Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name


Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

Douglas H. MacDonald

Commitee Members

Anna M. Prentiss, John Douglas, Thomas A. Foor, Steven D. Sheriff


Ancient Montana, Anzick Artifacts, Camel, Clovis Burial, High Technology Forager, Protein Analysis


University of Montana


The Anzick Site (24PA506) is a multi-component archaeological site located in the Shields River Valley of south-central Montana approximately 125 km north of Yellowstone National Park. The site was accidentally discovered in 1968, leading to the unfortunate destruction of its archaeological context. Included in the recovered elements of the site are the fragmentary human remains of two individuals, as well as approximately 116 lithic and osseous tools diagnostic of Clovis Culture technology. These tools were thickly covered with red ochre, as was one set of remains, presumably indicative of a burial from which osseous tool samples were dated to approximately 11,000 radiocarbon years before present (rcybp) with the remains dating to approximately 10,900 rcybp. The other set of remains, discovered ten meters distant and uphill from the ochre-covered remains dates to approximately 8,600 rcybp and are thought to be from a separate interment. The purpose of this dissertation is to assess certain facts associated with the Anzick Site, remains and artifacts. More specifically, does the site represent an assemblage deposited during a single event or possibly a collection of materials from several separate depositional events? Additionally, the artifacts may serve to elucidate a pattern of landscape and material use by this particular group of people, living at the end of the Pleistocene Epoch. Past research has shown that the Clovis Culture was highly proficient in terms of subsistence strategy and likely employed a “high technology forager” (HTF) land use system, incorporating attributes of both “forager” and “collector” hunter-gatherer systems. In keeping with the HTF system, the Clovis hunter-gatherers were very mobile, and likely focused primarily on technology as it applied to prey acquisition and the availability of raw materials required for tool manufacture. Although the context of the site was destroyed, the existing data pertaining to the recovered elements do allow for further analyses.


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