Douglas D. Scott is America’s preeminent Battlefield Archaeologist who is most notable for his work at the Little Bighorn National Monument formerly known as Custer’s Last Stand in the mid-1980s. Working with Richard Fox, Melissa Connor, Doug Harmon, Battlefield Archaeologist Charles Haecker, and staff and volunteers from the National Park Service, Scott worked to sketch out a field methodology that has enabled archaeologists to systematically investigate battlefields. This work is internationally recognized as constituting a great step forward in our ability to interpret battlefields archaeologically, regardless of the extent of the historical record. At the Little Bighorn, the fieldwork produced an interpretation of the battle that for the first time gave a clear understanding of the way the battle developed and pointed out some of the glaring inaccuracies of the historiography of the event. The fieldwork also helped determine which of the 242 headstones to the 210 U.S. soldiers lost at the Little Bighorn were erroneous and recovered skeletal elements allowed one of the soldiers to be positively identified. It was not as successful in recovering the remains of 24 men lost in Deep Ravine and whose whereabouts are unknown to this day.
Scott continued doing battlefield archaeology by working at Little Bighorn every season for 23 years. He also directed work at Big Hole Battlefield National Historical Site, Sand Creek National Historic Site, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Pea Ridge National Battlefield Park, and Monroe’s Crossroads Battlefield. He has assisted, advised, or volunteered on over 40 other battlefield and conflict site investigations in the U.S., England, and Belgium, including Washita National Historic Site and Honey Springs Battlefield with Battlefield Archaeologist Bill Lees.
In another convergence, the work at the Little Bighorn and the discovery of soldiers’ skeletal remains brought Scott into contact with Clyde Snow. Working with Snow lead Doug Scott and Melissa Connor to work with Physicians for Human Rights, the UN El Salvador Truth Commission, the UN Truth Commission for Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the U.S. State Department on a case in northern Cyprus, for PHR on the Greek side of Cyprus, and for the Regime Crime Liaison Office in Iraq.
For this work, Scott has been honored with awards from the National Park Service. In 1992, he was awarded the Department of Interior’s Meritorious Service Award and Medal for career accomplishments and innovative research. He served as the president of the Society for Historical Archaeology from 2006-2007. In 2015 Scott received the J. C. Harrington Award, presented by the Society for Historical Archaeology for his lifetime contributions to archaeology centered on scholarship.
Dr. Scott’s Major Publications
Scott, Douglas and Richard Fox, Jr. 1987 Archeological Insights into the Custer Battle: A Preliminary Assessment. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press.
Scott, Douglas D., Richard A. Fox, Jr., Melissa A. Connor, and Dick Harmon 1989 Archaeological Perspectives on the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Scott, Douglas D., P. Willey, and Melissa Connor 1998 They Died With Custer: The Soldiers’ Skeletons From The Battle of the Little Bighorn. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Greene, Jerome A. and Douglas D. Scott 2004 Finding Sand Creek: History and Archeology of the 1864 Massacre. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Scott, Douglas, Lawrence Babits, and Charles Haecker (editors) 2006 Fields of Conflict: Battlefield Archaeology from Imperial Rome to Korea, 2 Volumes. Praeger Security Press, Westport, CT.
Cruse, J. Brett with contributions by Martha Doty Freeman and Douglas D. Scott (contributor) 2005 Battles of the Red River War: Archaeological Perspectives on the Indian Campaign of 1874. Texas A&M University Press, College Station.
Geier, Clarence R., Lawrence E. Babits, Douglas D. Scott, and David G. Orr (editors) 2010 Historical Archaeology of Military Sites: Method and Topics. Texas A&M Press, College Station.
Scott, Douglas D. 2013 Uncovering History: Archeological Investigations at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Scott, Douglas D., Peter Bleed, and Stephen Damm 2013 Custer, Cody and the Grand Duke: Camp Alexis and the Royal Buffalo Hunt in Nebraska. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman.
Geier, Clarence R., Douglas D. Scott, and Lawence E. Babits (eds.) 2014 From These Honored Dead: Historical Archaeology of the American Civil War. University Press of Florida, Gainesville.
