Uncovering History by Douglas D. Scott
Archaeological Investigations at the Little Bighorn

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Synopsis

Almost as soon as the last shot was fired in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the battlefield became an archaeological site. For many years afterward, as fascination with the famed 1876 fight intensified, visitors to the area scavenged the many relics left behind. It took decades, however, before researchers began to tease information from the battle’s debris—and the new field of battlefield archaeology began to emerge. In Uncovering History, renowned archaeologist Douglas D. Scott offers a comprehensive account of investigations at the Little Bighorn, from the earliest collecting efforts to early-twentieth-century findings.

Artifacts found on a field of battle and removed without context or care are just relics, curiosities that arouse romantic imagination. When investigators recover these artifacts in a systematic manner, though, these items become a valuable source of clues for reconstructing battle events. Here Scott describes how detailed analysis of specific detritus at the Little Bighorn—such as cartridge cases, fragments of camping equipment and clothing, and skeletal remains—have allowed researchers to reconstruct and reinterpret the history of the conflict. In the process, he demonstrates how major advances in technology, such as metal detection and GPS, have expanded the capabilities of battlefield archaeologists to uncover new evidence and analyze it with greater accuracy.

Through his broad survey of Little Bighorn archaeology across a span of 130 years, Scott expands our understanding of the battle, its protagonists, and the enduring legacy of the battlefield as a national memorial.

 

About Douglas D. Scott

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Douglas D. Scott is retired as supervisory archaeologist, Midwest Archeological Center, National Park Service. Widely known as an expert on military archaeology, he is the author or co-author of numerous publications, including Archaeological Perspectives on the Battle of the Little Bighorn and They Died with Custer: Soldiers' Bones from the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Reece is Associate Professor in History at Murdoch University in Western Australia.
 
Published March 13, 2013 by University of Oklahoma Press. 264 pages
Genres: History, War, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Uncovering History

For more than a century, virtually all of the writing on the Battle of the Little Bighorn told the story of George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry's defeat from the perspective of the surviving troopers and their sympathetic chroniclers. In recent decades, Native accounts of the battle h...

Apr 15 2013 | Read Full Review of Uncovering History: Archaeolo...

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