Culminating Project Title
High Elevation Cultural Use of the Big Belt Mountains: A Possible Mountain Tradition Connection
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
Mountain Tradition, High Elevation, Archaeology, Mountain Adaptation
The Sundog site (24LC2289) was first discovered in 2013 during a field school survey with Carroll College and the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest. This archaeological site is located at an elevation of 6,400ft above sea-level in the Northern Big Belt Mountains in Montana. The Sundog Site is a multi-component site with occupations from the Late Paleoindian period to the Late Prehistoric period. This site is significant due to its intact cultural deposits in a high-altitude park, in an elevational range that currently has a data gap. Artifacts recovered from the Sundog site were analyzed as part of this thesis in order to derive a better understanding of the cultural use of high-altitude locations. The material culture from the Sundog site suggests this location was a desired camp location used throughout time. The data from this research did not conclusively point to a residential camp with a mountain adaption. However, the evidence from the Middle Archaic, Late Archaic and Late Prehistoric support a residential camp with multiple people taking advantage of the mountain resources. The mountain environments in Montana have not been fully researched and remain poorly understood, but data from this thesis will be useful in developing a better understanding of the mountain adaptions we see in the archaeological record.
Randall, Arian, "High Elevation Cultural Use of the Big Belt Mountains: A Possible Mountain Tradition Connection" (2020). Culminating Projects in Cultural Resource Management. 34.
First and foremost, I would like to thank my husband, Scott Randall, for his support and countless patience with me while I completed this thesis. Many thanks to my kids, Jack and Max, for their understanding when I couldn’t make time to play with them during this journey.
A very special thanks to Dr. Lauri Travis and Carl Davis for pushing me to finish my master’s program. Lauri, your friendship, encouragement, support and mentoring have meant more to me than you can know. Carl, your countless emails asking me how my thesis was going and encouraging me to keep moving forward, meant a lot to me.
I would like to also acknowledge and thank my thesis chair, Dr. Mark Muñiz, as well as my committee member Dr. Rob Mann.
My deep gratitude to my supervisor, Mark Bodily, for allowing me to use work time and U.S. Forest Service data to complete this thesis.
And last but not least, I would like to thank my family and friends who have supported and encouragement me to pursue my graduate degree and offer support to review my thesis.
I could not have done this while having a full time job and a young family without support from all of you!