Battlefield Archaeologist Dr. Douglas Scott Transcript
John: 00:03 I’m here today with Dr. Douglas Scott. He is the godfather of all battlefield archaeologists. We all owe our careers to him and I am so honored to have him here on the show to talk about archaeology and the movies. Dr. Scott is famous for his work at the Little Bighorn Battlefield [NM], which I’ll sometimes call Custer’s Battlefield because that’s what we used to call it. And I would just like to say, welcome Dr. Scott.
Dr. Scott: 00:30 John thank you so much for having me on the program. This is, I’m looking forward to this. This could be a lot of fun.
John: 00:36 Fantastic. I want to jump right in and just ask you if you would tell the audience a little bit about your archaeological background, which is an amazing story in itself and you can go as far back as you want.
Dr. Scott: 00:51 Well, I won’t start when I was born, but about age six, I was a voracious reader, and I got into the library and my little hometown and found archaeology books. And I was fascinated by that and stayed fascinated ever since. And it was just one of those things I told my folks I wanted to be an archaeologist, and they snickered a little bit. At least it wasn’t a fireman or a policeman. And they said, okay, fine. And they couldn’t believe it. I did it. But I actually started out in a paid position over 50 years ago with the Kansas State Historical Society is just a shovel bum, you know, just a field laborer. And that was while I was just after I graduated from high school and I haven’t quit. I still love it. That sense of discovery, all that that’s out there is still there?
Dr. Scott: 01:45 And that’s the exciting thing. Even though I’ve technically retired from the National Park Service a number of years ago and now I’m still pretty active. Currently, I’m an adjunct research faculty at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. And that’s keeping me busy, and I’m having a lot of fun. But my whole start in archaeology professionally was going to the University of Kansas, a field school for a semester and then off to the University of Colorado. And while I was there, I got interested. I, you know, I took the southwest courses and had a great time and stuff on the Great Plains. We were doing inter-mountain work, and I just drifted into historic stuff because of my interest in historic military, led to a lot of reading in that area. An opportunity came up in the 1970s to actually do my master’s and dissertation on Fort Larned, Kansas, which is one of the 1870s, little earlier 1850s to 1870s.
Dr. Scott: 02:44 Indian war forts. So, I have, that’s what really got me into the historical archaeology and the military archaeology. And I went to work for BLM, Bureau of Land Management in 1975, and transfer with the [National] Park Service in 1983. And that was a pivotal point because that in August of 1983, a fire occurred at the Battle of Little Bighorn and burned off the sagebrush and grass leaving the ground bare for the first time ever. And, Richard Fox who was then a student at the University of Calgary, did a little recon work out there and I showed up to work on December 5th, 1983 at the National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center on my desk was Rich’s report. And what can we do with this? Where can we go with it? Oddly enough, that’s Custer’s birthday. So the rest is history as they say. So for the last 30 odd years I’ve been doing the military, battlefield archaeology and a lot of other conflict kinds of sites, both here in the US mainly Indian Wars and Civil War, but some Revolutionary War and some of the other colonial stuff as well as working overseas and in rights activities and war crimes, sort of activities too. But that’s another story in itself.
John: 04:15 Well, I hope we have time to get to that. I would, I’m surprised because in 1983 I was still in the Army, but I thought you were one of the senior people at MWAC when you did that work out at Little Bighorn. So I’m surprised to hear that.
Dr. Scott: 04:29 Well, in fact, I was brought in as a division manager and from my time at BLM because I, they wanted somebody that was working in the West knew the western states and as well as historic sites, archaeology. And I fit that bill, and that was a nice transfer for me. So everything, you know, they say everything worked out just fine. But one of the one jokes it’s goes around, one of the pieces of humor I always throw in is people ask me, how did you study to be prepared for doing the archaeology at Little Bighorn? And I always said, I watched Little Big Man  and They Died with Their Boots On .
John: 05:08 Okay. It’s a couple of good movies. Yes. So, could you take some time and kind of tell us about the science that you used and the techniques that you did to find out the information, a Little Bighorn, the ejector marks and what have you?
