Near Ekalaka in Carter County, Montana — The American West (Mountains)
Evidence suggests the ancestors of modern-day American Indians lived and hunted in southeastern Montana beginning at the end of the last ice age, or about 12,000 years ago. The summers were cooler then, and large mammals such as woolly mammoths made for a bountiful harvest.
As the climate warmed over the next few thousand years, mammoths and other prehistoric mammals became extinct. American Indians relied on buffalo for food, shelter, clothing and tools. While hunting on the prairie around Medicine Rocks, the Northern Cheyenne, Sioux, Gros Ventre, Assiniboine, Crow, Shoshone and Arapaho tribes sought shelter among the sandstone formations, and gathered edible and medicinal plants growing in the sandy soil.
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Clues to the Past
Artifacts recovered from the park provide valuable insight on how early people lived and survived on the Plains. Archaeologists used this evidence to better understand how American Indians may have adjusted their travel patterns, hunting and gathering methods and
Engraved images of animals, people and other abstract symbols into sandstone rock faces advertised personal feats, promoted fertility, marked territories and counted days or seasons.
Flacked from stone and fit to wooden shafts, these small, side-notched arrow points could easily pierce the this hide of a buffalo.
These pottery fragments came from pots, bowls, mortars and other cookware makes from clay that was shaped by hand and baked in fire.
American Indians camping on the windy prairie anchored their tipi covers to the ground with rocks, often leaving a circle of stones behind when they moved on.
Erected by Medicine Rocks State Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Native Americans.
Location. 46° 2.513′ N, 104° 28.764′ W. Marker is near Ekalaka, Montana, in Carter County. Marker can be reached from Park Entrance Road. The marker is on the trail leading from the parking lot at the end of Park Entrance Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Ekalaka MT 59324, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are Prairie Island (approx. ¼ mile away); A River Ran Through It (approx. 0.6 miles away); Home on the Range (approx. 0.7 miles away); A Fantastically Beautiful Place: The Medicine Rocks (approx. one mile away); Ekalaka (approx. 9.9 miles away); First National Bank of Ekalaka/Rickard Hardware Building (approx. 11 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on January 9, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 55 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 9, 2021, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.