On-Site Public Interpretation of Bison Kill Sites

Author(s): John Fisher

Year: 2017


Translating professional archaeological research into meaningful educational experiences for the public has taken on increased urgency in recent years. Several archaeologically investigated ancient bison kill sites in North America, located in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Texas, have an on-site public interpretive facility. The experiences at seven of these sites in moving from archaeological research to developing a public interpretive center are chronicled in a recently published book entitled "Pisskan: Interpreting First Peoples Bison Kills at Heritage Parks" (edited by Leslie B. Davis and John W. Fisher, Jr., The University of Utah Press, 2016). Each case study followed its own unique path. Shared perceptions come through on certain issues pertaining to public education. These includes the importance of conveying to the public that archaeological method and theory change through time, and that the same body of evidence is open to alternative interpretations. Debate among archaeologists is healthy and engenders advances in knowledge and understanding. This presentation conveys perspectives of archaeologists who have been deeply involved in public education at on-site interpretive centers.

Cite this Record

On-Site Public Interpretation of Bison Kill Sites. John Fisher. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432088)

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16031