Pyroculture Adaptation

Table of Contents:

Late Archaic Period Willamette Valley:
Portland Basin
Clackamas Basin
Tualatin Basin
Yamhill Basin
Pudding Basin
Luckiamute Basin
Mary's Basin
Santiam Basin
Long Tom Basin
McKenzie Basin
Coast Fork Basin
Middle Fork Basin

Late Archaic Period

This period is marked by the presence of the bow and arrow. See the Pleistocene section for a discussion of the dart and arrow technologies.

Oregon at this time was one of the most densely occupied areas in North America:

One way of measuring the relative significance of cultural "foci" or "centers" is in terms of population density. This is usually regarded as a measure of cultural success in relation to subsistence, as well as ecological good fortune. By the late Holocene and contact with Euroamericans, it may surprise some to learn that, according to Kroeber (1939: 136-155), the Lower Columbia Valley surpassed all other regions of the Northwest Coast in terms of population density. The late Holocene density here reached 63.7 persons per square kilometer, while to the north the density is around 30 or less. To the south, a high population density was also reached along the Lower Klamath River and adjacent areas (49.8). In fact, the density of the Lower Columbia Valley was not surpassed by that of any other comparable region of either agricultural or extractive subsistence base in North America, except by the agricultural Pueblo people of the Southwest, where 75.7 persons/km² were sustained (Pettigrew 1981: 6).

Nehalem Bay Dune Site (aka - Davidson Site) - 35TI57 (Tillamook county)

I will put the county in abbreviations after the site number (35 = Oregon, 2-3 letter county code, 1-infinity) for a few paragraphs. The site number is read right to left: so 35TI57 is the 57th site recorded in Tillamook county in Oregon.

This prehistoric site was excavated by Rick Minor, Ruth Greenspan, Robert Musil and Nancy Stenholm under a contract with the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Division. The site had been disturbed by looters and was being impacted by erosion.

The artifacts recovered from the looters suggested that the site was unusual for a coastal site in that most of the artifacts were from stone tool manufacturing and included projectile points. There was no evidence for a shell midden, yet the site is located along the Nehalem Bay estuary. It was suggested that the site might be a fishing station located in a dune adjacent to a fresh water source.

The site was surveyed and mapped, then augered to determine the depth and extent of cultural deposits. Five areas were checked with excavation units. These included two mound-like features that turned out to be high spots in the dune.

The project determined that small groups were camping in the dunes near the freshwater creek over and over during a period of about 300 years between A.D. 1310 and A.D. 1610. The dune hollows were protected from the wind, and the availability of fresh water in the creek made this location attractive. As expected, occupation (artifact density) was higher closer to the creek and decreased with distance from fresh water.

Five radiocarbon (C14) dates were made from carbon samples. Carbon samples cost about $250 each, and are sent to labs scattered around the country for analysis. A date of 340±60 (A.D. 1610) came from a 4 inch thick layer of fire-cracked rock, artifacts and organic remains. Fire-cracked rock is produced from heating rock for stone boiling or for baking in earth ovens. Another similar layer in a different area of the site produced a date of 470±70 (A.D. 1480). Three dates came from a very dark greasy black layer near the creek containing lots of fire-cracked rock, artifacts and organic debris. The dates were 580±60 (A.D. 1370), 640±60 (A.D. 1310), and 490±50 (A.D. 1460).

A total of 98 flakes stone tools were recovered in the excavations. Eight cores were recovered. Cores are chunks of stone from which flakes were removed for the manufacture of tools. The cores indicated that fist sized cobbles were being struck to remove flakes with a hard stone hammer. The larger of these flakes were then thinned into bifaces for the manufacture of tools (mostly arrowheads).

Twenty-one projectile points were recovered, all from the deep greasy black area near the creek. All of the points were made from chert and all were for the bow and arrow. One small "winged" point was made from a small flake, and the rest of the complete specimens were corner-notched with contracting stems.

Four chert scrapers came from site deposits and four chert perforators (drills) as well. In addition, twenty-four flakes were used as cutting tools, exhibiting small nibbling flakes along the utilized edge (use wear). 12,619 pieces of flaked stone from tool manufacturing were also recovered and studied.

Four small stone hammers were probably used with the cores as percussion flakers. Three other cobbles show wear associated with their use as anvil stones. Small cobbles of chert were placed on them and struck with the hammer stones to split the cobbles (bi-polar splitting). Other ground stone tools included two sandstone abraders used to sand down wood or bone.

Organic preservation was quite good for an open site on the coast. Four fragments of worked bone were recovered, but were in such bad shape that their function could not be determined. Three wood awl fragments also survived. 12,605 fragments of bone were found, but the level of preservation was quite poor. The majority were identified as salmonid vertebrae (they were fishing). While the Nehalem River estuary is not mentioned as a fishing site in historical interviews with Indians, The report on this project notes that in 1852 inhabitants of a village on the estuary "had journeyed up the Nehalem River to fish and dry salmon for their winter's use".

If the bone had decayed beyond recognition, there would have been no trace of an orientation towards fishing based on the artifacts recovered. This strongly suggests that interpretation of site function, where organic preservation is poor, may be biased towards those parts of the economy that produce stone tools.

Plant remains included maple, thistle, alder, birch, elderberry, goosefoot, red cedar, sedge, rush, kinnikinnick, clover, ash, lodgepole pine, Douglas fir, bunch grass, blackberry, thimbleberry, raspberry, bedstraw and willow were present and used. This suggests hardwoods were used for fires as well as making artifacts, berries were harvested, roots gathered, baskets made as well as perhaps fishing equipment. The plants could have been used to make food storage as well.

