|New facilities added to Vore Buffalo Jump historic site|
|Sunday, 10 July 2011 15:15|
The Vore Buffalo Jump is one of the most important archeological sites in the Black Hills area. It provides some of the most graphic evidence we have of how Native tribes living in the Black Hills area survived before the coming of Europeans and their horses.
There are thousands of individual buffalo bones at the bottom of the sinkhole; perhaps millions. There are also stone tools of all kinds, from arrow heads to stone choppers and skinning blades.
Local residents had known about the pit for years. But when interstate 90 was built through the area in 1970, all those bones, and the true nature of the pit was discovered.
Beginning sometime around the year 1500, Indians drove buffalo herds into this giant sinkhole, and then butchered the remains of the animals that had fallen into the pit. Keep in mind they did this before they had horses.
The buffalo jump may have been one of the most important factors in the survival of the tribes that lived around the Black Hills at the time. All of the nearby tribes used it in this manner for nearly three hundred years.
One might say that this is a study of buffalo bones, and that would be true. But it's also the study of human survival in very difficult circumstances, without the use of high technology. After all, that's the way we humans have survived for most of our history.
Al Van Zee