Sign up for e-News Donate
Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Pammel Creek – Bison Scapula Cache

July 5, 2016

Bison Scapula HoesPictured is a cache of four bison scapulas excavated at the Pammel Creek site just south of La Crosse, Wisconsin in 1983.  This scapula cache consisted of two right and two left elements.  Each has had the scapular spine removed, and three show wear at the distal end of the blade suggesting use as hoes. Since no other cultural materials were associated with the scauplas, the feature has been interpreted as a cache.  The absence of any other bison elements in the faunal assemblage from this site indicates that bison were not hunted locally and butchered/processed at the site.  Rather, it appears that bison scapulas were obtained from non-local sources specifically for tool use.  This suggests some interaction with outside areas, or possibly seasonal travel by some members of the group to the Plains.  Kathy Stevenson is pictured excavating the bison scapula cache.