Archeologists surveying the original townsite of Sulphur

Sulphur, OK -- Preserving tradition and locating history. That's what's bringing a team of out-of-state archeologists to the Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

"What a lot of people don't realize when they come to this area is that this portion of the park actually sits on top of the original townsite of Sulphur," says superintendent of the Chickasaw National Recreation area, Bruce Noble.
He says Sulphur was relocated outside park boundaries in the early 1900s...

"And so you have this pristine archeological resource of an abandoned town. You don't have structures but you have the ruins of the townsite scattered throughout the park and that makes this park very special," said archeologist Christine Nyze.
Nyze along with students from the University of Nebraska are here surveying the grounds.

"We have these old maps and we're able to put them into a computer system and into our GPS unit and from there we're able to go out into the field, take our GPS into the field, and try to re-locate some of the features," Nyze.

Noble says the main goal of the study is to preserve an age old tradition -- the park's herd of bison.

"You know, you hear many people talk about stories they have in their families, that they remember coming here when they were a kid with their grandparents to see the bison, and now they bring their kids here to see them today," said Noble.

But Noble says their home needs a renovation.

"Our pasture has gotten sort of beaten down. We've got a lot of weeds. We've got a lot of infestation of eastern red cedar," said Noble.

And he says that renovation will be made possible, after the archeological survey is finished in the next year, to make sure they're not destroying any historical features.

"This little herd we have here has a long tradition and, you know, really has touched the hearts of a lot of visitors in this area," said Noble.


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