Friends Donates $10,000
For Archeological Assessment
I’m very excited to bring you important news regarding
our next project for the battlefield. Superintendent Kate Hammond
suggested a project for the Friends board to consider. An internal review
of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument (LIBI) cultural resources program (everything LIBI does in terms of
history, ethnography, cultural landscapes, collections, cultural resource
management, and archeology) produced a list of priority activities. These
are crucial for LIBI to make sound judgments on future efforts to maintain
and protect the battlefield as well as interpret the story of the Battle
of the Little Bighorn.
Kate Hammond concluded, “One of these priorities was to complete an
archeological overview and assessment of the battlefield. This document
would provide an overview and synthesis of the archeological work done at
the battlefield, the results, and suggest what we should be doing in
archeology at the battlefield in the future. I believe this would help us
synthesize what archeology tells us about the battle as well as have a
more proactive and well-thought-out approach to future archeological needs
at the battlefield.”
Douglas Scott had produced a draft of that assessment but was not able to
complete it before his retirement from the NPS Midwest Archeological
Center (MWAC). After consulting with Mr. Scott and the regional office in
Denver, Ms. Hammond believes Mr. Scott is the right person to hire and
complete the assessment in full. I could not agree with her more. As you
are probably well aware, he has led all the archeological digs at LIBI since May 1985
and recently with the road archeological survey in September 2004.
In an email Mr. Scott elaborated more on what this project entails:
The Little Bighorn archeological overview and assessment is
the basic element of a park’s archeological resources management program.
It is an archeological research report produced for the park and the first
step in determining the requirements for future research. The overview and
assessment summarizes the culture history of the region; lists, describes,
and evaluates its known archeological resources; describes and evaluates
past research related to the park and its history; outlines relevant
research topics; and provides recommendations for future research. Maps
and other illustration will document all the locations where archeological
excavations and inventories have taken place over the years.
I have no doubt that this assessment is critical for LIBI
to make correct decisions with any future archeological research. I’m
elated that the Friends board agreed with me and voted unanimously to
support this project in full by promising $10,000.00 which will provide
Doug Scott the necessary resources to complete the assessment.
Mr. Scott is not able to give me a start date as of yet, but the time estimated
to complete the study and write a final report is about six months.
Friends plans to make a copy of the report available for sale in the
visitor center bookstore and for order online. The final content of that
published report will be determined by the NPS.
I’ve asked Mr. Scott to provide an introduction explaining in more detail
about this project for our next newsletter. Meanwhile, we will continue to keep our membership updated of his
progress with this project.
I’d like to thank our members for their continued support
of Friends in helping LIBI manage and protect the battlefield. If you’d
like to contribute towards this archeological assessment, you can donate
online at or send a check or money order to Friends at P.O. Box 636, Crow
Agency, MT 59022. Please, no cash in the mail.
Jump here to donate.
Friends now carves the trail for the NPS to travel in its development of
future archeological studies at the battlefield.
Friends Donates Additional
$3,500.00 For Three More Projects
Chief Curator Sharon
Small requested $300.00 for materials to construct platforms to place some of
the archived collections storage cabinets off the floor in case of an accidental
water leak. The same donation also provides for materials to construct shelves
to properly store the paintings that are currently leaning against each other.
$2,400.00 to fund
one teacher as part of the Teacher-Ranger-Teacher (TRT) program started last year in
the NPS. The teacher selected was Tom Smith of Greeley, Colorado. Mr. Smith
spent two months at LIBI working in all the divisions. The following April, he
will wear the NPS uniform at school and share with his class some of the
experiences he had while working at LIBI. TRT is a great way to instill an
appreciation of the NPS and its programs with students. Mr. Smith will write a
report about his experience for the Friends newsletter.
Chief Historian John
Doerner requested $800.00 to replace the batteries that power his electric cart.
He uses this small vehicle to transport himself around the Monument. The final
cost for the batteries totaled $600.00. The surplus will remain in the LIBI
general fund which we’ll apply towards a future project.
the projects we supported in 2009 totaled $13,350.00. That surpasses all
of our previous annual donations.