National Register of Historic Places

Medicine Lodge Creek Site

Near Hyattville

Date Added to Register

Thursday, July 05, 1973

Smithsonian Number


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About five miles northeast of Hyattville is a prehistoric site where petroglyphs and pictographs may be seen, and where archaeological exploration has revealed a record of human habitation. The Medicine Lodge Creek site is located on the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains, near the confluence of the dry and running forks of Medicine Lodge Creek. The campsite near Medicine Lodge Creek is in a very good location for habitation in the winter, at least. It is situated at the base of a sandstone bluff facing east. The bluff, which is 750 feet long and, in places thirty to forty feet high, served to protect the campsite from the wind while reflecting the sunlight. This prehistoric site has been recognized as an outstanding manifestation of Indian petroglyphs and pictographs which have been etched upon the walls of the sandstone bluff. Archaeologists began excavations at the site in the early 1970s. The investigations revealed twelve levels of habitation recorded in 10.5 feet of deposits and extending to 23 feet below original datum. The earliest of these levels was radio carbon-dated at 8300 years old. Near the top of the stratified deposits were found small amounts of historic trade items such as glass beads. The site is a State Archaeological Site administered by the Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources