This archeological overview and assessment for Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve describes the multiple episodes of archeological research that have occurred in the Flint Hills region, and documents the presence of archeological materials reflecting 12,000 years of American Indian occupation and use of the lands around the preserve. Paleoindian and Archaic remains in this portion of the Great Plains are relatively few in number, and may reflect the effects of intensive Altithermal-age erosion. Later prehistoric occupations, those dating from roughly AD 1 to AD 1500, are much better represented in the Flint Hills.
This report also briefly describes the historic American Indian occupation and utilization of the area, together with the arrival of historic Euroamerican populations in the Flint Hills. The overview documents the twelve prehistoric and historic sites that were formally recorded in the preserve in the spring of 1998, and concludes with a discussion of the potential for additional unrecorded archeological resources on preserve lands.