Prehistory and the Missouri Valley Development Program: Summary Report on the Missouri River Basin Archeological Survey in 1947

Prehistory and the Missouri Valley Development Program: Summary Report on the Missouri River Basin Archeological Survey in 1947

Prehistory and the Missouri Valley Development Program: Summary Report on the Missouri River Basin Archeological Survey in 1947

Prehistory and the Missouri Valley Development Program: Summary Report on the Missouri River Basin Archeological Survey in 1947

Excerpt

This report summarizes the field and laboratory activities in archeology and paleontology by the Missouri River Basin Survey during the calendar year 1947. It is not a complete or final statement of accomplishments during the year, nor does it undertake to set forth the opinions of the various staff members who have been directly responsible for the field and laboratory researches, and whose findings constitute much of the basic information on which this summary is based. Essentially, it is a report of progress as of December 31, 1947, at the end of the first 18 months in a scientific salvage program linked to "the most comprehensive and far-reaching river basin development plan ever undertaken in America" -- the harnessing of the Missouri River and its tributaries.

The general background, organization, and basic objectives of the Missouri River Basin Survey have been adequately set forth elsewhere and need not be detailed again here.1 The project represents but one regional phase of the River Basin Surveys, a nation-wide archeological and paleontological scientific salvage program under the direction of Dr. F. H. H. Roberts, Jr., for the Smithsonian Institution. This program is based directly on a memorandum of understanding formulated in 1945 between the Institution and the National Park Service, and indirectly on a series of interbureau agreements between the Park Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Corps of Engineers. Its purpose, briefly, is to locate, record, and evaluate the archeological and paleontological resources that will be affected by the many Federal water-control projects planned or under construction by the Bureau of Reclamation, Department of the Interior, and the Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army; to transmit this information to the National Park Service; and to recommend, where necessary, the procedures needed for recovery of as much as possible of the scientific information which would otherwise be lost. As excavation at key sites supersedes the survey and test digging which alone have so far been possible, it will be the Smithsonian's responsibility to direct the Federal phases of this work as well.

Funds to support the operations thus far have come from the Bureau of Reclamation through the National Park Service to the Smithsonian. For the most part, they have been for survey only. During fiscal year 1948, limited excavation funds were made available for work at Angostura, S. Dak., Boysen, Wyo., and Heart Butte, N. Dak.; of these units, only Boysen was visited for limited excavations during the calendar year 1947.

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