The vast, pine-covered plateau now known as Yellowstone National Park has been lived in, traveled through, and exploited by humans for thousands of years. It is still possible to see the remnants of old camps and deep-rutted trails over which ancient peoples crossed the Park to reach the bison-rich plains.When did humans first visit the area we now call Yellowstone?Who lived there when the first Europeans entered the region?What happened to the last of the early inhabitants?How did the Nez Perce, fleeing across the northen of the newly established Park in 1877, escape U.S. troops?How did Indians perceive the Park's geysers and hot springs?These and other questions are answered in this popular history of the Park written by a professional archaeologist who is also a seasonal resident of West Yellowstone. Joel Janetski reconstructs past human events from archaeological evidence and historical sources to provide an engrossing story of the people who knew the area hundreds, even thousands, of years ago and who left their traces amidst the grandeur that is today's Yellowstone National Park.
Joel Janetski is professor anthropology and director of the MUseum of Peoples and Cultures at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
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