Archeology Publications

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 1 Blue River Basin Archeology


Blue River Basin Archeology (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 1, 1997)

In the spring of 1993, the Nebraska State Historic Preservation Office commissioned the Archeological Laboratory, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to conduct a search for archeological sites in the Blue River Basin. This search covered 5,500 acres in Seward and Thayer counties and recorded 33 previously unknown archeological sites. Information in this pamphlet on the Native American and Euroamerican history of the area is derived from that survey and earlier work done in the watershed and surrounding region.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 2 Lower Platte Valley Native Americans A.D. 1000-1400


Lower Platte Valley Native Americans, A.D. 1000-1400 (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 2, 1998)

As motorists today travel along Interstate 80, and cross the Platte River, most do not realize that people lived here for thousands of years before there was a Nebraska or a United States. Since the early 1980s, the Nebraska Department of Roads, the Nebraska State Historical Society, and the Federal Highway Administration have teamed up to explore some villages of these 'ancient Nebraskans.' The most significant investigations have been at the Patterson site, an almost 1,000-year-old Indian village. The archeological remnants of dwellings were found on either side of highway N-31 several miles south of Interstate 80.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 3 Sand Hills Archeology


Sand Hills Archeology (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 3, 1999)

Covering approximately 20,000 square miles, the Nebraska Sand Hills is the largest grass-stabilized dune field in the western hemisphere. The area is a 'frontier' in the sense that much remains to be learned about its combination of geologic, biologic, hydrologic and cultural resources. Archeological research in the region has primarily consisted of unsystematic surveys with occasional surface collections and excavations. Funded opportunities to conduct large-scale cultural resource management studies are infrequent, particularly within the Sand Hills interior. Shifting dune fields during the past 10,000 years have left many locations of prehistoric activity either deflated in blowouts or buried under many feet of sand. Despite these obstacles, the region holds great promise for a fuller understanding of Central Plains human adaptation.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 4 Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks


The Cheyenne Outbreak Barracks (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 4, 1999)

The U.S. Army outpost of Camp Robinson was established in 1874 in response to the need for a military presence near the Red Cloud Indian Agency in northwest Nebraska. The camp was designated as Fort Robinson in 1878. One of the original buildings at the camp was a cavalry barracks erected in 1874. This building was the scene of a major event in Western frontier history, the 1879 Cheyenne Outbreak.

The Nebraska State Historical Society conducted the archeological excavation of the remains of this building during the summers of 1987, 1988, and 1989. The purpose of this excavation was to gather additional structural evidence and artifacts for its eventual reconstruction and interpretation. This booklet outlines the history associated with the building and some of the archeologists' findings.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 5 High Plains Archeology


High Plains Archeology (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 5, 2000)

The Nebraska Panhandle is an area characterized by varied topography and climatic extremes lying within an upland region known as the High Plains. Western Nebraska is rich in archeological resources and the full range of cultural/temporal periods is represented in its archeological record.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 6 1887 Adobe Barracks Fort Robinson, Nebraska



1887 Adobe Barracks, Fort Robinson (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 6, 2002)

Camp Robinson was established in 1874 as a temporary U.S. Army post adjacent to the Red Cloud Indian Agency on the White River in northwestern Nebraska. Ten years later the post was still in existence and plans for its enlargement were being put into effect. By the mid-1880s the army was beginning to consolidate its activities along the growing railroad network of the United States. Because of Fort Robinson's advantageous location, near one of the recently established Sioux Indian reservations and on a new rail line, it was selected for expansion to accommodate a regimental headquarters.

Although the post was only about ten years old, many of its buildings (most of which had been constructed of pine logs cut from the neighboring Pine Ridge escarpment) were beginning to show signs of serious deterioration.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 7 Archeological Records


The Importance and Care of Archeological Records (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 7, 2002)

What are archeological records? Archeological records include notes, drawings, photographs, maps, charts, and other materials that record information about archeological activities. The notes an archeologist makes when planning an excavation, photographs taken of the terrain of a site, data that indicates the GIS positioning of each artifact in the ground, and charts that tabulate information from the analysis of the excavated artifacts all make up the body of materials known as archeological records.

Archeological records can be divided into three main classes: field related records, research interpretation records, and curation records.

Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 8 Engineer Cantonment


The Search for Engineer Cantonment (Explore Nebraska Archeology No. 8, 2004)

The following is a brief description of events relating to the recent discovery of the archeological remains of Engineer Cantonment, the 1819­-20 winter quarters of Maj. Stephen H. Long's scientific party. This small group of scientists and support staff was part of a much larger undertaking, known variously as the Yellowstone or Missouri Expedition, which was led by Colonel Henry Atkinson (Goodwin 1917; Nichols 1969; Wesley 1931). The primary object of the expedition was to establish a military presence on the upper Missouri River.

The military component of the expedition, consisting of more than a thousand men of the Sixth Infantry and the Rifle Regiment, was intended to provide protection to the expanding American fur trade and to lessen the influence of British traders from Canada on the Native American tribes of the northern Great Plains. To accomplish this mission, the establishment of two or more semi-permanent forts on the Missouri was contemplated.

Central Plains Archeology is a peer-reviewed publication focused on the results of new research conducted in the vast Central Plains region of North America, primarily in the states of Nebraska and Kansas. The journal is jointly sponsored by the Nebraska Association of Professional Archeologists (NAPA) and the Professional Archaeologists of Kansas (PAK), with past support from the Nebraska State Historical Society. A list of published articles and abstracts is available at



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Nebraska History is a quarterly, illustrated magazine that explores Nebraska's history and culture through original articles and historical images from the Nebraska State Historical Society's collections. Each story features new research or newly-published historical materials, with a number of past articles available on subjects related to Nebraska Archeology.

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