Dr. Scott: 05:24 Yeah, surely. Anyway, so when we start the day out, it was visual inventory looking at just the ground, and we had some metal detectors were coming up along behind us. And then the first hour, those of us walking the ground and looking found absolutely nothing. In that first hour, the metal detectors turned up 110 finds and cartridge cases, bullets and the back strap from a Colt revolver. Richard Fox and I looked at each other and said, we have a new paradigm and a new method. And from then on it was just line up those people in skirmish order literally and walk a battlefield at about a 10 to 15 feet apart. Now it’s a sampling design. We didn’t try to find everything out there, but it’s a sampling, and we recovered after working there for a number of years on and off about 5,000 artifacts related to the battle and a number of parts of human skeletons as well, some of the soldiers.
John: 06:29 Okay. And you really changed how the battle was understood at the time?
Dr. Scott: 06:34 Yeah, I can, I can honestly say that Custer still lost the battle even though the archaeology was pretty interesting. We didn’t change history, but what we did do, and I think this is the important part, is applying sort of a forensic approach to crime scene analysis approach to that. It’s just adapting some of the methods. We use in archaeology for a long time to simply putting it into a bigger picture of analyzing the data. So, we would collect every artifact individually plotted it, piece-planning and, and when we got back and cleaned everything and plotted it, we could see patterns of work cartridge cases or bullets or obviously they are related to each other. And this was a gun battle. That’s the other thing. It would just flat out a gun battle. There were bows and arrows, and knives, and lances, and Tomahawks, there, of course.
Dr. Scott: 07:32 But for the most part, it was a gun battle, and both sides were using them. What came out of the analysis was really the best part, and that’s what really changed the understanding of how the Battle of Little Bighorn played out. We looked at the cartridge cases and bullets in real detail microscopically, and as in a crime scene or a criminal investigation, they send things to a firearms examiner. Well, we actually trained with some firearms examiners to learn to do this properly, but every firing pin imprint on a cartridge case is unique to the gun that fired it. Is also what they call it, class characteristic, which tells you the kind of gun it was fired in. So we were able to sort out that there were about 47 different types of firearms used at the Little Bighorn by the Indians and about three by the army.
Dr. Scott: 08:23 There were some private firearms of some of the officers used as well as a few other issued guns that were a little bit of a surprise, but mostly it was model 1873 carbine and model 1873 Colt revolvers. The Indians had everything imaginable from muzzle loading trade guns and shotguns to the latest Winchester lever action rifles. And by far they had. But we were able to identify a minimum, and I just say a minimum because we didn’t get all the cartridge cases out of the ground. But by looking at those firing imprints at both the class and what they call the individual characters, we were able to say there were a lot of Henry’s and Winchesters and model 1873 Winchester’s there Model 1866 and Model 1873, but by looking at, we could say there were a minimum of 108 of those lever action.
Dr. Scott: 09:20 Henry’s, which is a repeating firearm, a .44 caliber rim-fire model 1866, which they’re essentially the same gun with some minor external modifications. And then the model 1873 which was a brand new gun that was just out on the frontier. But you know, we’re looking at hundreds and hundreds of weapons that were employed there. And by looking at the end of where those, each, each cartridge case or the bullet was found, then we can began to look at the pattern of movement and we could see that the Army, for the most part, took their position as they are training to do, took the high ground and for the most part, not always and stayed in their positions, spread out in skirmish order that they were trained to and fired. But they were spread out over a half a mile. The five companies, 210 men. And I think that was up in a bad decision on Colonel Custer’s part in my own opinion.
Dr. Scott: 10:18 But the Indian’s were able to use the local terrain, which they knew extremely well. They were able to get into gullies and behind hillocks and they could pop up and fire at the guys on the line. And when we, based on oral history, ethnographic resources, and army documents, we know that with Custer’s immediate command, there were 210 men. With the Indian warriors had anywhere from 700 to 1500. Wow. So outnumbered three to four to one, to seven to one. And with the number of firearms they had, it’s very simple. Those troops were outnumbered, they were outgunned, and they were outfought, and you know, can argue details about it or discuss them in great detail, but that’s a simple process knowing that the Indian actually use that landscape more effectively, as it as a combat terrain, than Custer’s command was able to do was what really changed our perspective on how that battle played out.