Over all, the site suggests many short term encampments with an emphasis on fishing and tool manufacturing. The majority of the stone tools made relate to hunting (arrow manufacture). Organic tools were manufactured, but preservation did not include a decent sample. Fishing may have been with baskets, traps, nets and weirs ... none of which survived. No weirs were observed at low tide. Unlike most sites in this environment, the site contained almost no shell.

The river supports a spring Chinook run in June to July and a Silver Salmon run that extends into October. The coastal groups had a First Salmon ceremony. The first fish taken in a drainage was treated in a special way. The fish was cooked with great ceremony, and parts eaten by the most important person in the local drainage, then the rest was divided among the people. The remains were burned in the cooking fire. This ceremony, accompanied with dancing, was performed for about a week on all of the fish caught. After this ceremony was done, anyone could catch fish on the river. In a way, the ceremony announced to the populace that the fishing season had opened.

The location of this site at the mouth of the estuary suggests the possibility that this was the location where groups waited for the appearance of the first fish of the season? If so, the site may have been a location selected for the first salmon ceremony. The black greasy deposits filled with fire-cracked rock and the abundance of salmon bone supports this hypothesis.

The ethnographic patterns discovered by Euro-American explorers and pioneers was in place throughout Oregon. The NW Coast fishing economies, the Plateau fishing/root river winter village economies, the Great Basin desert/lake economies, the California acorn economies were all well established regional resource exploitation strategies during this period. The Willamette Valley had its own unique blend of elements. The regular burning of the valley up to elevations of around 600-900 feet created an oak-grassland mosaic cut by forests along the river and its tributaries. When the Euro-American explorers discovered the open grasslands, they told people to the east that Oregon was a paradise where no heavy forest clearing had to be done to start a farm. The economic process started by the Indians acted as a lure to thousands of people.

A transition period when Euro-American artifacts were traded into the NW, yet before actual face-to-face contact is also part of this period: 35 CLT 21 in Clatsop County is an example of this proto-historic period.

This site is a possible housepit village and shell midden tested by the Coastal Prehistory program of the University of Oregon in 1991. The project was lead by Rick Minor with contributions by Debra Barner (shell analysis), Ruth Greenspan (geology), and Nancy Stenholm (floral analysis).

The site is a shell midden that sits on a high cliff overlooking rocky habitat with its associated shellfish and penniped (seal, sea lion) rookeries. Internally, it consists of dense shell deposits overlying pit features dug into sterile soil. Six major layers were recognized in the site. A radiocarbon date of 420±50 (AD 153) from a pit feature dates the earliest occupation of the site. The presence of metal artifacts in the shell above this feature indicates the site was occupied into the "proto-historic" period (after actual physical contact with Euro-American people, but before the collapse of Indian socio-economic systems).

The archaeologists found a series of pit features that they interpreted as a possible house floor. A cluster of fire-cracked rock resting on a compact clay surface (floor?) was encountered. Additional units expanded the original pit and found an rock-oven in a shallow semi-circular pit. A cluster of sea lion bones were found in another pit feature. More pit features were found when additional units were opened in an attempt to find a house wall. Three radiocarbon dates were taken: 880±80 (AD 1070); 530±90 (AD 1420); and 290±60 (AD 1660) for the possible housepit. Metal fragments were also recovered here.

In another area a possible housepit wall was found. Charcoal from the bottom of this area produced a date on 680±60 (AD 1270) and one metal fragment was recovered indicating proto-historic occupation as well.

The local basalt outcrops near this site supported a major clam and bay mussel population. Bay mussel was the predominant shellfish found in the site. Other shellfish included: horse barnacle, goose barnacle, littleneck clam, butter clam, cockle, bent-nose clam, Bodega clam, razor clam and gaper clam. Growth ring analysis on the shell indicated a late winter to early spring exploitation of shellfish. Mussel was 91% of the shellfish taken.

Fish bone remains included: skates, sturgeon, herring, anchovies, salmon, codfish, rockfish, lingcod, greenling, sculpin, cabezon, surfperch, and flounder. Bird bone included loon, grebe, albatross, fulmer, shearwater, petral, cormorant, duck, geese, gull, bald eagle, alcids, murre, and guillemot. Many of these nest on rock headlands. Mammal bone included: seal, sea lion, sea otter, elk, and mule deer. The bone assemblage was dominated by Stellar sea lion remains. The rocks offshore from the site are a sea lion rookery. There is a surprising taxonomic richness in the bird and fish assemblage. The overall pattern is one of balanced hunting, fishing and shellfish gathering centered on the rocky habitat.

Only two possible projectile point fragments were recovered. A mixture of scrapers, gravers and flake use for cutting were recovered. Hammer-stones, choppers, and abraders were found as well. A number of bone artifacts included dart heads, toggling harpoons, bone awls, bone chisels, and antler wedge and a bone needle.

The data suggests that the site was occupied for about 600 years. The site falls into the Late Archaic Phase. It may have been a village site, but no complete house walls were found. The pits mat be associated with a campsite, rather than houses. The site continued to be occupied into the proto-historic period when Indians were trading directly with Euro-Americans. The abandonment of the site may reflect the impact of disease on coastal populations. The site was primarily exploiting shellfish and Stellar sea lions from the rocky shore and off-shore rookeries. This indicates that the rookery was fairly stable for the last 900 years. The occupants were probably salish-speaking Tillamook Indians. The first recorded contact was the 1788 observation by Robert Gray's sloop Lady Washington. The absence of trade beads, rolled copper ornaments or glass suggests that the site was abandoned before regular trade was established.

