The Besant People

Besant sites are located in the eastern 2/3 of Montana; the plains areas of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Canada; all of North and South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. Besant points are atlatl sized, shallow corner or side-notched projectile points.

Research indicates Besant peoples used the atlatl or spear thrower as their primary weapon for hunting. The atlatl was used to throw short spears or darts with considerable force and accuracy over long distances. Atlatl points are larger and thicker than arrow points.

Within the Northern Plains, available Carbon-14 dates indicates the presence of the Besant peoples from about circa. 2,100 - 1,200 years BP (before the present time).

The earliest use of the Wahkpa Chu'gn Archaeological Site was by Besant groups. Evidence of the Besant groups consists of limited to massive buffalo bone deposits identified at several locations throughout the entire site area.

This evidence indicates a series of communal kill events were conducted by Besant groups employing pounds or corrals into which buffalo were driven and then slaughtered within the site area.

The only tools from the Besant groups found at the Wahkpa Chu'gn were projectile points in the buffalo bone deposits. So far, evidence suggests that Besant peoples used Wahkpa Chu'gn as a kill site only.

Very recent archaeological research in the area of the Milk River valley bottom to the west of Wahkpa Chu'gn has identified Besant campsite areas that are probably associated with this groups use of the Wahkpa Chu'gn site.

Besant peoples are not believed related to the Avonlea and Saddle Butte peoples who later occupied the Wahkpa Chu'gn site.

On to Avonlea Peoples

On to Saddle Butte Peoples

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