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Gallatin History Museum Monthly Speaker Series-Tory Taylor

  • Hager Auditorium-MOR 600 West Kagy Boulevard Bozeman, MT, 59717 United States (map)

On the Trail of the Mountain Shoshone Sheep Eaters: A High Altitude Archaeological and Anthropological Odyssey    

Tory Taylor is an avid outdoorsman who has spent his entire adult life exploring and experiencing the natural and human history of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. His interest in Sheep Eater archaeology led him on a personal odyssey. As a wilderness horse outfitter, he generously shared his knowledge with those he guided through this last intact temperate zone ecosystem. Taylor now enjoys hunting, wilderness trips with his wife Meredith and solo trips through the mountains with his loyal horses.    

 Tory Taylor's book "On the Trail..." is about the Mountain Shoshone, the people who lived in Wyoming’s Wind River and Absaroka ranges prior to European contact. It makes use of ethnographic data, observations by early 19th century explorers and mountain men, archaeological data and Taylor’s own experience in locating archaeological sites and experimenting with the technology and diet of these Native Americans. As someone who knows the archaeology well, I found no errors in the book, and even learned a few things from it. But it is also more: it is a kind, calm, and caring book, written by a kind, calm and caring hand. The reader learns about the Shoshone, but also about respect for land, for knowledge, and for other people. The language is utterly accessible to all, and the text is knowledgeable. It is neither encyclopedic nor analytical and it does not intend to be. Instead it is an understanding of the region’s history by someone who knows the Greater Yellowstone area personally, as a hunting guide and outfitter and who has assisted in its archaeological investigation. Knowing the Mountain Shoshone through Taylor’s eyes produces a better book for the lay reader than a trained archaeological expert such as myself could write. I enjoyed it and I think many others will as well. The audience includes anyone interested in the natural history, archaeology and human history of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. R.L. Kelly