High Rise Village

In 2006 Dr. Rich Adams and a team of archaeologists discovered a cluster of high elevation dwellings in the Shoshone National Forest’s Wind River Mountains. Named the “High Rise Village”, the site appears to be the largest grouping of alpine domestic sites, referred to here as “lodge pads”, in all of North America. Located just at timber line in the heart of a white bark pine forest and adjacent to a major big horn sheep migration corridor, the site is extremely hard to reach and virtually impossible to see except by the trained eye.

The raw film footage shown here is courtesy of the Greater Yellowstone Historical Society, with thanks to Mike Dean and the Kessler Family Fund of Philadelphia. It is shared with the public for educational purposes as part of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe’s “Shoshone Homelands Project” funded by a grant from the National Park Service’s Tribal Heritage Preservation Program.

Our thanks to the Shoshone National Forest for allowing us to share this footage with the public. Sensitive archaeological sites such as High Rise have survived intact for hundreds of years in large part because of their remoteness. All place names and identifying landmarks have been erased from the footage; it is extremely important to protect archaeological sites on public land from looting or vandalism so that they can be studied intact for years to come.

The cameraman is Gary Wortman of Everyman Productions (Reston, VA); the producer is Dr. Sharon Kahin, past President of the Greater Yellowstone Historical Society, and the wildlife and plant specialist is John Mionczynski (Atlantic City, WY).

Our thanks to Dr. Rich Adams (and all his students!), Bryon Schroeder and Matt Stirn for their participation in the project and to Kyle Wright, Archaeologist with the Shoshone National Forest for working with the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum to make this exceptionally important site available to students and life-long learners everywhere.

High Rise Village: Dr. Richard Adams and Bryon Schroeder discuss the discovery of the High Rise site in the Wind River Mountains; gendered use of lodge-pads and hunter-gatherer cultures.

“Could you talk about the floor (of the lodge pad) and duff?”

“What made you decide to excavate this place; how deep did you go?”

Geographic Information System model for locating high elevation dwellings: Matt Stirn on predicting the location of alpine villages

Mountain Sheep, nutritional needs and migration patterns; nutritional value of pine nuts for people

Questions about Lodge Pad S

Why would people camp here?”

(One squirrel cache of pine nuts has the nutritional value of one antelope!)

“Have you found any evidence of food in the site?” “ What would people up here eat?”

“What time of year would people be up there gathering pine nuts?”

Packing in to High Rise

Wickiup or Conical Timber Lodge near the Site

Hunting Pits

A Mano from Wind River

Lodge Pad EE