Sun River (24CA74): A Stratified Pelican Lake and Oxbow Occupation Site near Great Falls, Montana.
Final rept. Jun 82-Aug 83,
HISTORICAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES MISSOULA MT
Pagination or Media Count:
The Sun River site 24CA74, a stratified occupation located just west of Great Falls, Montana, was excavated by Historical Research Associates in 1982 under contract with the Omaha District of the Corps of Engineers. Six occupation levels were defined, characterized by butchered faunal remains in association with lithic artifacts, fire-broken rocks, and various features. The upper levels I-III were occupied at various intervals between ca. 2800 to 3600 BP. The lower levels IV-VI, each representing a single Oxbow component, dated between ca. 3600 and 5200 BP. Most of the prehistoric occupants focused on the exploitation of bison, although a variety of fauna are represented in each level and the earliest component is predominated by pronghorn, and the proportions of represented species changed through time. The site is especially significant because it is the first dated occurrence of Oxbow components in Montana. Furthermore, the occupations span the millenia of notable climatic change from late Altithermal to Medithermal conditions. Informative paleoenvironmental data enhance the archaeological results. Sun River provides an important key toward the understanding of prehistoric adaptations on the Northwestern Plains during a poorly understood period.
- Humanities and History