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View Full List of National Register: Wyoming Listings

Alcova Redoubt


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The Alcova Redoubt site (48NA3502) is a fortified prehistoric site located west of Alcova Reservoir in the northern Platte River basin. The site encompasses the highest portions of a steep, isolated sandstone butte at an altitude of 1856 meters (6,090 feet) above sea level. The site is classified as a defensive fortification site based on the location of the site and the presence of a 223-meter (732-foot), discontiguous wall system with associated bastions and weapons systems, including projectile points and piles of softball-sized river cobbles. Based on projectile point typologies, Euroamerican trade goods (a metal-carved steatite pipe fragment and a blue glass trade bead), a variety of lithic materials, and at least one Uncompagre ceramic vessel, the site was likely occupied intermittently throughout the last 500 years during the Late Prehistoric period to the Protohistoric period (Schroeder 2018:253). The site has been intensively surveyed, mapped, partially surface collected, and inventoried with a metal detector (Schroeder 2010; 2018). To date, no additional subsurface investigations have been completed. A habitation area in the center of the site containing two possible wickiup features, one hearth feature, and a dense lithic scatter suggests there is a high potential for intact subsurface cultural materials and features that have potential for future research. Analysis of previously collected obsidian artifacts indicate a mobility and/or trade network extending north from the Alcova Redoubt site to Yellowstone National Park, and south to northern New Mexico (Hughes 2020; Skinner 2005). The Alcova Redoubt site is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places at the statewide level of significance under Criterion D based on the demonstrated potential to answer important research questions pertaining to the temporal distribution of fortification sites in the region as well as Numic-speaking population movements. Investigations have shown that the Alcova Redoubt site is a distinctive site type with considerable potential to contribute to ongoing research related to defining periods of war and peace in the region (Bamforth and Clark 2018; Schroeder 2010; 2018).




Date Added to Register:
Monday, April 7, 2021
Natrona County
Smithsonian Number: 


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