Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Cultural Heritage Option)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

John Douglas

Commitee Members

John Douglas, Kelly Dixon, Mike Monsos


Madison Buffalo Jump, Historic Inscriptions, Montana, Rock Art


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


This thesis explores the cultural significance and interpretive potential of historic inscriptions left behind by primarily Euro-Americans at Madison Buffalo Jump; a Native American bison jump situated in the Madison Valley of southwestern Montana. The inscriptions are analyzed through the lens of Cultural Landscape Theory and their typology, distribution, and content are examined in detail. By looking at these inscriptions in this manner, opportunities for ongoing research are highlighted, the future potential of these types of inscriptions to contribute to a new interpretive is examined, and the challenges of appropriate conservation strategies is considered. This thesis presents the argument that inscriptions such as these aid in telling a narrative of those who came before, and can reveal forgotten aspects of early Euro-American life and cultural practices on the American frontier, while similarly aiming to promote the potential of historic inscriptions to contribute to the cultural significance and interpretation of heritage sites.



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