The Missouri River Basin Surveys: Archeology without the Middle "A"
Wood, W. Raymond, Plains Anthropologist
For an aspiring anthropologist, the year 1949 was an exciting time to arrive at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. The headquarters for the Smithsonian Institution's Missouri River Basin Surveys (MRBS), of the Inter-Agency Archeological Salvage Program, earlier had been established in the Department of Anthropology in the basement of Bumett Hall at the invitation of John L. Champe. It was small space indeed for a group responsible for salvaging prehistory from the postwar flood control that was to affect streams across the entire Missouri River basin. Paul L. Cooper, its director, had his office there in a suite, which included that of John Champe, Chair of Anthropology and director of the university's Laboratory of Anthropology.
Anthropology's end of the Burnett Hall basement included two classrooms and a large open room containing desks occupied by John E. Mills (a historical archaeologist, ribbed as being a "tin can archaeologist"), Franklin Fenenga, Robert B. Gumming, and others, both transient and whom you've forgotten. A very large adjoining open space was used for laboratory tables both by MRBS and Laboratory of Anthropology projects. The tables were cleared off and the room filled with chairs every fall when the Plains Conference (then called the Plains Archaeological [or Archeological] Conference) convened in Lincoln. At one side of the great room was a table occupied by the Coffee Klatch that met during twice-daily breaks. It was a varying mixture of university and Smithsonian personnel.
Archaeologists serving with the MRBS, and those archaeologists working at cooperating institutions that submitted manuscripts to the National Park Service, were required to use the spelling of archaeology without the middle "a." This ruling by the United States Government Printing Office (GPO), beginning about 1890 or 1891, had been in force since the early years of the Bureau of American Ethnology, because the "ae" in the original spelling was commonly printed as a ligatured symbol (i.e., ae), and this modification was an economy move and a convenience to the printers (Rowe 1975). The GPO spelling became widespread, for federal involvement in reservoir construction and salvage was intense not only in the Great Plains but in Texas and the Columbia Basin. A number of university presses and boards of editors also came to use the GPO spelling. Use of this "government spelling" was to persist for many years among those indoctrinated with its use, and pockets of it endure to the present time-as in the Archeology Office at the Kansas State Historical Society and even the Society of Professional Archeologists (SOPA).
Having been interested in physical anthropology since the fourth grade when I read about Pithecanthropus erectus and its discovery, there was no doubt that I would major in anthropology from the day I enrolled at the university. That was predetermined. My older brother had been a premedical student at the University of Nebraska before he enlisted on December 8, 1941, to become an Army Air Corps casualty during World War II. During high school I'd read and re-read his college notes, especially those from his anthropology courses from John Champe. Having already purchased and devoured E. A. Hooton's Up From the Ape and Roy Chapman Andrews' Meet Your Ancestors, I entered eagerly into college life. I took Anthropology 1 as a freshman-a course usually reserved for sophomores and above-and volunteered for laboratory projects. My first task was cataloguing artifacts from the Leary site, an Oneota village that had recently been tested. (It had been dug extensively in 1935.)
The Anthropology Department then consisted of two archaeologists: John Champe and E. Mott Davis, who was then conducting excavations for the University of Nebraska State Museum at the Lime Creek and Red Smoke sites in Medicine Creek Reservoir, Frontier County, Nebraska. My first fieldwork experience was a weekend dig near the base of the deep bulldozer cut at the Lime Creek site. Graduate and undergraduate students in the department formed a genial cadre that carried out such digs as members of the "Beaver Patrol." Alan R. Woolworth, James H. and Dolores A. Gunnerson, James H. Howard, and Alvin W. Wolfe were graduate students on my arrival, later to be augmented by Mary Kiehl and Raymond S. Price, Jr. (who was to be my roommate over many semesters). Champe was not a great classroom teacher-he was, in fact, average-but his oneon-one instruction out of class was inspirational, and I'm both indebted and deeply grateful for his tutelage.
The 7th Plains Conference for Archeology was held in the Laboratory of Anthropology over the Thanksgiving holiday in 1949, as it was for years to come. Not yet knowing its coming significance, I did not attend, but went home for the holiday. I did, however, attend in 1950, and have failed to attend only four of them in the ensuing 45 years. For years, ending only in 1960, when the conference was sufficiently established to break this tradition, the conference met on this holiday. The dedication that led its participants to abandon their families for such a meeting testifies to the professionalism of its attendees (Figure 1). Thanksgiving was not, however, necessarily a good time to aggregate in Lincoln; on more than one occasion Burnett Hall was emptied of participants, like rats abandoning a ship, as news of an impending blizzard sent people fleeing for home to avoid being snowed in.
