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Exploring the Life of Ancient Mountaineers

Over the last two decades, archaeologists led by the University of Wyoming’s Richard Adams have discovered dozens of sites high in the mountains of Wyoming’s Wind River Range. Previously, scholars believed that high altitude environments were not places prehistoric people would have settled. But archaeologists are now finding that ancient sites abound in the mountains of the American West. All the following images of the fieldwork conducted in the Wind River Range are courtesy of archaeologist and journalist Matt Stirn.

  • Sul Ross State University archaeologist Bryon Schroeder records a 5,000-year-old campsite on a high plateau in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.
  • University of Wyoming archaeologist Richard Adams (left) oversees the excavation of a dwelling at the so-called High Rise site that yielded over 10,000 chipped stone artifacts.
  • Team members record one of the nearly 100 sites that have recently been identified high in the Wind River Range.
  • Hundreds of thousands of stone flakes, debris from people producing tools, were found at a site located near 11,500 feet.

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