Search
Close this search box.

Unveiling Ancient Mysteries: Central Wyoming College Presents "They Killed Them As They Needed" - A Journey into the World of the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps

Central Wyoming College

Unveiling Ancient Mysteries: Central Wyoming College Presents "They Killed Them As They Needed" - A Journey into the World of the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps

Photo of Todd Guenther

Todd Guenther, Professor (Emeritus) Anthropology & History,
Central Wyoming College

Riverton, Wyo.—Thursday, March 28, 2024 – Prepare to step into the past and explore the intriguing world of the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps with Central Wyoming College’s upcoming presentations titled “They Killed Them As They Needed.” 

Led by Professor Emeritus Todd Guenther, these talks in Lander, Dubois and Riverton promise to unlock the secrets of ancient hunting techniques and shed light on the significance of the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps Complex.

The Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps Complex, nestled in the Absaroka Mountains of Wyoming, holds a wealth of archaeological treasures dating back more than 1,200 years. This high-elevation area served as a hunting ground where different Indigenous tribes collaborated to drive bison off cliffs for harvesting. 

What sets this site apart is not only its size and age but also its sophistication, boasting multiple stone-circle campsites and seven distinct bison jump sites. It also has thousands of bones, which isn’t often seen in other areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

“There are thousands and thousands of bones out there,” Guenther says. “Most of the kill sites  in the GYE don’t have that many bones. The other thing that makes this so unique is that it includes some of the villages the people at that time lived in.” 

Guenther, an esteemed anthropologist and historian with more than four decades of experience, has spent years studying the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps.

Guenther, alongside his research team, has utilized state-of-the-art archaeological methods to unravel the complexities of ancient hunting practices and the intricate relationship between humans and the environment.

“The Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps give us a rare peek into the past, helping us grasp how ancient hunters moved and lived in their environment,” Guenther says.

At the heart of Guenther’s presentation is his passion to help the public bridge the gap between the ancient and modern worlds. By delving into the world of contemporary archaeology, attendees will gain a deeper appreciation for the complexities of the past and the importance of preserving cultural heritage.

“The story of the Wiggins Fork Bison Jumps isn’t just about ancient hunting techniques; it’s about honoring the resilience and adaptability of Indigenous communities,” Guenther says. “It’s a story that deserves to be shared and celebrated.”

As the presentation unfolds, attendees will find themselves transported back in time, immersed in Wyoming’s ancient past. With each revelation and insight shared by Guenther, the veil of history will be lifted, offering a glimpse into a world long gone but not forgotten.

Step into the footsteps of ancient hunters, uncover the strategies they employed, and gain a newfound appreciation for the ingenuity of those who came before. “They Killed Them As They Needed” isn’t just a presentation — it’s a journey through time, inviting all who attend to become part of the ongoing story of Wyoming’s cultural heritage.


Calendar:

Saturday, March 30, 7-9 p.m. Lander Public Library, Lander, Wyo.

Saturday, April 6, 7-9 p.m.National Bighorn Sheep Center, Dubois, Wyo.
RSVP: 307.455.3429, info@bighorn.org.

Saturday, April 13, 1-3 p.m. Riverton Public Library, Riverton, Wyo.

INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

Media Contact:
Jennifer Marshall Weydeveld,
Executive Director, Marketing & Public Relations
307-855-2103 (o) / 505-231-1776 (c), jennifer@cwc.edu