Patrick O'Grady and Tom Connolly, with the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology at the Univeristy of Oregon prepared the following summary for the Harney Basin , which is the northern-most extension of the Great Basin, a system of internally draining valleys that once fostered extensive Pleistocene lakes. Harney Basin is relatively well watered by runoff from the Blue and Strawberry Mountains to the north, and Steens Mountain to the south. A complex system of rivers, creeks, and intermittent streams descend from the uplands, wind across the valley floor, and empty into the Harney and Malheur lake basins to create a series of shallow water marshes and grasslands that are biotically very productive. Fluctuations in precipitation levels led to rapid expansion and contraction of the wetlands, influencing the ways in which human populations exploited the resources of the region.

Archaeological investigations in Harney Basin were first initiated in the mid-1960s and serious archaeological research was not initiated until the early-1970s. The 1980s was a period of accelerated archaeological investigations in the Harney Basin, due in part to extensive flooding in the basin during the mid-'80s which exposed hundreds of sites. Of particular interest was a series of surveys and excavations conducted at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. These investigations have revealed a long sequence of human occupations related to wetland settings, beginning in the Early Holocene and continuing to historic contact. Archaeological efforts in the 1990s have continued at Malheur Wildlife Refuge, but important contributions have also emerged from studies in the uplands, Diamond Swamp, and within the city of Burns.

These investigations show that most site occupations seem to have occurred during the last 4000 years, reaching a plateau in the last 2000 years. The presence of deep midden deposits, burials, and possible housepits at sites along the margin of Malheur Lake suggest long term occupation of either permanent or semi-permanent villages in the Harney Basin. It seems apparent that the most intense sedentary occupation of the Harney Basin lake/marsh margins occurred concurrently with similar lake/marsh adaptations all along the northwestern periphery of the Great Basin. Although numerous site reports chronicle the archaeology of Harney Basin, the brief synthesis by Aikens remains the most comprehensive publication on the topic of wetland adaptations in the region. Less is known about seasonal occupations away from the lakes and marshes, which clearly served as central places in the basin settlement systems.

It is clear from the literature review cited above that studies of wetland settings, particularly at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge, have heavily influenced our view of prehistoric cultural events in the Harney Basin. However, the work conducted by the Steens Mountain Project and on Stinkingwater Mountain among others, detail a range of activities that occurred away from the wetland setting, and provide the critical balance to a complete view of cultural history in the Malheur Basin.

Sites in and around the basin suggest that variations on the ethnographic model proposed by Aikens and Greenspan were common throughout prehistory. The Northern Paiute subsistence-settlement model suggests that people would have dispersed widely to take advantage of scattered and labor intensive resources during hard times such as periods of flood or drought. Populations may have left the least productive areas to concentrate where food was most abundant, and local basin populations may have been reduced during warm, dry periods, increasing during cool, wet periods. Although flooding initially may have drowned wetland communities, retreating flood waters may have rejuvenated wetland/grassland plant communities, providing an attraction for aboriginal populations. Eventually, "normal" precipitation regimes stabilized the wetland environment. In turn, drying of lake and marsh environments probably would have resulted in major dislocations of human populations occupying these areas. Such population movements may be easiest to detect in the regional and inter-regional archaeological records, as populations relocated to adjust their numbers to reduced local resource productivity. Such movements have been proposed to explain apparent peaks in radiocarbon dated occupations in the Northern Great Basin and adjacent regons and are believed to have been relatively common, facilitated through inter-basin/inter-regional social connections and information sharing networks throughout the last 5000 years.

While the ethnographic model has provided a useful explanatory context for understanding archaeological sites in the Harney Basin, the archaeological record itself is quite incomplete. It has not been possible, for example, to reliably chart changes in settlement patterns through Middle and Late Holocene times, as has been done in the Fort Rock Basin to the west. Evidence from the Fort Rock Basin indicates that the location of residential centers was a function of local water budgets and wetland health, population density, and time, and that these centers shifted among basin lowlands, basin uplands, or out of basin centers in response to changes in social or natural environments. Early Neopluvial populations (ca. 5000 BP) were small and tended to be situated in small semi-sedentary hamlets located by stable wetland settings where small seeds could be easily collected. By 3500 BP human populations were apparently quite high in the Northern Great Basin. At that time there appears to be a trend towards greater use of upland resources and a reduction in the use of the lowlands, where resources may have become less reliable. By 1500 BP, upland habitations and cache pits were in use, and lowland resources such as fish and small seeds have been recovered from these sites. This may indicate a reversal in resource dependence, with upland roots becoming most important and lowland seeds considered to be a secondary resource.

The study of short term, temporary campsites more removed from the central basin wetland setting is a recent development in Harney Basin archaeology. Understandably, temporary camps have been overlooked for many years while researchers concentrated on the information-rich, longer term marsh and lakeside occupations. Although the archaeological record is far from complete with regard to wetland adaptations and subsistence-settlement patterns, it is clear that the time has arrived for an examination of temporary, task specific occupation sites to augment our understanding of how resources within the Harney Basin and the surrounding region were exploited to best advantage. The Harney Basin lies within the High Lava Plains physiographic province and is bordered by three others: the Blue Mountains, Basin and Range, and the Owyhee Uplands. Ethnohistorically, the Northern Paiutes were known to have obtained resources from all four provinces, but the utility of campsites situated at locations between the lake basins and outlying areas is not well understood. Recent explorations at the Hoyt (35HA2422) and Morgan sites (35HA2423) (Harney county) on the northern periphery of Harney Basin, are just beginning to shed light on this topic, as will the Hines site (35HA2692).

