Browse Articles about Prehistory
|American Indian tribes, trade among||Samuel Western|
|Archeology, alpine in Wyoming||Rebecca Hein|
|Colby Mammoth Site||WyomingHeritage.org|
|Finley Bison Kill Site||Stephanie Lowe|
|Indian tribes, trade among||Samuel Western|
|Mountain Shoshone||Rebecca Hein|
|Native American trade before European arrival||Samuel Western|
Recent, surprising discoveries including a prehistoric village in the Wind River Range above Dubois, Wyo., suggest humans—most likely ancestors of today’s Shoshone people—lived high-mountain lives as long as 10,000 years ago.
The earliest people appear to have come to Wyoming from Asia about 11,000 years ago and archaeologists now think there’s a good chance the people were direct ancestors of Shoshone people who live in Wyoming now. In recent years, the mostly white archaeologists have realized it makes sense to ask Shoshone people for help understanding the pictures and carvings their ancestors left on the rocks.
The mystery surrounding the Pedro Mountain Mummy, discovered in the 1930s about 60 miles south of Casper, Wyo., by two gold prospectors, continues to intrigue people. While some sensational media accounts indicated the mummy might have been one of the little people of American Indian folklore, scientists who studied the artifact in detail have concluded that the mummy was an infant who died because of a congenital defect.
The Finley Site, located near Eden in Sweetwater County, Wyo., was used by early American Indians to trap and kill bison. The Finley Site is an early Holocene Paleo-Indian bison-kill and processing area, dating back about 7,500 to 12,500 years before the present. This was the first place where Eden points and two kinds of Scottsbluff projectile points were found together, showing that the three were contemporaneous. The Finley Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Medicine Wheel, a ring of limestone boulders 80 feet in diameter with 28 spokes radiating from a central cairn, lies on an open mountaintop at an elevation above 9,600 feet in Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. People have used the area for perhaps 7,000 years; researchers believe the wheel was constructed over a period of centuries from about 1,500 to about 500 years ago.