Archaeology •  Anthropology •  American Indians and Southwest

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The Allen Site: A Paleoindian Camp in Southwestern Nebraska

Edited by Douglas B. Bamforth

The Allen Site in southwestern Nebraska has nurtured the interest of archaeologists and paleontologists with abundant signs of a long history of human, animal, and environmental activity. Douglas Bamforth focuses primarily on Paleoindian land use represented by the Allen Site and the adjacent smaller sites collectively known as the Medicine Creek Paleoindian sites.

The Medicine Creek sites, located in the central Great Plains, highlight aspects of early Native American lifeways that are obscured by the emphasis in most Paleoindian examinations of large bison kills. Research at Medicine Creek has stressed reconstruction of both the overall regional environment and of local microenvironmental variation, along with human responses to both of these. Advances in analysis and well-preserved remains from the Allen site in particular document the extraordinary range of species that Paleoindian groups harvested in addition to bison and open serious questions about widely accepted reconstructions of Paleoindian land use. In addition, the well-stratified evidence for long-term residential use of the site offers a rare chance to consider patterns of adaptive change over the course of the Paleoindian period.

Mark Becker, ASM Affiliates, Encinitas, CA
Reid A. Bryson, Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
James Chatters, applied paleoscience, Richland, WA
Linda Scott Cummings, PaleoResearch Institute, Inc., Golden, CO
E. Mott Davis, anthropology department, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Jean Hudson, anthropology department, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
David May, geography department, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
Thomas Moutoux, PaleoResearch Institute, Inc., Golden, CO
Robert Warren, Illinois State Museum Research and Collections Center, Springfield, IL
L. Anthony Zalucha, Paleoethnobotanical Consulting, Mount Horeb, WI


Douglas B. Bamforth is director of graduate studies and associate professor in the anthropology department at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is also the outgoing associate editor for reviews for American Antiquity, published by the Society for American Archaeology.


"This new study of a previously poorly known Paleoindian campsite in southwestern Nebraska provides a wealth of information that should aid considerably in creating a more balanced picture of Paleoindian lifeways."


Nebraska History

"...will be of interest to professional archeologists and serious avocational archeologists interested in the Paleoindian period and to paleoenvironmental scholars in related fields."


The Kansas Anthropologist

"The highly detailed picture of the Allen site that emerges is an excellent example of what can often be achieved by intensive analysis of collections that were generated by past investigators many decades ago; Bamforth and his colleagues bring this important site into the world of twenty-first-century Paleoindian studies."


Journal of Anthropological Research

8.5 x 11 in. 304 pages 21 halftones, 87 figs., 3 maps, 69 tables