86. Historical Archeology
at the Village on Pawnee Fork,
Ness County, Kansas
Bruce A. Jones
Extensive inventory and excavation by avocational
archeologist Earl Monger and two episodes of
evaluative testing by Kansas State Historical Society archeologists
in 1976 and 1977 have confirmed the
location of the Cheyenne-Oglala village that was destroyed by
the order of Major General Winfield S.
Hancock in April 1867. Monger’s work and the Society investigations
exposed several concentrations of
burned and broken historic Euroamerican materials, together with
some other artifacts that are clearly of
American Indian manufacture. The artifact concentrations correlate
with the piles of Indian belongings
that Hancock’s troops collected and burned following the
villagers’ flight from the military expedition.
The archeological context of the artifactual materials matches
well with the various historical descriptions
of the village and its destruction.
Historic trade goods or Indian annuity materials recovered during
the excavations include tin cups of
the Civil War era, a variety of buckles that probably represent
harness or tack, firearms parts, helmet and
uniform buttons, iron kettle and oven fragments, coffee mill
parts, bottle glass and crockery, and sheet
brass scraps. Artifacts of American Indian manufacture include
chipped-stone projectile points, a stone
maul, ochre deposits, and a buffalo stone—a baculite fossil
that was modified into a bison fetish.
No clear evidence of lodge structures was observed, although
several small post molds were identified.