The Coffee Klatch was an informal setting for the many visiting archaeologists who passed through Lincoln and allowed anyone present to meet such nationally known figures as Frank H. H. Roberts, Jr., Director of the River Basin Surveys and Associate Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1952 (Roberts 1952) (Figure 2). This renowned former Southwestern archaeologist was a frequent visitor. He was one of the most gracious and unpretentious individuals in American archaeology, courteous to the most junior field hand. I recall Roberts best at social gatherings, at which a favorite pose while seated was to lean into a conversation, one elbow resting on his knee. He was never arrogant in behavior, as may be observed in a few prominent individuals that scarcely deign to speak to graduate students.
The Plains Conference was then an intimate group consisting of only a few dozen individuals. Even the most novice student archaeologist rubbed elbows with such luminaries as J. O. Brew of Harvard, a perennial member of the Committee for the Recovery of Archaeological Remains (CRAR) and John M. Corbett, Chief Archeologist of the National Park Service. Having dinner with such persona was simple: simply remain underfoot. The ensuing conversations one overheard were highly educational from many points of view. At one Plains Conference, however, I was about to sit at a banquet dinner table with a culture hero-William Duncan Strong, my major professor's major professor, and my academic grandfather, so to speak. I slunk away when he turned to me and said, "Beat it, kid. I'm having dinner with my friends." It was a violation of the democratic spirit that prevailed then.
The end of my freshman year meant finding summer work and, infected by the discussions I overheard at the Coffee Klatch, it was inevitable that I'd become a crewman on one of the Smithsonian digs. Paul Cooper signed me on as one of the crew to be sent with Walter Douglas Enger, Jr., to the Tiber Reservoir in extreme northwestern Montana. (It was called "Tiberia" because of its great distance from Lincoln.) We spent the summer camped in a small park on the Marias River south of the hamlet of Galata. The only crewman I can now recall from that summer was Grover S. Krantz, later a physical anthropologist and an international authority on Sasquatch.
The camp was isolated, and no one had a radio. One Saturday evening, having a drink in the bar in Galata (they were casual about age), the bartender said, as he wined a elass. "Well, what do you think about the war?" There were stunned faces as he described the opening of the Korean War, although no one was called to go at the time. I was fortunate to survive the summer; Grover Krantz and I several times swam races across the Marias, then in flood. (Remember that, because of its size, Lewis and Clark paused at the mouth of this river in June 1805 to determine whether or not it was the Missouri River.) We also enjoyed (I'd faint now) walking across the river on the one-footwide, top girders of the steel frame bridge near camp. In September, as the dig was winding down, I reached a salary level that would have lost my father his annual 1RS deduction for me, so I continued working for a few weeks without salary so I could ride back to Lincoln with Enger. It was cheaper to do so than try to get home on my own, but it impressed Cooper with my enthusiasm as much as it must have pleased my father. My coup that summer was the discovery of pottery buried in a terrace at the Galata site-among the first pottery recorded as being found in situ in the state of Montana (Figure 3) (Miller 1963).
By the end of the summer, my interest in physical anthropology was forgotten, and the following summer I again signed on as a Smithsonian field hand, this time on the crew of Robert Cumming. He was scheduled to dig at the Oldham site, an earthlodge village of uncertain affiliation in the lower reaches of the Fort Randall Reservoir, South Dakota. It wasn't long, however, before I was transferred with a few others to Richard Page Wheeler's camp in the Keyhole Reservoir, northeastern Wyoming. He'd been unable to hire local help, and Lawrence (Larry) L. Tomsyck drove us to Keyhole, Wyoming, to join his crew. Tomsyck was the Administrative Officer for the MRBS (Figure 4) and later for the Midwest Archeological Center before becoming the perennial treasurer for the Plains Anthropological Society and publisher of J&L Reprints. He and his wife Janice deserve a medal of commendation for their selfless service to the community of Plains scholars. We stopped for lunch at Wall Drug. (It was enlarged to unrecognizable proportions when I saw it again a quarter-century later, though the mechanical cowboy band remained.) Wheeler was in a remote tent camp on a hill not far from that of William T. Mulloy of the University of Wyoming, who was digging the McKean site.
