ABSAROKEE — A small, blue glass bottle. A shard of decorated pottery. The cylinder of a cap-and-ball revolver. A tiny ceramic doll’s arm.
All are clues to the Crow way of life, lived out in the shadow of the Beartooth Mountains three miles south of Absarokee. This second Crow Agency existed on a spot now divided by Highway 78, a grassy field on one side and a ranch on the other.
For nine years, from 1875 to 1884, the tribe set down roots even as it grappled with a new way of life and a shrinking homeland. Shifting from a nomadic existence to a sedentary, agricultural one, tribal members battled disease and wrestled with the loss of their main food source, the buffalo.
Now, thanks to an archaeological dig, a picture is emerging of what life looked like in the decade the Crow lived in the Stillwater Valley. Read more.