The Hines site is situated on an alluvial fan at the edge of Harney Basin, and the fan matrix is rich in toolstone-quality obsidian nodules derived from upland volcanic formations. In addition, the site is adjacent to an ancient lakeshore, and more recent wetland habitat. The site appears to represent a series of short term task specific occupations possibly spanning the last 4000 years of prehistory. The recovery of functionally specific tool types as well as faunal remains and charcoal suggests that addressing issues of chronology, function, and paleoenvironment at this location could add to the understanding of basin-wide cultural and natural events. The site is close to what once was the northwestern edge of a pluvial lake known as Lake Malheur. The site is a prehistoric campsite that includes a wide scatter of lithic debitage, utilized flakes, flaked stone tools, ground stone, fire cracked rock, faunal remains and charcoal.During limited test excavations an apparent intact hearth feature was located. The site was originally recorded in 1986 as part of a pedestrian survey conducted by Richard Pettigrew in preparation for highway improvements that were not then completed. At that time, Pettigrew noted a concentration of obsidian flakes and other evidence that suggested the presence of potentially significant cultural deposits. He recommended that the site be tested prior to any construction impact.

Test excavations were conducted at the Hines site by the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology between April 30 - May 5, 1997. The excavations included three 1x1 meter test pits (TPs) and 26 50x50 cm test probes. Most of the cultural materials were found in the first 60 cm of deposits, in fill that ranged from medium brown silty sands in the upper levels to lighter colored sands with increased depth. The cultural remains appear to be stratified within these sediments, and peaks in the amount of debitage are seen across the site at approximately 20 cm, and again at 50 - 60 cm below the surface. This seems to indicate that the overall integrity of the cultural deposits is good, despite possible disturbances to the surrounding areas. Calcium carbonate encrusted "hardpan" sands are generally found beneath the culturally laden fill, as are gravel lenses that may either be attributable to alluvial depositions or shifts in the streambed that is currently located to the north of the site. Geologic maps indicate that the site is located in a transition zone where poorly sorted alluvium originating from mafic venting upslope meets recent (Holocene) alluvium and sedimentary deposits generated from stream deposits and flood plains. Partial cementing of the deposits by caliche is considered to be common.

Diagnostic artifacts recovered from the site included one Rose Spring and one Eastgate projectile point, both made of obsidian, and one dacite Elko Eared projectile point. These points suggest that occupations at the site occurred during a period between 4000 BP - 1000 BP. Other artifact types included three obsidian biface fragments and one CCS biface fragment, one obsidian core, one mano, one rhyolite and three obsidian utilized flakes, and 1341 pieces of lithic debitage, of which 1336 were obsidian and 5 were CCS. A wide range of lithic reduction activities are represented by the debitage, from small bifacial thinning flakes to primary reduction flakes that include cortex. Debitage density was variable over the site, suggesting multiple independent use episodes or discrete activity areas. In TP2, debitage counts exceeded 320 flakes in the 50-60 cm level below the surface. In TP3 an apparent intact hearth was found on a living surface at about 25 cm depth, associated with burnt and unburnt faunal remains, primarily from small mammals including lagomorphs, and possibly waterfowl. Charcoal was collected from the apparent hearth feature and a sample is being radiocarbon dated. The small size and discrete nature of the concentrated cultural deposits may indicate a series of short term occupations possibly related to resource activities such as plant and small animal collection and processing, or the procurement of obsidian from nearby quarry sites. Though occupations at the site may have spanned a relatively long period, the small loci of concentrated cultural materials offer an excellent opportunity to study the nature of temporary campsites, particularly those of the Late Holocene. There appear to be at least two activity areas associated with the artifact concentrations which include a possible chipping station for the reduction of obsidian nodules quarried nearby, and a hearth with burned bone fragments and flaked tools in association. The importance of the Hines site lies in the potential that it has for expanding our knowledge about temporary procurement and processing camps in the Harney Basin during the Middle and Late Holocene.

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Portland Basin

Defined by the Tualatin Mountains on the southwest, the Gorge on the east, and Sauvie Island to the northwest, this basin forms its own sub-area at the confluence of the Willamette and the Columbia Rivers. As Pettigrew put it (1981:5):

"As the Columbia River leaves the Plateau and cuts through the Cascade Mountains, it enters the climatologically and geologically distinctive Portland Basin, a part of the larger Willamette Valley as well as of the Lower Columbia River valley...

In the Portland Basin one might consider the Columbia River to be an extension of the Pacific Ocean, since at Portland the tide averages about two feet and tidal fluctuations are observable upstream to about 130 miles from the ocean".

The basin was one of the most densely occupied areas in North America:

"One way of measuring the relative significance of cultural "foci" or "centers" is in terms of population density. This is usually regarded as a measure of cultural success in relation to subsistence, as well as ecological good fortune. It may surprise some to learn that, according to Kroeber (1939: 136-155), the Lower Columbia Valley surpassed all other regions of the Northwest Coast in terms of population density at the time of contact. The density here reached 63.7 persons per square kilometer, while to the north the density is around 30 or less. To the south, a high population density was also reached along the Lower Klamath River and adjacent areas (49.8). In fact, the density of the Lower Columbia Valley was not surpassed by that of any other comparable region of either agricultural or extractive subsistence base in North America, except by the agricultural Pueblo people of the Southwest, where 75.7 persons/km2 were sustained" (Pettigrew 1981: 6).

