Paleoindians of Yellowstone Lake: Interpreting Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene hunter-gatherer land-use in the greater Yellowstone ecosystem

Douglas H. MacDonald, Matthew R. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the last decade, numerous Paleoindian sites have been identified at Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming, North America’s largest, high-elevation natural lake. This study presents results of University of Montana research between 2009 and 2016 at 25 sites that provide information regarding human use of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem during the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene. Despite the recovery of Clovis evidence at Yellowstone Lake, Early Paleoindians rarely visited the region, likely due to difficult post-glacial environmental conditions. After 10,000 BP, upon ameliorating climate changes, Late Paleoindian Cody complex hunter-gatherers increased use of the lake area. In order to better understand regional travel patterns, this study compares lithic raw material and tool use between the Fishing Bridge Peninsula and Osprey Beach Late Paleoindian Cody complex sites. The paper’s conclusion discusses the implications of the research on Paleoindian use of the high-elevation Rocky Mountain region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-50
Number of pages28
JournalPlains Anthropologist
Volume64
Issue number249
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019

Keywords

  • Paleoindians
  • Wyoming
  • Yellowstone Lake
  • lithics
  • mobility

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