Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21 No.1, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Every Plains archaeologist has heard of the Hell Gap site. But few could tell you much about it. All that changes with the publication of this needed, dense, thorough collection that chronicles the life and content of this singularly important archaeological site. With 20 papers and 13 appendices, this book takes a monumental step forward in furthering our knowledge of nearly the entire Paleoindian sequence of occupation on the western Plains. Hell Gap is the type site for three Paleoindian point styles: Goshen, Hell Gap, and Frederick, and contains at least six other cultural complexes: Folsom, Midland, Agate Basin, Alberta, Eden/Scottsbluff, and Lusk. All in a stratified and fairly well-dated sequence. There are hints of Clovis, but the jury is still out. Located in eastern Wyoming, the Hell Gap site was discovered when amateur collector 1. Duguid picked up a complete Agate Basin point in 1958 (the first appendix tells his story). Sharing that information led to years of excavation by a virtual "who's who" in the history of Plains archaeology. Previously known by a few short articles and unpublished works, this volume is the first major synthesis of one of the most studied and significant sites in the Plains.