At the Malarky Site (35CO4) (Columbia county) Pettigrew found acorn roasting ovens and a possible acorn leaching pit. Two C14 dates were recovered: 1290 ±75 and 1110 ±90 along with narrow necked arrowheads, pumice abrading stones, notched netsinkers, hammerstones, pestles, and grinding stones.

The Cholick Site (35MU1) (Multnomah county) had dates of 850 ±180, 1160 ±75, 1380 ±75, 1510 ±90, and 1720 ±100 associated with narrow necked points, burins, drills, cores, pumice abrading stones, notched/girdled/wrapped netsinkers, hammerstones, pestles, antler wedges, digging stick handles, knife handles, bone wedges, bone needles, bone clubs, bone harpoons, clay figurines, clay pipes, bone/clay beads, ear spools, and copper rings. Site 35CO3 (Columbia county) dated to 1200 ±70, 1300 ±75, and 1370 ±70 associated with narrow necked points, drills, burins, pumice abraders, notched/wrapped netsinkers, hammerstones, mortars, pestles, anvil stones, antler wedges, and clay figurines.

The Meier Site (35CO5) (Columbia county) produced modern dates and 720 ±75 associated with narrow necked points, drills, burins, abrading stones, netsinkers, hammerstones, pestles, anvils, antler wedges, digging stick handles, bone wedges, harpoons, bone points, foreshafts, incised clay tablets. clay and stone sculpture, antler and bone wedges, bone beads, stone pendants, shell pendants, copper tubes, and trade beads. The Lyons Site (35MU6) (Multnomah county) had dates of 80 ±70, 530 ±80, 610 ±75, 1090 ±80 and the test pit cut through a possible house pit associated with narrow necked points, drills, burins, cores, celts, abrading stones, hammerstones, anvils, bone wedges, harpoons, copper tubes, trade beads and kaolin pipes The Pump House Site (35CO7) (Columbia county) dates were modern to 260 ±80 and had similar artifacts. The McClarin Site (35CO17), Coplin Site (35MU11) and Douglas Site (35MU12) did not contain dateable organic material but similar material culture.

For additional data on the Meier site.

The Multnomah Phase was defined from these sites. Mule-ear knives, heavy percussors, clay figurines and incised clay tablets are diagnostic artifacts. Multnomah 1 was dated from(AD 200-1250; Multnomah 2 from AD 1250-1750; and Multnomah 3 from AD 1750-1835.

Housing in the Portland Basin was quite varied. "The winter dwellings of the people of the Wappato Valley were, like those elsewhere on the Lower Columbia, constructed of split cedar planks, rising 4' -5' above the ground. A pit was often dug inside the walls, to a depth of 1'-3'+ below the surface. A cedar-bark, gabled roof was supported by posts inside the four walls and the whole structure was held together by cedar-bark cord. Dimensions of these houses varied from 12' by 20' to 40' by 100', though in at least one case house measured over 400' long. The number of these lodges, which were often divided inside by mat partitions to accommodate a number of families, ranged from 1 to 28 within one village, though all of these may not have represented permanent dwellings" (Hibbs & Ellis 1988:48).

Some of the historic information for villages from Lewis & Clark gives some data on relative numbers of people per house reflecting seasonal changes:

Village Name House # Population Average
Cathlahcommahtup Three houses 70-170 people 23-56 people/house
Cathlahnahquiah Six houses 150-400 people 25-66 people/house
Clanninata Five houses 100-200 people 20-40 people/house
Clackstar 28 houses 350-1200 people 13-43 people/house

Lewis & Clark described the village of Ne-cha-co-le, as consisting of a single "226 foot long plank long house divided into seven 30 foot square compartments. Near the building were the ruins of several other large, semi-subterranean buildings. Inhabitants attributed the demise of the once larger village to a smallpox epidemic about 30 years earlier" (Burtchard 1990:16).

Work in the Portland Basin has recorded house depressions. 35CO7 on Sauvie Island had two possible depressions and the Oregon Archaeological Society dug one house, with measurements of 15 by 6 meters and just over 1 meter deep. The second housepit could not be defined. A circular depression was also recorded at site 35CO33. Pettigrew tested 35CO7 and hit the corner of a straight-walled pit he believed to be the house wall. The house pit was about 32 cm deep (Pettigrew 1981: 88-89).

Pettigrew also dug a test pit through the edge of house pits at 35MU6: "Complicating the situation was the discovery of the remnants of what appear to be two separate, overlapping house pits in Unit B. House 2, with straight vertical walls and a flat floor, was excavated into the filled pit of House 1, of which the only indication was the dark horizontal laminae representing the house floor. Unit B was placed at the northwest corner of House 2, so that a cross-section of the west and north walls was obtained. After the abandonment of House 2, the pit was partially filled in by refuse which consists of a large, sloping lens of shell mixed with bone, and finally filled entirely by flood silts" (Pettigrew 1981:82).

