Project Partner: Shoshone National Forest
History: The mountains of Wyoming have been home to many groups of people for the last 13,000 years. The physical record of these people's lives - the archaeological record - is rich and complex, but under a variety of threats. One of these, wildland fire, is becoming more common and the range of impacts that a burn can produce are only beginning to be recognized. Obviously, wooden structures such as cabins or prehistoric sheep traps are at extreme risk from fire. Less obvious, however, are the dangers posed to the near-surface archaeology represented by stone tools, animal bones, and other artifacts.
Scope of Work: During the summer of 2011, the Norton Point fire burned 23,592 acres on the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming. The fire exposed cultural artifacts and features that were once hidden by vegetation. These exposed cultural resources are threatened by natural and human-caused impacts. Archaeological inventories are needed in this area to determine and define cultural resources in the fire area, and assess impacts and threats to the resources exposed by fire.
Volunteers learned to:
• Conduct in-field analysis of stone tools and lithic debris
• Identify surface archaeological materials
• Measure and document items and map GPS locations
Additional Information: The project was managed and supervised by Dr. Larry Todd and assisted by a HistoriCorps camp chef. Dr. Todd has nearly 40 years professional archaeological field experience and for the last decade has focused on work in northwestern Wyoming's mountain environments (www.greybull.org).
Bio: Lawrence C. Todd
For four decades, Larry Todd has been participating in archaeological research projects seeking to refine our understanding of human-landscape interactions. This research has primarily on the North American Great Plains, but he has also worked in France, South Africa, Ukraine, and Turkey. A native of Meeteetse, Wyoming who grew up on cattle ranch along the Greybull River, Todd received his BA from the University of Wyoming, and MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1983. Beginning with his first field experiences, which led to his doctoral dissertation research on the Horner bison kill site near Cody, he spent most of the last quarter of the 20th century researching the archaeology and taphonomy of North American bison kill sites. He has taught archaeology at Denver University, Boston University, University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, and currently at Northwest College. Since 2001, his field work has been split between investigating archaeology of early humans in Ethiopia during the winter and human use of high elevation, wilderness environments in Wyoming's Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem during the summer. In 2008, he and returned to the Big Horn Basin, and is devoting most of his time to research into the prehistory of Northwestern Wyoming and into efforts to promote stewardship of the area's multiple resources.
HistoriCorps is a service learning partner of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture committed to the preservation and stewardship of significant resources on public lands.
- July 30, 2012 - August 8, 2013