Anthropology, Department of


First Advisor

John L. Champe

Date of this Version


Document Type



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College in the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts

Department of Anthropology

Under the supervision of John L. Champe

Lincoln, Nebraska, September 10, 1954


One of the aims of anthropology is the study of the growth and change of cultures. The data on which the realization of this aim depends include reports upon single archeological sites or the ethnographies of a group of people. These data, however, are of little value as long as each report remains a unique entity, hanging in time and space. For the study of culture growth and change each must be seen in its proper perspective against the known total of history. This archeological report presents pertinent material for the study of some of these historical phenomena in the Central Plains.

The excavations of the Lynch site, 25BD1, (near Ponca Creek in Boyd County in northeastern Nebraska) were made in 1936 by the University of Nebraska Archeological Survey and the materials recovered are available in the Laboratory of Anthropology of the University of Nebraska. There was newspaper and radio publicity in 1936 and the site has had brief mention in technical reports.

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, to present a report of the excavations of 1936 reconstructed from site records. Second, to present the results of the laboratory analysis of the artifacts. Third, to discuss the relationships between 25BD1 and the established manifestations of the Central Plains, and, so far as possible, to the important Middle Missouri sites now being investigated by the River Basin Surveys, Smithsonian Institution, and their cooperating agencies.

The first section of this report gives a description of the Lynch site, its location and situation including a brief survey of the regional geography, the geological formations and the climate. The second section is a report of the field work carried on by the excavators.

Section three is an analysis and description of the material remains recovered in 1936. All of the material culture will be discussed but the ceramic remains provide the greater part of the available data for the section.

The fourth section of this paper will relate the archeological complex of the Lynch site to other cultural manifestations of the area. The possible time of occupation of the Lych site will be discussed.

The resolution of these problems will lead to other problems in central Plains archeology. As an aid for future workers in Plains archeology suggestions as to work in the field and in the laboratory which indicate methods of working on these problems form the concluding section of this report.

[Note: The thesis is 242 pages, including 26 plates, 5 maps, 17 figures (some in color), and 17 tables. Mrs. Freed's obituary from the McCook Daily Gazette is appended at the end. The PDF file is approximately 15 Mbytes.]

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