Airport Way SiteBland & Connolly (1989) reported on the excavations at the Airport Way site (35MU58) through backhoe trenching to locate features. The site had two components separated by a sterile layer. Features were excavated and several others noted in the trench profiles. The lowest component was dated to 1840 ±70 and 1910 ±60 BP. The upper component was dated to 1220 ±65, 1320 ±125, 1340 ±100 and 1400 ±70 BP. Feature 1 was a scatter of FCR. Feature 2 consisted of a scatter of FCR and charcoal dated to 1400 ±70. Feature 3 was a bell-shaped storage pit. Feature 4 constituted a heavy concentration of charcoal (1840 ±70) mixed with FCR, probably a hearth. Feature 5 was a charred earth area dated to 1910 ±60. Feature 6 consisted of silt stained with charcoal and bisque dated to 1220 ±65. Feature 7 was a concentration of charcoal 50 cm in diameter and dated to 1320 ±125. Feature 8 was another concentration of charred earth and charcoal dated to 1910 ±60.

While features were common, artifacts were rare, only 43 waste flakes, one fragment of a CCS flake uniface, one obsidian flake uniface and one basalt cobble chopper! The features indicate that intensive activities occurred that left few artifact remains. This indicated that sites may be present but essentially invisible to surface survey. The rock and charcoal features contained 33 charred camas (Camassia quamash) bulbs, indicating these were camas processing ovens. Given that camas was one of the two primary plant foods in the Basin (along with Wapato), and that this type of processing site should be common, the absence of artifacts as a site indicator is troubling:

"Connolly and O'Neill (1987:10) specifically note a comparable low frequency of portable artifacts in association with numerous rock-lined pits, presumably camas roasting ovens, at the Long Tom Site (see Chapter 12) in the upper Willamette Valley. Like the Long Tom Site, the Airport Way site appears to be a specialized task camp utilized for the roasting of camas" (Bland & Connolly 1989: 26).

In addition, these late deposits were deeply buried. The upper component was under a sterile layer 125 cm thick. The upper component consisted of cultural lenses in another 100 cm thick layer and the lower component lenses were as deep as 235-243 cm below the surface. This means heavy deposition of about 2.5 meters in the last 2000 years.

Woodward noted in 35MU46: "A soil concentration pattern at the base of the cultural stratum in Pit 4 is interpreted as a plank house wall line. Adjacent to this is a very compact surface consistent with a house floor. A carbonized limb or pole radiocarbon dated to AD 1560 ±50 (Beta 38885) may be associated with this feature" (Woodward 1990:27).

In the 1990 CAHO Vol 15, No 2, Kenneth Ames gave a progress report on work on the Meier Site (35CO5).

"The Meier structure was a gable roofed plank house. The maximum extent of the Meier structure is 14 m x 35 m or 46 ft x 115 ft. Hajda (n.d.) documents considerable variability in house form along the Lower Columbia around the basic theme of a plank house. She presents data for the existence in the Wappato Valley of extremely large houses. The Meier structure is at the extreme end of the range for typical houses given by Ray (1938:124). The structures described by Hajda were much larger, but she had little data on how they were built. The ethnographic model divides the interior space into five areas: front, rear, benches, central zone and corridors. The rear of these structures was set aside for the highest ranking family in the house, and in some cases was marked by a screen and carved and painted figures of wood and stone" (Ames 1990:9).

"The archaeological features include: the surface below the bench, pits, hearths, heart boxes, plank molds of varying sizes, 'post' molds also of varying sizes. surfaces associated with these features, and the floor zone. The floor zone is the area where the plank or earthen floor would have been relative to the hearths" (Ames 1990:9).

"In 1990 we exposed the southwest corner of the house and about four meters of the west wall. We have also recovered plank molds and post molds in positions indicating they held the timbers supporting the ridge beams, rafters and bench supports. We have also encountered multiple post molds ranging in size from 30 cm to 3 cm in diameter. These latter are probably the products of cedar pegs used widely in native construction on the coast" (Ames 1990:9).

"The house may have been significantly rebuilt two or three times, each with multiple episodes of reconstruction and repair. Our best evidence for the building sequence are tow sets of plank molds for the ridge beam support in the center of the house which were capped by a massive hearth complex, and by the sequence of hearths in the complex itself. The two sets of plank molds can be separated by their orientation. In one, the beam they supported was oriented directly on grid n-s (magnetic north) (house 1A), while the second was oriented in an east orientation (house 1B). Shifts in longitudinal orientation in the history of a single structure if this kind is also documented at 45SA11 (Minor et al. 1989). We are probably not seeing two, completely separate episodes of repair and rebuilding. The house 1A ridge beam support post was reset five to eight times; the house 1B post seven to ten times, and there are ten hearth bowls within a 2 x 4.15 meter area. Samuels (1983) notes plank repair at Ozette, and the resetting of one wall, but describes nothing like this" (Ames 1990:10).

Meier Site HouseThe Meier Site (35CO5) was also reported in the Journal of Field Archaeology in 1992. It summarized the five field seasons by Portland State University in the 14 by 35 meter sized (fourteenth through eighteenth century) long-house. The excavations revealed enough of this large house with many post holes and storage pits for a reconstruction. Plank molds in three size ranges were recorded: small (3 cm wide by 5-10 cm long); medium (2-6 cm wide by 30-100 cm long); and large (10-20 cm wide by 30-100 cm long) (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 279).

At the time of the report, the field school had dug 160 m2 of the site. The western half of the house was exposed including the SW corner and linked the house to the exterior midden and yard.

Each large corner post contained boulders weighing over 100 pounds. These stone were in the bottom of each hole and were probably platforms to reduce soil contact and to delay decay of the buried Western red cedar support posts.

