Fort Gibson

Fort Gibson is an archaeological site in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, from 1824. Fort Gibson was the ending point for many American Indians that suffered the Trail of Tears. Fort Gibson ensured the American Indians lived in the area without fear of attack by resident tribes and non-natives. The fort was an important stopping point for people during the Mexican-American War and the California gold rush as well. The soldiers at this fort created roads and explored boundaries. Fort Gibson was abandoned and then reoccupied during the Civil War.

Before archaeologists excavated, they surveyed the site and looked for evidence of artifacts and features. After they surveyed, they excavated the features they found, including a latrine, hospital and barracks, and recorded context. Some examples of the features found are hospitals, barracks where the soldiers lived, a bakery, and a powder magazine. Some of the artifacts found in their matrixes were buttons, muskets flints, a hunting knife, wash basins and pitchers, and champagne and wine bottles. After excavation, the archaeologist went back to the lab and placed the artifacts into classifications, typically using seriation, so they could better understand the evidence.

Oklahoma Historical Society, "Fort Gibson."
Brad Agnew. Fort Gibson: Terminal on the Trail of Tears. (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1980.)

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