John: 11:31 Good. Let me go ahead and link it back to this. Doug, let me go ahead and ask you, how, you already mentioned a couple of movies, and how do you feel in relation to movies and archaeology? Do you think they are a hindrance that stories that are told so vastly different or do you think they spark interest in?
Dr. Scott: 11:54 Well, no, I’d go back to when I used to watch the old Boris Karloff mummy movies and Lon Chaney and all of those things where you know, the archaeologist is always portrayed as almost a treasure hunter and the Indiana Jones being a classic example or Laura Croft. And I find that disconcerting, I realize what we do is incredibly boring to most people and until you make that super-duper finder or can interpret it. But I think that we were archaeology as a whole, as do many professions get disservice played to them by the Hollywood and the media through a certain extent. But Hollywood in particular in the movie industry by not showing us is, you know, real people doing real science. And sometimes you can weave a story around that where it becomes a monster movie or a sci-fi movie or anything else. But you know, it’s, it is about what we do is good science, good humanistic science.
Dr. Scott: 12:56 And I think that’s sometimes unfair. Although I can’t, I will honestly say many of those movies like Indiana Jones series and all that, I loved them. They were just fun. And if you take them as that and not real archaeology then why not enjoy it? You know, they can be anything. Hollywood does take. It’s opportunities to have a freedom of license and understanding and enjoying the past. A couple of just little stories that relate to Little Bighorn. As I said, I, you know, in a sort of jocular way, I said I studied two movies Little Big Man , and They Died with Their Boots On  to and told that to people I was working with someone thought was funny and others, you know, serious types or grumpy, it’s not history. Well, it is not history, of course, it’s just a movie.
Dr. Scott: 13:48 But I, one time I was literally standing at the bookshop, at the Little Bighorn and there were a couple in there and they were talking to the person at the desk who was a volunteer and doing a very good job of trying to explain to this couple, but they just couldn’t grasp what was going on. So she, she finally said that guy over there, and we were friends, said he really knows what, what this story’s all about why don’t you talk to him. So they came over, and I mentioned who I was and the archaeologist and so on and so forth. And then they said, well, we want to ask you some questions, and then they start asking questions about Custer’s background. Well, he graduated last from West Point, you know, and it’s no wonder he got killed. Yes, he was last in his class.
Dr. Scott: 14:37 He was in the top third academically, but he had so many demerits cause he had discipline problems. That’s why I graduated last. So there’s another story there. The guy wasn’t stupid. Well he, you know, he came to West Point in that fancy uniform and all these dogs. And I said, you mean like in the movie with Errol Flynn, They Died with Their Boots On . Yeah, that’s, yeah, yeah. I said, well, you realize that’s not history. That’s just a good movie. And they were just appalled that that wasn’t accurate. And trying to explain to them, you know, the richness of our archaeological record, historical record, which is far more interesting than that movie, I think the movie’s a wonderful movie. But it is not what the story is all about. And you know, Custer didn’t die because he was trying to protect the Indians from bad Indian traders and so on and so forth.
Dr. Scott: 15:37 He died because he made tactical errors and that’s, and he wasn’t trying to run for president and on and on and on and on. Things like those myths that build up. And unfortunately, I think sometimes people take those movies a little too, literally. Same sometimes with the archaeological oriented movies, and that happens. But let me tell you, another story because it is directly related to the movie, Little Big Man  in 1970 with Richard Mulligan and with Dustin Hoffman. In the last stand scene in that film, which is, you know, just fanciful as all get out, you know, warrior swirling around on horseback and the soldiers dying left and right and, and so on. Was actually filmed on private property between the Custer Battlefield and Reno-Benteen Battlefield, which is a part of the National Park monument. And that private ground was owned by a Crow person.