A bench was found along the wall. In the last phase of reconstruction of this house, the 2-2.5 meter wide bench was covered with planks. "The top surface of the earthen bench slopes down into the massive pit features flanking the central hearths. The sloping walls have linear concentrations of multiple postholes with diameters ranging from 3 to 30 cm. The surface of the earthen bench has relatively few artifacts or ecofacts" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 281-282).

"The corridor, the space between the bench and the central zone, has floor laminae and large pits as archaeological features.... The corridor pits, the most spectacular and distinctive features associated with the house, contain the great bulk of recovered faunal and floral remains as well as large artifacts. These pits were consistent in shape: straight walled, flat bottomed, about 1 m in depth and with a mean diameter of 86 cm. The pits extend to a depth of 1.5 m in places. Typically, they were dug 20 to 50 cm into the underlying sterile silt-clays... These features in the past, were excavated and re-excavated many times. In one 2m x 2m unit we discerned the rims and sides of 17 overlapping pits" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 282).

"The central zone contains floor deposits, the hearth boxes, ridge support timbers, and associated surfaces. It appears archaeologically as an earthen platform between flanking rows of deep corridor pits. This platform was originally created when the pits were dug beside it, but it was maintained as a platform by filling and packing older surfaces and features with reworked fill" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 283).

"The H1A ridge-beam support post, by conservative estimate, was reset 5 to 8 times; and the H1B post 7 to 10 times. These estimates hold for the other identified frame members as well...There was a continual reshaping of the earthen surfaces under and around the structure, as well as the refilling and re-excavation of the corridor pits. Pits, postholes, and surfaces were filled, covered, and reshaped by applying a mix of earth and fire-cracked rock ... We have encountered very few surfaces or features directly associated with the dwellings that are not extensively reworked and shaped to fit the needs of the residents" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 285).

"We calculate the 1B house to have been 14 m x 35 m, with side walls 2.4 meters high, and to have had a 6.1 m-high ridge beam and a single 2 m-wide sleeping platform along each side wall, plus the ridge beam itself, six ridge support planks, and the eave supports. The estimate does not attempt to include the posts supporting the sleeping platform, and any of the other wood in the house. Therefore, it errs on the conservative side... Without a planked floor, the Meier 1B house, including roof, would have required ca. 40,000 board feet of lumber, with a planked floor, ca. 55,000 board feet. For comparison, a modern, three bedroom American house uses some 10,000 to 12,000 board feet.... The roof required ca. 15,000 to 17,000 board feet of lumber for a single course of planks; some Northwest Coast houses had double courses.... there are 1150 board feet in a log 36 in diameter and 20 ft long (approximately 1 m x 6 m). Using this figure, the Meier house represents 38 to 52 such logs" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 286).

"Frame members had to be replaced several times over the life of the house; conservatively, a minimum of 5-11 times per feature cluster; and the H1B frame could have existed for perhaps 400 years. Given the life span of red cedar, we might estimate almost total replacement of frame members every 20 years or so, or 20 times over that period" (Ames, Raetz, Hamilton & McAfee 1992: 287).

Saleeby (1983) after looking at the faunal collections from six sites concluded that many of the villages were occupied year-round: "The faunal data did not support the notion that the Meier, Cholick, and Pumphouse sites were occupied only on a seasonal basis. Rather, the data indicate that the sites could well have been occupied rear-round, although spring flooding in some years may have made the sites on Sauvie island uninhabitable for a few weeks. Year-round occupation may have also been the case ate 35CO3, the Lyons and Merrybell sites, although there is insufficient data to warrant a definite conclusion" (1983: 65).

Broken Top HouseEllis (1992) summarized the initial work at the Broken Tops site (35MU57) with backhoe trenching to find buried features. Features 1, 2 (490 ±70) and 7 consisted of extensive scatters of charcoal, burnt earth, burnt bone and FCR. Features 3, 4 and 5 (1030 ±90) were small clusters of FCR. Features 6 and 8 were discovered after cleaning trench walls and were lenses of charcoal. In 1993, Ellis and Fagan described the final results of their excavation. One component consisting of scattered hearths and charcoal lenses dated from AD 900-1150 and the other component, dating from AD 1400-1500 contained dense midden deposits, hearths and postholes. The postholes suggested the presence of a ephemeral plankhouse. They recorded 54 features during the various phases of this project: four ash basins; three charcoal clusters; five charcoal lenses; three FCR clusters; sixteen hearths; three middens; eight portholes; two pits; and seven soil stains.

"The primary evidence for structures is, of course, the postholes. Some of the smaller postholes ... could represent support posts or poles for temporary mat or bark shelters or for features such as fish-drying racks, storage scaffolding, etc. The larger postholes .... are all likely to represent superstructures of greater size and are unlikely to reflect small, temporary shelters or ephemeral resource or storage features. The 35MU57 postholes are within the ranges recorded at other prehistoric house sites in the Pacific Northwest" (Ellis & Fagan 1993: 133).

The central activity area of "house 1" continued more and a greater variety of faunal bone than the other area and their studies suggested a bench/storage zone and central hearth zone. But in "house 2" there were few tools and few faunal elements in the central area and no suggestion of specialized areas that could be developed from the data.

