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Bison Jumps - a great leap forward  RSS feed

 
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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https://arstechnica.com/science/2018/07/native-americans-managed-the-prairie-for-better-bison-hunts/

Native Americans managed the prairie for better bison hunts
Hunter-gatherer societies may have a bigger ecological impact than we thought.


In the uplands of north-central Montana, on what is today the Blackfeet Reservation, pre-Columbian hunters built mile-long stretches of rock cairns called drivelines, which hunters used to help them funnel buffalo herds from fertile grazing patches called gathering basins, toward the edge of a steep bluff overlooking a tributary of the Two Medicine River. At two different driveline sites, archaeologists have radiocarbon dated bison bones to between 900 and 1650 CE, with the majority of kills happening in the final 250 years of that period. (The sites are on a tributary flowing into the Two Medicine River from the north and another on a different tributary flowing in from the south.)




Each tributary would have had one of the drivelines and gathering basins in its drainage area, so those layers of sediment record what was happening in the gathering basin and along the driveline. At each site, the team, which included members of the Blackfeet Tribe, found between five and eight layers of charcoal residue, a sure sign of nearby prairie fires. These were radiocarbon dated to between 1100 and 1650 CE—the heyday of the bison jumps.





Could we say the human impact on the environment
may be more related to technology than spirituality.
Did the advent of the horse help to change the
way the native Americans interacted with the bison?
this increase in activity could be due to increase mobility.
hunters on foot + fire
hunters on horseback + fire
 
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Hunters on foot didn't have a lot of choice in how to take down such large, herd animals. That is why they drove the bison over the jumps to harvest them. It is also why we developed the Use the Whole Animal mind set.
Once we got horses from the Spanish, we had a means to reduce the waste of tatanka and that was considered a good thing.
If the prairie didn't burn, the grass grew to tough for the tatanka to eat, so we would set it ablaze when the thunderboys failed to do so.

Many times those of European decent think they know or can figure out things that they only have to ask about to gain knowledge.
Since most of the time these "Experts" get things or parts of things wrong, perhaps they are not as smart as they want to believe.

 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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