The Vore Buffalo Jump. Research, Education, and Cultural Center

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1 The Vore Buffalo Jump Research, Education, and Cultural Center

2 The Vore site is a sinkhole......a natural bowl that retained cultural materials just where the Indians left them.

3 The volume of cultural material is enormous. Bones of at least 15,000 bison are represented at the site, along with thousands of discarded tools and artifacts.

4 Preservation is near perfect. The Vore site s bones and artifacts were quickly covered with sediment. This rapid burial protected them from weathering, decomposition, scavengers, etc.

5 Precise dating is possible. Precise dating is possible. The layers of sediment are similar to tree rings and can be correlated with them to provide very accurate dating of cultural events, evidence about climate, ecology, and many other things.

6 The Hunt Large communal bison hunts were thoroughly planned by respected leaders and included ceremonies by shamen.

7 Scouts, known for their endurance and knowledge of bison behavior, took days to carefully haze the scattered bison into a large herd near the jump site.

8 Sometimes decoys imitating a bison calf in distress, lured the herd in the direction of the trap

9 Hunt leaders positioned other tribe members at key locations along drive lines that funneled the herd toward the jump. Natural topographic features such as arroyos and rock outcrops were often used in drive lines. Occasionally, man-made made cairns, brush piles, fences, etc. were also used.

10 To avoid scattering the bison, it was essential not to stampede the herd until the final seconds.

11 Successful hunts were followed by the huge tasks of butchering and processing many tons of meat then by thanksgiving and celebration.

12 Vore site excavation will be related to many fields of study History Climate Ecology Archaeology Genetics Geology Cultural Anthropology

13 Because it captures a fascinating time and culture with incredible preservation and precise dating, the Vore Buffalo Jump has been called The Pompeii of Plains Indian Archaeological sites

14 Stories in stone Not all of the bison were killed by the initial fall into the sinkhole. Many injured bison were quickly dispatched by arrows and then butchered. As a result, the Vore site contains a superior representation of stone tools from different tribes and periods.

15 500 Mandan/ Hidatsa Kiowa/ Plains Apache Absaroka and Shoshone Cheyenne and Arapahoe Lakota RING WIDTH (.01 mm) LITTLE ICE AGE DATE

16 Tracing Stone From Quarries to Vore Site Points and tools found at the Vore Buffalo Jump can be traced to stone quarries hundreds of miles away, including Knife River flint from No. Dakota chert & quartzite from the Spanish Diggings porcellanite from Powder & Tongue River areas Knife River Vore Site Spanish Diggings

17 Mont. No.Dak. Powder River Basin Porcellanite Knife River Flint Wyoming Vore Site So.Dak. Spanish Diggings Quartzite Nebr

18 The Vore site is a history book about fascinating people in a time of rapid cultural change. The ancestors of at least five Plains Indian tribes are thought to have used the Vore site during a 300 year period between 1500 and 1800 A.D.

19 The period of use of the Vore Buffalo Jump corresponded with......major tribal movements increased mobility weapon & tool advancements religious & ceremonial development...

20 Spanish Horses on Southern Plains Columbus Converging Histories Lewis & Clark Several Small Pox Epidemics French & British Trade Goods Through Canada Little Ice Age Begins Last Use of Vore site Cheyenne & Arapahoe Hidatsa-Crow Horses Common on Northern Plains Shoshone Kiowa-Apache Plains Apache?? Middle-Missouri tribes?? 1 st Use of Vore Site

21 The Vore Site Connects With More Familiar History 1840 s & 1850 s Wagon Roads Trappers/Explorers 1800 End of Vore Site Use & 90 s Ranchers, Homesteads 1860 s & 70 s Civil War, Gold Rushes, Railroads and Indian Wars

22 The Vore Buffalo Jump Project s History and Accomplishments

23 Donation & Ownership Vore family donated property to University of Wyoming in 1989 Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation formed in UW and Vore Family transferred title to VBJ Foundation in 2001 VBJF & UW Remain Partners Enlarged partnership is pending

24 Feasibility Study In 1990, the Wyoming Legislature funded a feasibility study of the Vore Buffalo Jump s development and it s potential benefit to the regional economy. This study was updated in 2002.

25 Bison Bison Producers Producers Many Pieces In The Many Pieces In The Scientific Scientific Community Community Vore Site Development Foundations Foundations & & Donors Donors UW UW & & Extension Extension Wyo. Business Business Council Vore Buffalo Jump Foundation Tourism, Tourism, Service Service Industry Industry Promoters Promoters State and Federal Governments Elected Officials Economic Development Entities Native American Tribes History & Culture Buffs

26 Fitting the Pieces Together VBJ Foundation Interpretive programs, overall management, fund-raising for Phase II & III & beyond University of Wyoming Research & Education State of Wyoming Basic Infrastructure, Tourist Info Center, Highway Access, State Historical Site? Tribes Cultural Programs & Classes Federal Gov. Phase I Funding? Tourism Industry Promotion of Site, State, Region

27 A properly developed Vore Buffalo Jump will be a source of pride to our region an enduring legacy from our generation to those that follow.

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