When archeologists excavated this site in the 1980's, they
found lots of crushed and broken bison bone and many stone
tools used for butchering. Surprisingly, they found very few
farming tools although farming was well-established in the
Southern Plains by this time. Apparently, farming wasn't a
major activity at the Duncan site.
The fine-grained stone used to make their knives, scrapers
and arrowheads came from chert quarries 175 miles to the northeast
in Kay County, Oklahoma. The Spanish in their trek through
Oklahoma and Kansas in a futile search for gold in the 1500's
met prosperous farming Wichita groups in the area of the quarries.
The Duncan site people may have been Wichita people living
out on the short-grass prairies or they may have traded extensively
with the Wichita people. Archeologists now believe that trading
networks stretched throughout the area. Obsidian and turquoise
from the Pueblos of the southwest were also recovered at the
Duncan site. Some tools were also made from other exotic cherts
from central Texas and elsewhere.
The condition of the bison bones uncovered at Duncan indicate
the people there were processing the bison bone heavily to
render them for grease. This could be done by crushing and
boiling the bones in large pots. Analysis of these bones has
also revealed that the bison were probably killed in late
summer and early fall.