The Little Bison Basin Valley : a Look at Its History

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May 5th, 2000
Hunter College,
Introduction to Archeology
Professor C.M. Tinsley

The Little Bison Basin Valley : A look at its history

This valley, future home of a ski resort and other activities, has a history of its own. It is divided into three major areas: The Poplar Region, The Bud Site, and the Gasville, areas which descend from North to South respectively. It is assumed that climatological conditions are similar to those found in the same area thousands of years ago, with some minor changes in temperature that may have increased due to the Green house effect and global warming.

These three sites were studied separately in the following order :

• Poplar Region
o Three regions were excavated
▪ Site A
▪ Site B
▪ Site C
• The Bud Site
o Two distinct occupation horizons were found and evidence of borderline occupation by habitants between periods o Two levels were studied
▪ Upper Level
▪ Lower Level
• The Gasville site
o An excavation subdivided into four levels was done and each produced evidence that helped to determine many facts about the past living conditions in the area ▪ Level 1

▪ Level 2
▪ Level 3
▪ Level 4

This paper discusses the evidence found in these areas and concludes with the different aspects of the area based on the facts and evidence.

This valley is composed of high slope mountains and the weather differs at different altitudes. Although four seasons are present, the intensity of each weather condition usually affects the highest altitude mountain ranges more than the lower terraces. The highest mountain is about 2000 meters and vegetation exists at the very top as well.

Changes in weather conditions allow animal migration and this is what the evidence suggests at the moment. Cattle are seen throughout the Summer time in the lower valley and this behavior is assumed to have been taken place for many years.

We notice that season fruits are to be found all over, but mostly Summer time promotes ripening of different types of fruits. This is an important fact which has to be taken into consideration if we are to assume diet behavior of those who lived there thousand of years ago.

The following diagram shows a summary of the results of Carbon 14 radioactivity of each area.


Here we can notice that the Gasville area is the region where the oldest artifacts were found followed by the Poplar Site and then the Poplar Region. This suggests that migration may have taken place from the Southern aspect of the valley towards the Northern part. We also noticed that the upper level of the Bud site and the upper level of the Gasville area share about the same time frame. This may suggest that populations were found scattered among both areas around the same time at the end of the period, but the Poplar region shows no sign of human or animal presence to after about 2000 years ago.

Our data suggests that Gasville was the area where around 4000 ya animals were present. No evidence suggests the presence of humans or any other artifacts. Bones found represent life in the area by primitive mammals, but no human remains. The upper gave us information about cultural remains about animals and the use of tools by primitive humans. We believe these were humans because no other evidence suggests that any other mammal used tools or hunting techniques such as pits to hunt their pray. This could be the time when humans first arrived to this area. The use of fire represents a cold climate and a highly skilled activity to keep warmth. Their diet was perhaps high in proteins (meat), and fat. No evidence suggested that these humans eat the bone marrow for protein and fat. Humans continued in the...
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