I wasn't to remain there long. Franklin Fenenga, who was to become a close friend, was doing reconnaissance that summer in a number of small reservoirs and he needed an assistant. He spent several days in camp assessing who he wanted to accompany him, and eventually he chose me. For the remainder of the summer, we conducted surveys in the Alzada Reservoir, Wyoming (it was never built), the Jamestown Reservoir in eastern North Dakota (we were rained out), the Gavins Point Reservoir in Nebraska-South Dakota, and in Lovewell Reservoir in Kansas. It was a stimulating period. Fenenga was an excellent teacher and mentor with an incredible range of knowledge, and we had unending opportunities to discuss anthropology and archaeology, not to mention practical aspects of site survey, excavation, and interpretation, often during meal preparations over a Coleman stove in the Wyoming or North Dakota outback. We frequented no motels, but lived in our Chevrolet Carryall; on occasion, we even slept in it during rainy nights.
In the summer of 1952, Fenenga took a crew to the Oahe Dam locality near Fort Pierre, South Dakota, which Donald J. Lehmer had earlier used for his dissertation at Harvard and that led to his synthesis of Middle Missouri archaeology (Lehmer 1954). The principal goal was to excavate the Buffalo Pasture site (Figure 5), though we also did limited work at the Indian Creek site (Lehmer and Jones 1968). Fenenga's field assistant, a classical archaeologist, did not last the season, and Richard Keslin and I were chosen to take his place. On weekends a few of us made tours to visit some of the local sites (like Arzberger and Fort Sully) or traveled to North Dakota to visit landmarks such as Huff, Double Ditch, and Fort Abraham Lincoln. We also dug a few weekend test pits in a few sites near Fort Pierre, including Breeden (just downriver from camp) and McClure (at the base of the bluff below Arzberger).
Camp near Fort Pierre was established in the abandoned ranch buildings of Scotty Philips, famed as the eccentric who tried his best to put Bison bison to practical use, hitching them to wagons (until they were torn to pieces) and pasturing them along the Missouri River north of the future site of Oahe Dam. The protohistoric Arikara Buffalo Pasture village site was in their former pasture. (In 1907 Scotty Philips made a major wager that his buffalo would mop up the ring in a confrontation with any Mexican fighting bull. The results of that encounter [Dickson 1995] should be required reading for all Plains scholars.) We cooked our meals in his barn and had our sleeping quarters in the adjoining grain bins. The ranch buildings were in an area that is now high above the emergency spillway for the dam. Nightly we could hear the roar of earthmovers as they worked around the clock to complete the dam under floodlights that made it unnecessary to illuminate the ranch grounds. It was an other-worldly setting.
The Hopscotch Bar in Fort Pierre was a favorite watering hole for those who came to visit. It still is a local favorite, but its competition for Saturday night visiting archaeologists, the Silver Spur, went out of business long ago. The Spur was perhaps best renowned then as a hangout for casey Tibbs, a nationally famous champion rodeo rider. When Carlyle S. Smith, for example, visited from his dig at Talking Crow, the combined archaeologists and their crews would assemble in one or the other of these landmarks, as we did when Smithsonian Institution/National Park Service inspection teams arrived to review the work under way (Figure 6). A recent visit revealed that the Hopscotch has changed little over the past 40 years-except that dancers are now topless.
Theodore (Ted) E. White was a Smithsonian vertebrate paleontologist who was assigned the task of surveying the paleontological resources of Missouri basin reservoirs. His efforts in that arena were not conspicuous, for fossil-bearing deposits were rare in most of the reservoirs slated for construction. In any case, Ted's efforts weren't major topics of conversation among archaeologists, and we heard little of his traditional professional accomplishments. However, when he began identifying animal bones from archaeological sites, at first more as a courtesy than anything else, his reputation in archaeology bloomed. He soon began publishing papers devoted to the interpretation of butchering and other aspects of prehistoric hunting practices, and these gained international attention. Today, his pioneering work in archaeological interpretation ranks him as one of the most significant founders of zooarchaeology. He later became superintendent of Dinosaur National Monument in northwestern Colorado.
I graduated from Nebraska with my B.A. in June 1954, and Alan Woolworth (this volume) hired me as his assistant in the excavations at Like-a-Fishhook village and the site of Fort Berthold I, an American Fur Company post in the Garrison Reservoir, North Dakota (Figure 7). Like-a-Fishhook was the last earthlodge village occupied by the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara on the upper Missouri. Our employer, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, was collaborating in that project with Smithsonian archaeologist G Hubert Smith, one of the pioneers of American historic sites archaeology. The fort had been stripped of overburden by a road patrol when I arrived, and the challenge of separating the features of the fort from those the Arikara had built over its charred ruins proved an interesting task. In one sense it was a distinct rarity: a Euro-American site stratigraphically below a Native American occupation. The final report on Fort Berthold and Like-a-Fishhook village, prepared by Smith (1972), was based on a host of reports prepared by Glenn Kleinsasser, James Howard, Alan Woolworth, and me.
