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Thesis (M.A.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 2003. Department of Anthropology.


Copyright 2003, the author. Used by permission.


The Black Hills are often assumed by archaeologists to have been an area targeted by prehistoric Plains inhabitants. Due to limited archaeological research conducted in the surrounding region, the idea of preferential usage of the Black Hills by prehistoric Native peoples has not been adequately tested against the archaeological record. The materials documented by the DM&E-PRBEP study spanning the southern margin of the Black Hills and east to the Plains, offers a rare opportunity to address this issue.

In this analysis, several indices were employed to determine if past groups preferentially targeted the Black Hills region. Settlement intensity, feature distribution, and assemblage variation were evaluated for parcels of land varying in their proximity to the Black Hills to establish land use patterns for these areas. The results of the analysis suggest that indeed the Black Hills were targeted for resource procurement, but few indications of long-term occupation are evident. In addition, areas to the east show evidence of preferential targeting. Patterns in the few temporally sensitive projectile points suggest the use of the Black Hills especially during the Late Prehistoric.

Advisor: LuAnn Wandsnider