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September 08, 2012 11:52 AM

Archaeologists Study Wind Cave Buffalo Jump

WIND CAVE NATIONAL PARK, SD

A recent archaeological investigation indicates the buffalo jump at western South Dakota's Wind Cave National Park may have been used for various activities for as long as 4,000 years.

Buffalo jumps are cliffs that American Indians used to kill bison by driving the animals over the edge.

National Park Service archaeologists recently completed a three-week investigation of the Sanson Buffalo Jump in the park. They used walking surveys, technical equipment and excavations to map the Black Hills site.

Wind Cave National Park Superintendent Vidal Davila says artifacts and features discovered so far lead the archaeologists to believe the site was used as a buffalo jump, campsite and place for ceremonial activities. He says those activities apparently took place over a long period of time, possibly as much as 4,000 years.

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