Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology


Wilde cave is a lava tube located in Southeast Idaho on BLM lands. Recent investigations recovered a skeletal collection represented at least nine bison, as well as several other taxa. After many hours in the archaeology lab at Utah State University, identification of the collection shows the most prominent carcass parts represent fore and hind limbs, while vertebrae and ribs were least common. Also present was limited evidence of butchery-burning and cut marks-and carnivore modification on the skeletal collection. Given these observations, density mediated attrition and utility indices were used to better understanding the patterns in the archaeological bison bone. Based on the density plot, carnivore modification does not appear to have dramatically altered the representation of skeletal parts in the collection. Instead, bison hind limb portions appear to have been transported in Wilde Cave largely based on their fat content.

Included in

Anthropology Commons



Faculty Mentor

David Byers

Departmental Honors Advisor

Jacob Freeman