The earliest intact archeological deposits in the park have been found at a site on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. The site was excavated because it was at risk of erosion, and revealed evidence of a 9,350-year-old camp where several families appear to have spent time. People probably used this area in the summer while hunting bear, deer, bighorn, and rabbits, and perhaps making tools and clothes. Artifacts dating to 3,000 years ago have also been discovered on islands in the lake, leading some archeologists to speculate that indigenous peoples used watercraft to travel there.
Yellowstone Lake Geology
Discover a bit of what dynamic processes are going on below the lake's surface.
Archeological resources are the primary and often only source about humans in Yellowstone.
The Earliest Humans in Yellowstone
Human occupation of this area seems to follow environmental changes of the last 15,000 years.
Preserving Cultural Resources
Learn how Yellowstone National Park works to preserve and interpret the human history of the region.
Last updated: November 15, 2019