Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology


University of Montana


Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of prehistoric sites around the shores of Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming indicating that Native Americans lived, hunted, and gathered in the region for 11,000 years. This thesis attempts to identify the Native American subsistence strategies that were conducted around the shores of Yellowstone Lake, specifically along the northeast shore. The objective is to define how Native Americans exploited the bison, elk, and bighorn sheep that were observed at the Windy Bison Site (48YE697). This objective is approached through analyzing the faunal remains that were documented at 48YE697. The analysis will be conducted using zooarchaeological methods to determine the economic utility of the identified carcass remains. Economic utility is defined as the amount of useful meat, marrow, and/or grease that is associated with a bone. Also, the economic utility will be determined through the development of utility indices that will reflect whether a given carcass element is a high-utility or a low-utility element. In addition, the determination of high-utility or low-utility elements will contribute to the understanding of how hunter-gatherers selected and transported specific carcass elements from a processing/kill site to a residential site. The selection and transportation decisions are based the central place foraging perspective. Furthermore, the approached objective is through a combination of theoretical perspectives that highlight: 1) the seasonal movements of people; 2) why bison, elk, and bighorn sheep were the primary fauna species identified at 48YE697; and 3) why and how hunter-gatherers make decisions on carcass element selection, and transportation. The last methods for approaching the objective is the combination of archaeological, ethnographic, and ethnohistoric data. The overall combination of utility indices, theoretical perspectives, archaeological, ethnographic, and ethnohistoric data allows for an understanding of hunter-gatherer subsistence and mobility strategies at Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming to be understood.



© Copyright 2018 Collin R. Price