The Integrity of a Surface Collection and Its Value to a Tribe

Author(s): Ashleigh Thompson; Anna Jansson

Year: 2017


What is the value of a large surface collection? Surface finds are often dismissed by archaeologists as having little or no integrity. Our work uses data from 24GL304 (The Billy Big Spring Site) to speak to two different types of value for a surface collection: one being its archaeological integrity and the other the value placed on these artifacts by their descendant community. During modern times, the area around our study site has been used as rangeland, which has resulted in animal trampling causing the disturbance of the near-surface deposits. Three research questions guide our work: (1) What has been disturbed? (2) Is there any primary depositional patterning preserved among the surface artifacts? We use GIS analysis to calculate patterning among the artifacts. (3) What do the surface finds from this site mean to the Blackfeet community and tribal members who were involved in this project? Through ethnographic interview, we ask how this project interacts with the Blackfeet identity, their history, and their connection to the land. By following these research questions, we attempt to speak to value of the surface finds at our study site, as both a resource for archaeological data and as a monument to tribal identity.

Cite this Record

The Integrity of a Surface Collection and Its Value to a Tribe. Ashleigh Thompson, Anna Jansson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428938)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16592