Dr. Scott: 16:43 And the road for between the two, the right of way for the road runs between them, we were the metal detecting the area in anticipation of having that road rebuild because it’s in kinda from poor condition. So, we were going out, you know, 10, 12 meters, either side of the road and sure enough, we hit bobby pins and some broken necklaces, just beads, and five in one cartridges. The blank cartridge used in the movie industry and they fit a number of different weapons. That was where Richard Mulligan and Dustin Hoffman and those gang had actually filmed the Last Stand scene of Little Big Man . So it’s right there and it’s actually on a part of the battlefield called Medicine Tail Cooley. And we found our historic archaeological materials. We did the battlefield in context with that movie material.
John: 17:41 They’re usually doing archaeology on the movie. So the bobby pins were to hold their wigs on
Dr. Scott: 17:46 Yeah, that’s absolutely correct. They, yeah, the hold, the various, well warriors wigs, as well as I, ‘m sure if some of the white guys too, but you know, it was for wigs or other components that, you know, a typical movie industry kinds of things. So, but it was, I thought it was pretty funny to be doing the archaeology of a movie set that they put the movie set on top of a part of the actual battle too.
John: 18:12 That is, that is pretty amazing. Let me go to another little topic here. You are a recognized expert on massacres because of your Sand Creek work or an international expert. I know you’ve worked for the UN and worked with the UN and, yeah. Okay. So, the, they’re the in the movie or the TV miniseries Centennial , they redid that battle scene with Richard Crenna, and of course, it’s a fanciful movie scene. And you kind of tell us what really went on there.
Dr. Scott: 18:45 Yeah. Well, yes, I’d be happy to. The Sand Creek massacre is truly one event that is, is a massacre. It’s not just a battle that people called a massacre because they used to call Custer’s massacre or battle a massacre as well, but that’s not, that was just an out and out fight that Custer. San Creek was a true massacre. Even the Congress decided to call it a massacre in 1865 and it occurred in November of 1864. The basic story is, is simple. There had been some Indian depredations against some white folks on the Colorado Eastern Plains. Governor Thayer was not a fan of Native Americans at all. And particularly the Cheyenne and wanted them on a reduced reservation which was had been negotiated, but it wasn’t going very well. The depredations caused a Thayer to raise a regiment 100-day regiment called the 3rd Colorado Volunteer Cavalry.
Dr. Scott: 19:53 And with the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, which had been in service since 1861 and actually fought at the Battle of Glorieta Pass. And the commander Colonel Chivington was a hero for having saved Colorado for the Union by beating the Confederacy and the Battle of Glorieta Pass in March of 1862 and in near Pecos, New Mexico. But, by this time, and Chivington was no fan of Native Americans either. And so they just, when these two regiments were up and running and marched off to find Indians, their goal was to kill people, not just to put them on a reservation, like so many other actions, but to kill them. Find them and kill them. And they went to Fort Lion, which is in southern Colorado on the Arkansas River. Then they were aware that Black Kettle and his family’s and band Cheyenne were camped on a little tributary of the river called Sand Creek and that they were friendly and he just.
Dr. Scott: 21:06 Chivington decided to attack them against the advice of a number of his officers saying, no, these are friendly folks. He decided to attack with them cause they must be the ones having done depredations. And so early in the morning, November 30th, he deployed his men, they marched into the village, fired a couple of rounds from a 12 pound, 2 12-pound mountain howitzers charged in and caught, the families largely asleep. And there were about 183 give or take, some women and children and a few men killed. Most of the adult males were off hunting. It was, you know, they, they’re looking for food. And, so it was mainly women and children. Black Kettle’s wife was killed. A number of, a number of people were killed. And they a lot of folks that the killing did not occur in the village so much as they escaped from that and moved, less than a mile north and dug into some into the river bank to protect themselves.
Dr. Scott: 22:15 And they brought their 12-pound mountain howitzers up there and fire them at essentially point blank into these, what they call sand pits killing folks. And the soldiers, of course, the Cheyenne, all they knew these were blue-clad soldiers. So they, they assumed they were regular troops. In fact, they were not, they were volunteers. But those, those soldiers also committed depredations by doing a lot of mutilation, scalping, actually taking genitals of men and women as prizes as well as the number of, you know, just material culture items. It was touted in newspapers in Colorado, was settling, partially settling the Indian question and it did, it settled it in a negative way because the Cheyenne, although decimated and in Black Kettle’s band and destitute because they lost their teepees, their horses, their food, they joined other bands.
