National Register of Historic Places


Dead Indian Campsite

Park County

Date Added to Register

Friday, May 03, 1974

Smithsonian Number

48PA551

Read all about it

The Dead Indian Campsite is located in a mountain valley environment known as Sunlight Basin. This prehistoric campsite and butchering area was discovered during construction work on the Sunlight Basin Road in 1967. In 1969 Dr. George Frison directed archaeological excavations by members of the Wyoming Archaeological Society and students from the University of Wyoming. Extensive amounts of stone artifacts, bones and bone tools were found. The bones, teeth, and antlers were identified and indicated a wide variety of animal life such as deer, elk, mountain sheep, wolf, porcupine, and various types of rodents. Several hearth features were also uncovered. In addition, an extensive rock wall was found which proved to be a curved rock cairn. A pair of very large and complete deer antlers including the top of the attached skull was found face down in the center of the cairn. Excavation eventually uncovered a total of six very large and complete deer antlers, all indicating they were deliberately placed in their respective positions. The site has yielded cultural assemblages of different time periods dating back to about 4500 years ago.

Department of State Parks & Cultural Resources