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Summer 2002
Carl A. Bimson Humanities Seminar
Colorado State University
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Anthropology  and Laboratory of Human Paleoecology

Learning From the Field –Teaching from the Field:
A Collaborative Experience on the Nebraska High Plains

History of Excavations
Interpretations of the site
Colorado Stare Excavations
Photo Gallery

Finding the Site
Driving to Crawford, NE
Map from Crawford

Living in the Field
General Information
More Information
Site Telephone Numbers

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The Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed

Construction of a stockpond in 1954 first uncovered a large pile of bones, now know to be the remains of a group of bison that died on the Nebraska High Plains about 11,000 years ago.  From 1969-1977, Dr. Larry Agenbroad of Chadron State College directed excavations at this location, which became known as the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill site. The site, which is on the Nebraska National Forest has been enrolled on the National Register of Historic Places. 

In 1991 the Nebraska National Forest received funding from Congress to develop a major research, learning, and interpretive center at the site with the goal of emphasizing the diversity of activities that can take place of our National Forests.   In 1997 an architectural award-winning enclosure was completed over a central portion of the bonebed and each summer from May 15 to September 30, the site is open to the public for interpretive tours.  

The 2002 Bimson Seminar will be the first group of GK-12 teachers to explore the unique learning/teaching potential of this exceptional facility.  

Living and Learning in the field

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Since 1993 I have been working in collaboration with the USDA Nebraska National Forest to develop and implement a program of teaching, learning, and public education at the Hudson-Meng Bison Bonebed in Northwestern Nebraska.  One of the goals of this program is to make use of this state-of-the-art field research station as location for multiple tiers of a teaching and learning.  I have been using the site as a location for our Archaeological Field School for college undergraduate and graduate students, which since 1997 has conducted excavations within the multi-million dollar bonebed enclosure.    Approximately 10-15 undergraduate students per year have participated in archaeological excavations, and have learned the basics of multidisciplinary archaeological field research.  The student excavators have worked in conjunction with the Forest Service Interpretive staff to help explain the ways in which archaeology seeks answers to questions about human behaviors in the remote past to the several thousand visitors who tour the site each summer.  

Our field camp, shown above has a full field kitchen with 2 full size stoves, two refrigerators, freezer, hot water heater, and a telephone.   The two telephones where you can be reached while in the field are:

Bonebed (with answering machine): 308 665-3900
Cook Tent: 308 665-3909

All field equipment, cooking supplies, and food will be provided.  You will be responsible for bringing you own camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, etc).  A more comprehensive list of things you might want to bring as well as mailing address, etc can be found at the Field class Overview page.

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