# Archaeology's Contributions to the Lewis and Clark Trail
Archaeology has faced special challenges in identifying campsites on the trail, but has benefited from recent advances in technology. Unlike a Civil War battlefield or even a stop by at a historic antebellum house, the expedition's route yields almost no physical evidence. Lewis and Clark campsites have been difficult to validate, because the explorers left few traces. In 2004, the authors of Lewis and Clark, **[mens camo leggings](https://aixonne.com/product/27623/mens-camo-leggings-compression-pants)**, Memories, and New Perspectives, had a dismal view of archaeology's role in the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. I
This information will paint a richer picture by reviewing the literature to date to explore a few of the relatively recent developments in archaeology of the trail. It focuses on sites in Montana, Idaho, Oregon and the Columbia River Basin and in Washington at Station Camp. It may also highlight new scientific techniques used to find campsites and explore how these findings have helped save a few of these sites from destruction.
The National Park Service has always supported archaeological investigation and advocated for preservation of the trail. Their website lists efforts by the Lewis and Clark Trail Commission, the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation Inc. and other public and private organizations which have tried to find and preserve the trail. Modern Americans can easily see only a few places on the trail as Lewis and Clark saw them. The NPS website has photos that report more pristine views of lots of the sites.
NPS lists sites in Montana and other states such as for instance Site 32, Fort Mandan, and Site 34, Fort Clatsop that are archaeologically relevant. ii
Buffalo Jump, Traveler's Rest, and the low Great Falls Portage Site were particularly rewarding for archaeologists.
Buffalo Jump at Arrow Creek
In the beautiful White Cliffs section of the Missouri Breaks, the members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition were probably the initial U.S. citizens to see and record a buffalo jump site where the dead animals were still in place. On May 29, 1805, on the westbound journey, the Lewis and Clark Expedition came upon such a jump.**[Fat Collection Canister](https://aixonne.com/product/82185/liposuction-equipment)** It absolutely was on the north side of the Missouri along the bottom of a 120-foot-high cliff that came almost to the water's edge. The men observed and smelled the carcasses greater than 100 dead and rotting buffalo, which wolves were devouring.
Your website was identified in 1963 as 24CH240 by a group from the Missouri Basin Inter-Agency Archeological Salvage Program, which surveyed sites in this area of the river. The salvage team found only two items of bone fragments, many others of that your private owner had also observed. iv
At Traveler's Rest, in the 1990's, aerial infrared photography showed proof tepee rings. Historical research matched coordinates of latitude and longitude recorded by Lewis and Clark to the exact same Lolo Creek location. Dan Hall and others used magnetometer equipment to find changes in the magnetic properties of the soils. In addition they found fire-cracked rock, charcoal, and a solid puddle of lead. These findings indicate that spot suffered intense heat believed to be caused by a big, military-style cook fire. They knew that the expedition melted down their empty lead powder canisters to create musket balls, thus the puddle of lead.
Sites in other states discussed in this short article include Site 32, Fort Mandan, and Site 34, Fort Clatsop. Archaeologists later found signs that a trench have been dug about 300 feet from the fire area, consistent with Army regulations at that time governing the location of latrines. Tests with a mercury vaporizer confirmed the current presence of mercury in the trench and not in the surrounding soil. Lewis had noted in his journal that at the least two of the men were sick when this occurs in the journey and received medications, which contained ample levels of mercury that will go through the body and remain at the site. v These pills, called Dr. Rush's Thunder Clappers were sixty percent mercury, which doesn't decompose.
These discoveries were significant because this area was surrounded by a rapidly developing residential area, and the campsite was designated one of many nation's most endangered historic places in 1999. That notoriety helped attract a grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, allowing purchase of 15 acres believed to be the center of the campsite.