The Head-Smashed-In Buffalo-Jump Site in South-West Alberta, Canada

622 WordsFeb 26, 20182 Pages
First explored in 1938, the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo-Jump site in south-west Alberta, Canada is an archaeological goldmine. Named after a child who was watching the event unfold that was hit with a falling buffalo, HSIBJ site tells a gruesome story. As one of the oldest and most preserved kill sites in the world, HSIBJ is scientifically and anthropologically significant. For six thousand years, this site was used by “Plains People” as a hunting ground, herding multiple buffalo off of a cliff to their deaths, as a means of survival. The magnitude of the HSIBJ site helps shed light on the hunting patterns of other groups that are still in the area today. SouthWest Alberta is part of a gorgeous landscape of grassy plains and rocky cliffside. The east is covered in high grass and prairies, while the west is a mixture of cacti, sage and short grasses. The plains people experience extreme weather - cold, frigid winters and scorching summers. Across the landscape are large herds of buffalo, bears, deer, antelope and coyotes. The plains people were separated by patriarchal bands - groups of 50 to 100 individuals, connected by marriage or kinship. The men hunted, led religious ceremonies and were the medical experts. Each band was lead by a single man, the headman who exemplified the behavior the plains people wished to have. Each band had around 40 tipis made of animal hide, that were portable and easily constructed. The diet of the plains people consisted mainly of buffalo and

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