From 1050 - 1400 the lower Platte and Missouri River valleys were home to prehistoric Indian farmers. These people lived in small villages and isolated farmsteads, cultivated corn and beans, and hunted game. The Indians built square-shaped houses made of logs and covered with earth, with long, earth-covered entryways. They were substantial structures containing a fireplace, beds, storage areas, and trash pits. Remains of these earthlodges are found in the park.
Here is the site of a prehistoric cemetery used by these early Indians. Archeological evidence indicates that the bodies were exposed to the elements until only bones remained. The bones were buried later in a communal graveyard. The practice of cemetery burial by these prehistoric people indicate their deep regard for the afterlife.
Because few such cemeteries are known, this site is an irreplaceable resource for the study of Nebraska's early inhabitants. It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places and preserved by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska State Historical Society.
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Nebraska State Historical Society
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 4 miles south of Ashland
(park open in 1990)