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Students catalogue tepee rings where ancient tribes lived

June 10, 2008

Looters and collectors got there first in almost every case, but enough evidence may remain in the hundreds of tepee rings that cover Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area to fill information gaps 10,000 years wide.

“The nice thing about tepee rings is that most people don’t pick up the rocks and take them away,” said Laura Scheiber, an archaeologist from Indiana University conducting her fourth field school on the park’s Bad Pass Trail.

She was standing on the edge of a park road Wednesday amid circles of red, blue and orange survey flags flapping in a 20 mph wind. The flags mark some of the 35 tepee rings her students have mapped this year. They may get to another 20 further upslope before the survey ends later this month. Across the road, 60 more have been identified.

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