The first people came to the Buffalo River area about 10,000 years ago, long before any Euroamerican settlers. These first inhabitants relied on nature for their every need in life. rock overhangs, known as bluffshelters, were used by these people as campsites, storage areas, and sacred spaces since they were dry, protected dwellings. As bluffshelters were abandoned over the years, many items that American Indians left behind were well-preserved rather than decaying as in other sites where moisture would have destroyed them. Stone tools, woven baskets, and even cordage sandals have been found in bluffshelters in the Ozarks.
Archeologists have worked to carefully excavate some of the more significant bluffshelters like Indian Rockhouse at Buffalo Point. They found many artifacts that help us understand what daily life was like for the earliest inhabitants in this region.
For fun: print this page and find the hidden artifacts in the activity below.
Last updated: April 17, 2020