What is Archeology?
Archeology is the scientific study of past human culture, technology, and behavior based on the analysis of remains that people have left behind. Archaeologists propose, evaluate, and undertake research projects to learn how specific ways of life developed and how they changed over time. The new Two Eagles Trail will be dedicated October 20, 2012, and visitors will be able to walk through an ancient tipi rings site, which will have several interpretive wayside signs to educate the public.
Archeological research is based on the premise that elementary human needs for food, shelter, and social organization span time; archaeologists use careful methods to record and excavate sites, and to examine material remains that people left behind.
These remains reflect their individual cultures and by studying the remains we can learn about these early people. The study of the nonrenewable and fragile remains of past cultures instills awareness for the need to preserve and protect archaeological sites.
Much of the archeological work at Bighorn Canyon focuses on the Bad Pass Trail. This ancient trail led from the mouth of the Bighorn Canyon southward into the Bighorn Basin and eventually to the Wind River Mountains. This route served inhabitants of the region.
Documenting Tipi Rings on the Bad Pass Trail
Help Protect Archeological Sites
Archeological sites, like other resources in the park, are protected under federal legislation. If you come upon archeological materials, do not remove, but report your findings to a park ranger, who will record this information. The locational information is very important to our understanding of the past human habitation of Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
Removal of artifacts from their location destroys essential information needed in order to study past humans. If you see anyone collecting or destroying archeological materials, please report this to park rangers.