History of the Site

Dating to 2,000 years ago, visitors are given a chance to view up close, with no glass cases or "incredible simulations," extensive Native American material and buffalo bone remains.

This is NOT a sterile museum, you get to see actual archaeological excavations, with a 20 foot wall of buffalo bones, buffalo skulls, arrowheads, etc. left where they were found for you to see.

Recent History

Wahkpa Chu'gn was discovered in 1962 by John Brumley as he was exploring the bluffs near Havre Montana. The local amateur archeaology group conducted some initial excavations and discovered the significance of the site.

In the late 1960's and 1970's the site was futher excavated and developed by the Montana State Archaeological Society and the Milk River Archaeological Society under the auspices of the H. Earl Clack Museum and Hill County. One of the early excavators was Les Davis, then working on his Doctoral degree, and now Curator of Archaeology and Ethnology at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana.

Many excavations from the late 1970's and on were conducted by now archaeologist John Brumley. In 1992 John and Anna Brumley took over day-to-day managment of the site from the H. Earl Clack Museum. They continue to develop access to the site and interpretive material for the site to enhance the visitors' experience.

Click here to see news articles about the site.

Native American History

Three different Native American groups used the site at various times in it's history. The three groups are differentiated by the markedly different styles of arrow heads they used in hunting buffalo.

The earliest of these groups is known as the Besant. Besant peoples used the site extensively a number of times between 2000 and 1500 years ago. After it's use by Besant peoples the site was abandoned for a 200 to 300 year period. The site was then used briefly by the Avonlea people between about 1200 and 1300 years ago. This was followed almost immediately by the Saddle Butte peoples who continued to use the site until about 600 years ago when the site was finally abandoned.

Wahkpa Chu'gn is a real historical site, it has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. Search in Havre Montana - the listing is 1974-12-30 "Too Close For Comfort Site." Efforts are underway to establish National Historic Landmark status.

Visit Wahkpa Chu'gn

There is nothing else like it in the world!

On to Besant Peoples

On to Avonlea Peoples

On to Saddle Butte Peoples

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