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Prehistoric Bison Hunters of the Northern Great Basin

  • 21 Sep 2023
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • OSU-Cascades Obsidian Hall, Rm 207 and Zoom

Click HERE to view recorded presentation.

Scott Thomas

Abstract:  Sometime during the period 1400 to 1600AD, as buffalo herds in northern Nevada and SW Idaho diminished, Shoshone speaking people moved into Southeastern Oregon where buffalo were more plentiful. They brought with them a unique set of tools and cooking vessels not seen elsewhere in Oregon and left evidence of bison hunting and butchering. This presentation focuses on their unique tool set, evidence pointing to their geographic origins and some possible explanations for the short migration to the north of their homeland.

Reconstructed decorated cooking pot
discovered at Lost Dune Site in 1980

Bio:  Scott Thomas, Retired Burns BLM District Archaeologist


  • Bachelors of Science, Zoology, Oregon State University 1975
  • Masters of Arts, Anthropology, Portland State University 1982

Archaeological Research Interests – Clovis age sites; buffalo hunting in Harney County circa 1500 AD; edible plant harvest in Harney County; Rimrock Draw Rockshelter 17,000 years ago in Harney County; prehistoric pottery manufacture in Harney County; and public archaeology.

Other Interests – Vegetable and flower gardening, greenhouse vegetable production, native edible plants, willow basketry, wattle and daub fencing and construction, Craftsman house design, surf fishing, beach combing, reading historical fiction, camping.

Employment – Retired in 2018. Former District Archaeologist (24 years), Bureau of Land Management, Burns District

Mailing address: PO Box 8146 Bend, Oregon 97708-8146

Email: ascoinfomail@gmail.com

"Archaeological Society of Central Oregon" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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