Fort Supply

Fort Supply is an archaeological site located in Woodward County, Oklahoma. Fort Supply was originally a camp where soldiers went to fight American Indians in the southern plains. Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer was stationed at this post and destroyed several Cheyenne villages while he was stationed here. Later at the fort, Cheyenne people went to collect rations from the government. When Indian Territory was opened to non-Indians during the land runs Fort Supply monitored the situation, helped build roads, and protected travelers as they passed though the country. When the post was no longer needed, it became Oklahoma’s first state-operated mental hospital.

Before archaeologists excavated, they surveyed the site and looked for evidence of artifacts and features. They also made cuts as they excavated so they could examine the stratigraphy. After they surveyed, they excavated the features they found and recorded their context. Some of the features they found include five buildings, barracks, and employee and officer quarters including two rare picket-style log buildings. Some of the artifacts found in the matrixes include buttons, shell, sherds, bottles, and iron pots. 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 Supply.
James Briscoe. Artifact Analyses for an Area of Historic Fort Supply, Woodward County, Oklahoma. (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1992.)

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