When excavation of the fort was completed, Hubert Smith returned to Lincoln, and in July our crew went farther up river and excavated Kipp's Post (now identified as the elusive Fort Floyd, precursor of Fort Union) (Woolworth and Wood 1960). After the work there was over and the crew left, Woolworth and I completed the excavation of Grandmother's Lodge, the northernmost Extended Middle Missouri site on the Missouri River. When it was published (Woolworth 1956), this brief report became the first site report on a Missouri valley village people to appear in the full half-century since Will and Spinden's 1906 report on the Double Ditch Mandan site. I stayed on in Bismarck that fall to work on the excavated material (Figure 8) and returned to the University of Nebraska in January 1955, when I began work on my Master's degree and worked part-time as a draftsman for the MRBS. My roommate during that period was Raymond Price, who as a MRBS employee had mapped Like-a-Fishhook Village in 1954. He worked at the Nebraska State Historical Society after obtaining his M.A. from Nebraska in 1956, later moving on to a museum career in the National Park Service.
In the summers of 1955 and 1956, I was again Alan Woolworth's assistant in projects that excavated the Paul Brave and the Demery sites, both near the North Dakota-South Dakota boundary (Wood and Woolworth 1964; Woolworth and Wood 1964). Woolworth gave me my first non-MRBS job, initiated me into historic sites archaeology, and treated me as an equal partner in everything we did at North Dakota. I'll never forget his kindness and helpfulness to me as a fledgling archaeologist. I returned to Lincoln in the summer of 1956 to defend my M.A. thesis, The Redbird Focus (Wood 1965) (Figure 9). Frederick Hadleigh West, today editor of the Review of Archaeology, was our assistant at Demery. (He will remember the day we ran over a piglet in the society's station wagon and had to shoot it.)
Our field quarters were the women's dorm, which was vacant during the summer, at the Indian school in the town of Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Reservation, North Dakota. This placed us in daily touch with Native Americans, some of whom became friends and others became crewmembers, and we sometimes attended local pow-wows with them (Figure 10). Now that I had my M.A. in hand, I remained as a full-time archaeologist at the State Historical Society of North Dakota for the fall and winter of 1956-1957. Opportunities for continuing research there were great, but the pay was so poor that both Woolworth and I resigned to accept new positions. I moved to the University of Missouri-Columbia on April 1, 1957, to become a Research Associate in the Division of American Archaeology. For the next year and a half I did survey and excavation in the future Pomme de Terre, Table Rock, and Harry S. Truman reservoirs in southwestern Missouri.
The Missouri work was great experience, but I was anxious to return to school and in the fall of 1958 I enrolled in the University of Oregon-Eugene to pursue my doctorate under Luther S. Cressman. The principal outcome of my work in Missouri was an overview of the prehistory of the Pomme de Terre Reservoir. The manuscript was in nearly finished form, and I planned to use it as my doctoral dissertation. Cressman agreed it could be so usedbut that was not to be.
One reason I'd chosen Oregon for further graduate work was its distance from the Great Plains, for I needed broader experience. After my first year at Oregon, I spent the summer of 1959 on one of Cressman's digs in the John Day Reservoir on the Columbia River. Excavations were sponsored by the Columbia Basin Project, the regional equivalent to the MRBS. Our camp was in a peach orchard on the south shore of the Columbia River near the hamlet of Blalock, Oregon. I directed excavations at the Wildcat Canyon site, a mile or so west of Blalock (Dumond and Minor 1983). The site posed new and challenging problems: it was a cemetery in which the inhumations had been interred in pits, dug into sand and covered by blocks of basalt, after which a sand dune had formed over them. Rodents then had a heyday churning the material. Needless to say, there were many frustrating moments, but it was an instructional summer. The deep, basaltlined Columbia gorge was a distinct change from the Missouri valley trench.