Dr. Scott: 23:20 And for the next about three years, there was extreme fighting. It’s a really the end of the Civil War, beginning of the Plains Indian warfare in the Central Plains and Eastern and Western Plains. So it was a tragedy in on the first order, the archaeology, we were asked to find the site. The site had sort of been lost a classic case of yeah, we thought it was only there. We now that doesn’t look right. You know, there’s a pretty flat area, and it took us a couple of different times out there, but it was some very good crew. But we found the village site, everything in that village site that we were recovered. Metal items, of course, we’re broken. There were camp kettles and utensils. And there was an arrow makers group of material. Cash of arrow makers materials, knives and unfinished or not knives. File, sorry.
Dr. Scott: 24:16 And unfinished arrowheads plates, all sort of ornaments, all sorts of stuff. Everything we found on that was, like a camp kettle or a cup. A utensil had been broken, and it’s not like cattle walked on this, this had been destroyed, and the classic quote is to render unserviceable to the enemy. So literally these Indians were destitute after the cavalry left though that place and they join with their friends. Both the Lakota and other Cheyenne bands that were wintering elsewhere. And the fighting did not culminate until 1867-1868. In that period with the Battle of Summit Springs. When some, and you can even relate this whole story to the Battle of the Washita in Oklahoma, which we also worked at and found and Little Bighorn because some of those warriors who had fought at or had been families were destroyed or partially get wiped out at Sand Creek.
Dr. Scott: 25:24 We’re at the Washita and at the Little Bighorn. So there was a long memory here. All of this kind of plays together, John, in a way that it’s not just serendipity. This is the way the frontier was working at a time. These are interrelated events that have great meaning. And particularly for the Native Americans, the Cheyenne and the Lakota, they have great symbolic meaning and spiritual meaning whether it’s a Little Bighorn because they won or Sand Creek cause there were so many people killed there. And The Washita was another one in 1868 which Custer was involved in there too. Another, I wouldn’t say necessarily peaceful village attack, but at Black Kettle who had been at Sand Creek was in fact killed at Washita. So these very much interrelated sets of stories and the archaeological record is very clear there too. We were substantiating history. We’re learning more than what is in the history books. A good deal more about how people use the landscape, tactics employed, things like that that are only glossed over a lot of the historical record.
John: 26:34 Yeah. I had no idea that’s much worse than I had actually known.
Dr. Scott: 26:40 Sand Creek was a, well, it truly was a massacre in a real sense. And it is at the heart of how the Cheyenne and northern and southern Cheyenne and northern and southern Arapaho because they were both there, how they both feel about, working with the US government today, even though these were not US government, regular troops, these were volunteers. It doesn’t matter. That’s how they see the world, and it colors how they view their working relationship with the government today.
John: 27:16 Okay Well, let’s try to lighten it up a little bit. Would you like to tell us what you’re working on right now?
Dr. Scott: 27:22 Sure. I’ve been doing a little work for Montana state parks at the Battle of Rosebud, which is June 17th, 1876 and that’s eight days before a Little Bighorn, in Montana, just about, 40 miles from Little Bighorn. And that’s General George Crook, and his command were part of the three-prong campaign to entrap the Indians in 1876 and push them back to the reservation, not kill them, but to pushing back to the reservations and the Dakota’s. Crook and his command were moving up from the south. General Terry has come in with Custer from the east and Fort Lincoln. John Gibbon with the 7th Infantry from the West and Fort Ellis, Montana, near Bozeman. And they didn’t end up meeting up, because Crook on the Rosebud. Let’s see, about 40 miles from Little Bighorn eight days before he was attacked by a group of Indian, several hundred, maybe 900.
