Badger Hole Bison Kill
It's one of the most familiar scenes in the history of the American West:
(image courtesy Library of Congress)
But 10,000 years ago, paleoindians hunted bison without horses, bows or arrows. And those bison were significantly larger. How did these early North Americans do it? That's one of the questions that sent Time Team America to Oklahoma.
In the summer of 2011, archaeologist Dr. Lee Bement and his team discovered the remains of a group of bison antiquus (the predecessor to modern bison) at a site called Badger Hole. The bison had been killed and butchered by Folsom people, as evidenced by a projectile point found among the bones. How many bison were killed here? Below, Chelsea Rose and principal archaeologist Dr. Bement investigate.
The same floodplain that witnessed battles between man and bison now hosts a bevy of archaeologist hazards: rattlesnakes, ticks, oppressive heat, tornadoes and electrical storms. On the first day of Time Team America's dig, tragedy nearly struck in the form of a cow that stampeded directly into our dig site.
(artist's rendition courtesy Shervin Hess)
Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.
Just down the road in Woodward, Time Team America hosted it's second archaeological field school. Fourteen local soon-to-be seventh grade girls dug deep into the ancient Folsom way of life and experienced cutting-edge archaeological tools. More on that soon.