During my graduate career at Oregon, I came under the spell of an enthusiastic Africanist, a member of my doctoral committee, who had done fieldwork in Sierra Leone. I devoted a great deal of class work to African archaeological and ethnohistorical studies, focusing on West African forts and trade posts. One afternoon the Africanist, on his way to visit his colleagues at Northwestern University, stopped by my cubbyhole office and asked if he could help in any way with my research. It was a perfect opening. I told him that I'd really appreciate any help he could give me in locating the site of Lord Greystoke's cabin. To the best of my knowledge, I said, it had to be somewhere on the coast of Sierra Leone. He agreed to do so. A few weeks later, however, he returned to my office, pelted me with expletives, and otherwise verbally abused me. His Northwestern colleagues were more widely read than he in Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan books. I'm fortunate to have graduated, but he too had a sense of humor.
In my second year of graduate work at Oregon, Paul L. Beaubien in the National Park Service office in Omaha, Nebraska, contacted me to ask if Fd be interested in conducting salvage work at the Huff site in the upper Oahe Reservoir, North Dakota. I jumped at the chance, for this distinctive fortified village was one of the most fascinating sites on the Missouri River, and I'd been intrigued by it since my first visit there in 1952. I subsequently spent June to September 1960 in excavations there, unearthing the first (and only) sub-circular, four-post earthlodge in a prehistoric Mandan village of long-rectangular houses. Jon Muller (now at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale) and Walter H. Birkby (now at the Arizona State Museum) were both members of the crew. Birkby was from my hometown of Gordon, Nebraska, which coincidentally is also the home of Melvin L. Fowler (now retired from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee).
The following academic year at Oregon was supported by a National Science Foundation grant to Cressman to write up the Huff site and for an interpretation of Mandan culture history-a fact that led Cressman to insist that I use Huff as my dissertation. My third year at Eugene was a busy one; course work was winding down, and I was given laboratory space to work up the Huff material-a space that I shared with a most stimulating visiting professor, Fay Cooper-Cole of University of Chicago fame. I completed the Huff report for the National Park Service in February 1961, and the text of my dissertation four months later. In the publication (Wood 1967a) the Huff site report was inserted between the introduction to my dissertation and the interpretation of Mandan culture history that concluded it.
A career change was imminent, for after graduation I assumed duties as Curator of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas Museum in July 1961. During my tenure in that position, I excavated Breckenridge Shelter in the Beaver Reservoir and at the Crenshaw Mounds on the Red River, and I prepared a number of papers on existing museum collections. I also submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation in mid-1962 for a research grant to initiate an archaeological and ethnohistorical survey and interpretive program for the lower Gambia River in The Gambia, West Africa. It was not funded, however, and any prospects and enthusiasm I had for becoming active in African prehistory and ethnohistory evaporated as I became more involved in midcontinent American archaeology. The $31,000 budget that I submitted for a year's fieldwork in Africa seems incredible by today's standards, but it included such necessary amenities as a domestic staff: a "cooksteward and small boy" for nine months for $243. I salvaged what I could of my background research for that project in an article that appeared in the Journal of African History (Wood 1967b).
In July 1963 I left Arkansas to become a Research Associate and Director of River Basin Archaeology with the Division of American Archaeology, Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri-Columbia. I've remained there ever since, though my titles have changed. My position at Missouri was to coordinate and direct excavations within in-state reservoirs, but I later was able to direct some of those activities through a growing cadre of exceptionally high-quality graduate students. By the mid-1960s I had the time to accompany Wilfred D. Logan and other National Park Service and CRAR personnel on their summer inspection tours of sites being salvaged in the central and northern Plains. Later I also contracted with the National Park Service to continue work along the middle Missouri River at the Lower Grand and Walth Bay sites, and I initiated work in the Stanton-Sanger area above Bismarck in collaboration with Donald Lehmer of Dana College.
I first met Lehmer in 1950. He helped drive Douglas Enger's crew to the Tiber Reservoir, then he returned to South Dakota and began work at the Dodd site. Our contacts were casual and fleeting until 1965, when we both attended the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Urbana, Illinois. We were having a drink with a group of colleagues in a bar one evening after the sessions, and as others drifted slowly away, we became more and more engaged in conversation. Eventually we were by ourselves, and it was late that night when we concluded our palaver, during which we laid our initial plans to investigate Plains Village cultures in the Missouri valley trench between the Oahe and Garrison reservoirs. We became close-inseparable-until his tragic death in 1975. During the intervening time we investigated the upper Knife-Heart Region on the Missouri River in North Dakota (Wood 1986). Don was a friend, mentor, father-figure, and role model; only the death of members of my family equaled the sense of loss I felt when he was gone.
Several times in the 1960s, I went to Washington, D.C. to testify before the Committee for the Recovery of Archaeological Remains, and to Lincoln, Nebraska, to serve as a consultant for the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in North Dakota. In each instance I was appointed a National Park Service "collaborator," a term some of us found somewhat discomfiting, given its World War II connotation as a "Quisling."