Dr. Scott: 28:28 He had about 1800 men. It was a four mile running battle for over about six hours. And Crook was left in control of the field, but he actually lost. And He reported losing or expanding 25,000 rounds of ammunition. So, he had to pull back to his supply depot at Goose Creek, which is where Sheridan, Wyoming is today, because of the quote-unquote hostiles in between Him and Terry’s command. He couldn’t get a messenger up there. So there’s three-prong movement fell apart on the 17th of June, which in led to Custer’s demise at the Little Bighorn because they, they thought everybody would join up. At some point and they would have kind of a three-prong pincer movement. One of the things about Rosebud, I mean we were finding cartridge cases and bullets and bits and pieces of things just like we, you know, when in battlefields.
Dr. Scott: 29:29 But there are a couple really interesting things. One of which from biggest overall perspective, because this was considered a victory for the Cheyenne and Lakota who were there. It emboldened them so eight days later at the Little Bighorn they knew they could defeat them because they already had. They thought it was the same guys again. They’d already done it once. They were going to do it again, and they did. Sure. It is one of from an archaeological perspective and um, is that we were looking at the cartridge cases. The University of Montana had done some work at Rosebug some several years ago, and we’ve done some work. There are some other people have too. So I was looking into the cartridge cases and doing the firing pin analysis. Like we did a Little Bighorn on the microscopic level. And I noticed there was a really oddball cartridge that came from a Ball carbine.
Dr. Scott: 30:29 There were only a thousand or so ever made in the Civil War and they weren’t really issued. But we had found one of those, that Little Bighorn, we found the one that Rosebud. And I thought, what’s the off chance so I can compare them because I had access to the information from Little Bighorn at the time. Sure enough, it’s from the same gun. So we can say, and then we found a Henry cartridge that had been fired. And from a gun that was fired at the Little Bighorn as well. So we’ve got two Indian guns both in Cheyenne positions, or what I believe to be Cheyenne positions, at Little Bighorn having been used at Rosebud. So we can say the, we can talk about those are the same people. And that was really the first time we’ve matched up two disparate battlefields with at least two sets of different Army troops being involved but the same Indians. And, and so it just shows what our capabilities are when they got well preserved and protected sites and well-preserved artifacts as well. We were, we continue to learn, continue to do stuff.
John: 31:33 Well, we’re getting up around 30 minutes, Doug, and is there anything that I need to ask you that I forgot to ask?
Dr. Scott: 31:40 Do you want to do say five minutes? A little bit of segue on the human rights stuff?
John: 31:45 Oh, I’d love to. I didn’t know if you wanted to get into that, but, yeah. Okay.
Dr. Scott: 31:49 One of the interesting segue way that came out of our work on battlefields in general, the Little Bighorn specifically, is that we were asked that to some of us who had worked at the park. Were asked to be on teams that went overseas and to Central America to work on a variety of human rights cases and war crimes cases. The El Mozote massacre case in El Salvador was one where we applied the art of the firearms identification process. We also did this in Croatia, in after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and Bosnia Herzegovina kind of looking at these in the battlefield modeling concept as well and to understand how things were happening. But these became issues of locating sites of atrocities, mass graves, illegal executions, that sort of thing, but largely mass graves. We did it in Rwanda.
Dr. Scott: 32:51 It’s spilled over into other areas like Cypress and from the 1974 of events there between Turkey and in Greece, and the Cypriot army. And we’ve applied that and looked at it in working for the United Nations for various other groups. And it has been an exciting opportunity to apply archeological models into a real-world situation that leads to at least trials in international criminal courts and that and whether justice is served is, you know, always a debatable sort of I think intellectual argument, but there have been people brought to trial, and some of the information that we were able to come up with, including mass execution situations, played into being stipulated to. And in the judgments against some of these individuals particularly in Croatia and Rwanda and in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
John: 33:58 Okay. Well that’s, that’s super important work, and it shows how archaeology can be relevant to the modern, the modern world. And I just want to say, Doug, thank you for doing this interview and thank you for the profound impact you’ve had upon my career, Rolando’s, and Charlie’s. You really have done a lot for us, and we appreciate it.
Dr. Scott: 34:20 Well, you know, if you can’t share information and make good friends, why do we do this?
John: 34:24 Yeah. I don’t know. All right. Well, thank you very much.
Dr. Scott: 34:27 Okay. Hey before you go, okay. Let me say thank you. Thank you for allowing me to be on the program. This, this has been great.