National Register of Historic Places

Muddy Creek Archaeological Complex

Carbon County

Date Added to Register

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Smithsonian Number


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The Muddy Creek Archaeological Complex is a Late Plains Archaic bison kill, processing, and residential area composed of three sites in Carbon County. The sophistication of bison exploitation and the presence of diagnostic projectile points identify the site as belonging to the Besant Cultural Complex. The Besant culture was prevalent on the Northern Plains extending from southern Canada to Wyoming and adjacent states. The Muddy Creek Archaeological Complex is one of the southernmost Besant sites currently known to exist, but more importantly, the complex exhibits all identifying features of the Besant Cultural Complex, which include a bison drive line, bison pound, religious features associated with the bison pounding operations, and a habitation area consisting of numerous tipi rings.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources