notched and un-notched projectile points, and a wide variety of Shoshone knives and bifaces. We discuss increased data sets as well as the results of specialized analyses of ceramic and obsidian sourcing that contribute to the growing knowledge of landscape use in high-altitude environments.

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Cite this Record

Mountain Shoshone Landscape Occupation of Caldwell Basin, Fremont County, Wyoming. Amanda Burtt, Laura Scheiber, Lindsey Simmons. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398338)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;