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Bison Jump Location is Primarily Predicted by Minimizing Visibility at the Wold Site, Johnson County, Wyoming

  • Brigid S. Grund (a1), Spencer R. Pelton (a1), Todd A. Surovell (a1), Neffra A. Matthews (a2) and Tommy A. Noble (a2)...


The Wold Bison Jump (48JO966) is a communal bison (Bison bison) hunting site in Johnson County, Wyoming. It likely represents a single kill event precipitated by Great Plains foragers between A.D. 1433 and 1643. Operating the jump required that prehistoric hunters drive stampeding bison up a steep slope in order to position them within a V-shaped drive line configured to funnel them toward a cliff. Using iterative models of least cost paths, topographic cross-sections, and visibility analysis, we test which landscape-embedded variables are optimized at the jump site as compared to other potential localities across the study area. We find that this site’s placement is primarily explained by minimizing the distance at which the cliff face is visible and secondarily by minimizing the cost of slope and curvature routes ascending into the drive lines. Our procedure could hypothetically be used to predict optimal jump locations on similar landscapes.

Wold Bison Jump (48JO966) es un sitio de caza comunal de bisontes (Bison bison) localizado en el distrito de Johnson, Wyoming. Este probablemente representa un único evento de caza por despeñamiento generado por cazadores-recolectores de las Grandes Planicies, entre 1433 y 1643 d.C. Llevar a cabo el despeñamiento requirió que los cazadores prehistóricos condujeran la estampida de los bisontes hacia una pendiente empinada, con el fin de posicionarlos dentro de una línea de conducción en forma de V configurada para canalizarlos hacia un acantilado. Utilizando modelos interactivos sobre rutas de menor costo, secciones topográficas transversales y análisis de visibilidad, testeamos cuáles de las variables incluidas en el paisaje son optimizadas en sitio de despeñamiento, en comparación con otras localidades potenciales a lo largo del área de estudio. Encontramos que la localización de este sitio se explica principalmente por la minimización de la distancia a la que la pared del acantilado es visible y, en segundo lugar, por la reducción del costo de las rutas de pendiente y curvatura que ascienden dentro de las líneas de conducción. Nuestro procedimiento podría ser utilizado hipotéticamente para predecir localizaciones óptimas de despeñamiento sobre paisajes similares.


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Bison Jump Location is Primarily Predicted by Minimizing Visibility at the Wold Site, Johnson County, Wyoming

  • Brigid S. Grund (a1), Spencer R. Pelton (a1), Todd A. Surovell (a1), Neffra A. Matthews (a2) and Tommy A. Noble (a2)...


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