Whitetail - Pipestone Prehistoric Site Testing
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Montana, 2009
By Tammy Cherullo and Tom Ballard, Archaeologists
The Whitetail-Pipestone has a very diverse past that is part of a much larger area in southwest Montana. Within this area human use could have begun as early as 12,000 years ago. It is still used today with a heavy emphasis on recreational motorized travel. Existing system trails, roads, and user created trails and road, such as mining roads and unauthorized trails, overlap with cultural sites. The focus of this project was site testing to determine the site boundaries and site depth that would lead to a recommendation of eligibility.
For five days in September, 2009, seven PIT volunteers from around the United States, two Butte District Fire crew members, and the Butte/Pintler District Wildlife Biologist worked with the Forest Archaeologists testing two sites in the Whitetail-Pipestone area. Their hard work was worth it and well appreciated.
We found three late prehistoric points and a mid-section of a biface (dates ranging from 200-1000 years ago). The results of the 2009 project yielded information that will help us determine site eligibility and help with developing mitigation measures to protect these sites. This project would not have happened without dedicated PIT volunteers and interested Forest Service personnel.