Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Alberta, Canada

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A series of almost sheer sandstone cliffs surrounding a creek cutting into a shallow basin in a great plain, this site is the oldest, largest, longest‐lived, and best‐preserved buffalo jump in North America. Over 500 small stone cairns up to 0.3 m high and extending for up to 8 km from the cliffs mark the edges of drive‐lanes along which animals were stampeded.

The remains of thousands of beasts have been found at the base of the cliffs, some dating back to 5400 bc. The jump was still use in ad 1797 when Peter Fidler of the Hudson Bay Trading Company visited the area. Near the kill site at the base of the cliffs was a campsite and an area for processing carcasses.


J. Brink et al., 1986, Final report of the 1984 season at Head‐Smashed‐In Buffalo Jump, Alberta. Edmonton: Alberta Culture

Subjects: Archaeology.

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