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Central Plains Archeology


Volume 10, Number 1 (2004): 167 pages

McIntosh: A Late Prehistoric Occupation in the Nebraska Sand Hills
by Amy Koch, contribution by Mary J. Adair

The Nebraska State Historical Society conducted salvage excavations at the McIntosh site (25BW15) intermittently between 1986 and 1989. A comprehensive description of the excavations and recovered materials are provided in this report. McIntosh is a Central Plains tradition occupation located near Enders Lake in the east central Sand Hills region of Nebraska. The remains of two possible structures, 21 truncated storage/refuse pits, five basin-shaped features, and three uncontained artifact concentrations were excavated in response to county road construction. Data analysis indicates McIntosh was a semi-sedentary habitation occupied between A.D. 1200 and 1450. Residents hunted bison and other locally available species, fished intensively, were engaged in multi-crop horticulture, and used food storage.

Data generated from the McIntosh site may have broader implications for understanding the role of the Sand Hills region in Central Plains prehistory. Temporal boundaries of the Central Plains tradition coincide with the duration of the Pacific climatic episode (A.D. 1200-1550), a period of cool and arid conditions. The Sand Hills region has been noted historically as resilient to variability in temperature and precipitation. Late prehistoric groups may have occupied the Sand Hills as a response to climatic fluctuation and food resource scarcity in other areas of the Central Plains.




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