© Trey Ratcliff
Some of more than 40,000 artifacts recently discovered at the mouth of Game Creek suggest prehistoric people might have lived in Jackson Hole year round, archeologists say.
Further, radio-carbon dating shows that some of the unearthed artifacts are thousands of years older than expected.
Archeologists began excavating the site last summer after the Wyoming Department of Transportation made plans to widen Highway 26/89/191.
Now, after two summers of digging, the artifacts are beginning to develop a picture of life at the site that ranges over thousands of years, from a roasting pit dated at 10,100 years old to a .38-caliber bullet that is likely from the early 1900s, said Michael Page, a senior archeologist with the Wyoming state archeologist office.
During some periods, the abundance of projectile points crafted from local sources could mean that people lived in the region year round, Page said. By contrast, projectile points from outside the area could suggest people migrated out of the region during some part of the year, most likely winter.