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About This Book
Since 1872, visitors have flocked to Yellowstone National Park to gaze in awe at its dramatic geysers, stunning mountains, and impressive wildlife. Yet more than a century of archaeological research shows that the wild landscape has a long history of human presence. In fact, Native American people have hunted bison and bighorn sheep, fished for cutthroat trout, and gathered bitterroot and camas bulbs here for at least 11,000 years, and twenty-six tribes claim cultural association with Yellowstone today.
In Before Yellowstone, Douglas MacDonald tells the story of these early people as revealed by archaeological research into nearly 2,000 sites�many of which he helped survey and excavate. He describes and explains the significance of archaeological areas such as the easy-to-visit Obsidian Cliff, where hunters obtained volcanic rock to make tools and for trade, and Yellowstone Lake, a traditional place for gathering edible plants. MacDonald helps readers understand the archaeological methods used and the limits of archaeological knowledge. From Clovis points associated with mammoth hunting to stone circles marking the sites of tipi lodges, Before Yellowstone brings to life a fascinating story of human engagement with this stunning landscape.