Archaeological Investigations in Medicine Creek Reservoir, Nebraska

Medicine Peace Treaty Re-enactment

Publication: American Antiquity, Vol. 14, No. 4, Part 1

Author: Marvin F. Kivett

Date of Publication: April 1949

PDF File: Kivett-1949-Archaeological-Investigations-in-Medicine-Creek-Re.pdf



The Medicine Creek Valley of south-central Nebraska has for many years been known to contain within its limits important archaeological materials representing various periods of man’s occupancy in the Central Plains. The region is climatically near the western limits of successful general farming. While the yearly precipitation averages about 23 inches, records show a variation in total from 11 to 38 inches. (Bason and others, 1939, pp. 4–6). This wide fluctuation in precipitation, often combined with extremely high temperatures during the growing season, makes the area one of agricultural uncertainty. Early White settlement in the valley was often retarded and in some instances completely checked as a result of severe but usually short-period droughts. Prehistoric horticultural groups subsisting in this region were undoubtedly subjected to the same unfavorable conditions. They, like the early- White settlers who were to follow, may have been forced at times to abandon the area temporarily and withdraw to a more favorable one.