GOSHEN COUNTY--Hell Gap National Historic Landmark will host a public Open House July 13-14, on the site northeast of Guernsey, Wyo., on Whalen Canyon Rd. The day’s events will be hosted by Marcel Kornfeld and Mary Lou Larson, professors of anthropology at the University of Wyoming, along with students in the UW Advanced Field School.
Archaeological research has been on-going at the Paleoindian site since it was discovered in the 1960s by area residents Jim Duguid and Malcolm McKnight. The property was purchased in the 1980s through the efforts of several private individuals, as well as the Wyoming Archaeological Foundation, and has hosted visitors and researchers from around world. Numerous artifacts from 8,000-11,000 year-old campsites have been uncovered.
The Open House, which will run 8 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.- 4 p.m., will also feature an Artifact Road Show.
“Visitors are encouraged to bring their artifacts for identification,” Kornfeld said. “Experts in the field will do the evaluations.”
Other features of the weekend Open House will be atlatl (ancient spears) throwing contests and nationally recognized flint-knappers, who will demonstrate their skills.
In addition to the Open House, Hell Gap personnel will host free public tours, 9 a.m.-12 p.m., and 1 p.m.-4 p.m., July 6-14, and July 20-28. Reservations are not required.
Designated a National Historic Landmark in 2017, the site can also be reached by driving north of the town of Fort Laramie on the paved Kaspiere Road approximately 17 miles, and continue west on the gravel road approximately 4 miles to the site, where signs are posted.
Kornfeld and Larson encourage visitors to stop by and help uncover history, which could include discovering and flagging new artifacts, as well as walking in ancient stone circles.