My first fieldwork had been in the Plains, and whatever my duties, it remains the area most emotionally charged for me. There is the dual attraction of having grown up in the Sand Hills of western Nebraska-Old Jules country (my parents knew him)-and the hypnotic effect the treeless, ocean-like expanse of the mixed and short-grass plains has on so many people. I always experience a feeling of awe on crossing the Wide Missouri, and whereas I'd never want to live again in the rural Plains, it is a privilege and joy to work and travel there. Notwithstanding, here I shall slight my postMRBP activities, both in the Dakotas and in the Ozark Highland of Missouri, to comment on the twilight history of that organization.
In 1965 at the request of the Smithsonian Institution, an ad hoc review committee carried out an evaluation of the River Basin Surveys program. I did not participate in that meeting, but another ad hoc committee was formed in 1968 and was asked to review the objectives, administrative organization, and procedures of the MRBS. Committee members David A. Baerreis, Jesse D. Jennings, Douglas W. Schwartz, and I convened in late January in Lincoln, Nebraska, with representatives of the MRBS, Smithsonian Institution, and National Park Service.
The review was called to consider the changing nature of salvage archaeology in the Missouri basin. The major reservoirs were now completed and either were filled or filling with water. Furthermore, there were by then many more stateaffiliated archaeologists available to work in the area. What was the continuing role of the MRBS to be in this new environment? There had been ambiguity in its administration from the beginning; the MRBS was not an integral part of the Smithsonian Institution, despite outward appearances, but more of an autonomous unit-one that was entirely funded by a second federal agency, the National Park Service. In practice there was no conflict between these two agencies, principally because each of them assumed that responsibility for the operation and its quality control resided with the other.
Smithsonian administrative personnel in Washington at this time seemed to be most concerned about the lack of problem orientation in fieldwork and reports. The committee was again asked to consider the publication record of the MRBS staff, especially its review procedures. Articles and monographs were routinely and carefully reviewed internally by MRBS directors and staff, but rarely did they undergo outside review except for feedback from papers delivered at the Plains Anthropological Conference and informal consultations with cooperating archaeologists. Despite this lapse, the bulk of MRBS reportsadmittedly emphasizing a culture-historical paradigm, then the reigning one in American archaeology-were of consistently high quality, certainly with respect to some of those being prepared by many of the state cooperating institutions.
The committee contemplated future directions the MRBS might take, but it was obvious to us from Smithsonian representatives at the meeting that they were reluctant to maintain a role as a partner in continuing the unit. We debated at length the pros and cons of many options, eventually contemplating four of them: (1) retaining the status quo, but adding research and training, (2) a gradual phase-out of the operation, (3) absorption of the MRBS by the Smithsonian, and (4) absorption of the MRBS by the National Park Service.
To best protect the program and insure continuity in its activities, the committee eventually endorsed its fourth recommendation: that the MRBS be absorbed into the National Park Service and developed into a regional research center (Schwartz et al. 1968). It was a difficult, unpopular, and controversial decision that engendered no small degree of bitterness by many of the parties involved, but it was accepted by the principals, and the transfer was affected almost immediately. The result was the formation of the Midwest Archeological Center (MAC) in Lincoln.
The first Chief of MAC was Wilfred Logan, who took over in July 1969. With this transition the MRBS entered history, although its contributions to Great Plains history and prehistory remain a benchmark in Plains anthropology. Twentytwenty hindsight permits hypercritical reviews of its performance today by a few archaeologists with little patience for or an appreciation of history. Nevertheless, the lessons, both good and bad, that it provided nearly a generation of archaeologists were put to very good use in a host of interdisciplinary programs in the following years. The Harry S. Truman Dam project in the Missouri Ozarks in the 1960s and 1970s was one such project that benefited from those lessons (Wood and McMillan 1976). Given the time, funds, and circumstances of the period, we have every reason to be grateful for the contribution to our discipline by those who were dedicated to the MRBS oroeram.
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1967b An Archaeological Appraisal of Early European Settlements in the Senegambia. Journal of African History 8(l):39-64.
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Publication information: Article title: The Missouri River Basin Surveys: Archeology without the Middle "A". Contributors: Wood, W. Raymond - Author. Journal title: Plains Anthropologist. Volume: 51. Issue: 200 Publication date: January 1, 2006. Page number: 671+. © Plains Anthropologist Nov 2008. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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