Ellis (1996) reported on the auger recovery of artifacts from the Columbia Slough Site (35MU105) buried under ten meters of dredge spoils. The materials dated from AD 1450-1850. While limited to auger samples, 1080 pieces of debitage, 2 tools, 7.6 kg of FCR, 950 non-fish faunal remains and 3703 fish remains were recovered. A narrow-necked arrowhead was one of the tools. The fish bones were burned and so fragmented that 93% could only be identified as fish. The fish included stickleback, sucker, minnow, salmonids, and smelt. Radio-carbon dates were 280 ±70 and 250 ±100 BP.

Woodward (1983a) tested the Sandy beach Site (35MU48) with eleven 1 x 1 meter units. He reported a pit feature containing 45 pounds of FCR and charcoal and a fired surface. He placed eight units in the Bridge Site (35MU47). A charcoal filled pit contained 121 pounds of FCR. In the lists of recovered material was carbonized acorns and carbonized camas bulbs. He later monitored construction and noted in a letter that several yards of the site were removed and he observed five hearths as well as a "mass of large mammal bone (elk?)". In an attached letter he indicated that there was a radiocarbon date of AD 1370-1470 for the Bridge Site (Woodward 1983b).

The earliest occupations in the Portland Basin are either missing because of sampling or because the record has been lost. The pre-dam floods along the Columbia and the Willamette Rivers probably had an impact on site integrity and likelihood for survival over time. The deep sediments have deeply buried early sites as well as later ones, making surface survey difficult. On addition, the urban impacts to the basin have removed segments of the archaeological record. In other cases, the dumping of dredge spoils has buried sites. The dikes constructed along the Columbia River have also destroyed or buried the archaeological record.

The mouth of the Willamette River with the associated Sauvie Island wetland complex created one of the richest habitats in North America. It is, in essence, a freshwater/tidal estuary located deep up river on one of the largest drainage systems on the west coast of North America. From north to south, the great river systems that flow into the Pacific Ocean are (in square miles) the: Yukon (328,000); Fraser (89,000); Columbia (259,000); Sacramento (59,000); and Colorado (245,000). Each of these basins had an effect on the human groups that occupied them. The Mackenzie (at 695,000 square miles, and the second largest basin in North America after the Mississippi) flows into the Arctic Ocean rather than the Pacific. Each basin is represented by a different ecologies and different human adaptations.

The mix of permanent (wapato, cattail) and seasonal (camas, cattail) wetlands in the Portland Basin coupled with the massive anadromous fish runs in the Columbia River system made this are very rich in predictable, abundant and sessile (or physically constrained) resources. As long as the water levels were not too high or too low, wapato, cattail and camas were available in quantities greater than any projected demands. The fish runs were also massive, but an active prey that is confined to the water (constrained to specific locations of the watercourse). There is no indication that fishing demands were greater than supply.

Populations in the basin grew and modified their adaptations during this process. The use of the key plant and animal resources appears to have intensified through time, but the supply appears to never have been outstripped by demand. There is no evidence for Portland Basin burning. The same does not hold true for upland plant and animal resources. Groups that exploited the uplands around the basin, such as at Mt Hood, resorted to annual burning to reduce plant biomass tied up in cellulose and to increase valued plants and animals. Berry fields were opened up and expanded by annual burning. Burning also opened up the forest into a parkland mosaic which increased valuable ground cover food and medicinal plants. This also increased browse for deer and elk, increasing their carrying capacity... and therefore the yield from hunting.

The archaeological evidence does not contradict a population growth model. The data indicates that adaptations to the Basin's abundant and predictable resource base did not require major changes in the basic gathering and hunting strategy through time. There were technical inventions that act as marker, such as the change from the atlatl to the bow and arrow. The amount of relative sedentism also increases through time. Based on ethnographic data and site locations, joint ownership was breaking up into village (or village group) owned resources such as camas, wapato (in patchy places or where village location discouraged waterfowl competition) and tarweed. There is no evidence that groups within the Basin had to resort to burning as a way to increase the natural productivity. Burning did happen outside the Basin in upland environments where productivity is limited. This is a form of negative evidence for the ability to intensify wapato production. The available supply always outpaced the need, so there was no pressure to use fire as a vegetation management tool. The export of wapato is also an indicator that the system was not stressed, instead it indicates that the product was valuable in other locations under population stress.

The Portland Basin is the best place to look at house building technology because of the wide range in house styles that occurred there. The cedar plank house was the structure of choice. Based on the statistics from the Meier site, house building and maintenance could be a major activity. The technology relating to the prehistoric logging industry is interesting on its own merits. Large cedar trees were plastered with two parallel rows of mud. The lower mud band supported live coals placed there from a nearby fire. The upper mud band kept the fire from moving up the trunk. As the fire charred its way into the tree, the char was cut away with an adze, often itself made of cedar. If the tree was relatively small, and the entire tree was needed as a post or rafter, then this process was used to burn around the perimeter of the tree until it fell. If the tree was medium sized for canoes, the same process was used. If the tree was going to be used for planks, often a shelf was burned into the tree at the base of the proposed plank and at the height required for the plank. Then wedges were driven in to split out a series of planks between the lower and upper shelves. Since plank trees were not girdled, they often continued to grow after this process. Trees and large heavy planks were ferried to the house locations by pulling them behind a canoe. Unless large cedar trees are immediately available, the association between plank houses and nearby navigable water may simply be the need for water transport for the beams and planks. It may have little to do with the fishing or plants, but the Indians would maximize locations by taking the latter into consideration (the water transport was the dominating factor). Large logs weighing many tons were never moved very far. Where houses are made of lighter materials (poles, bark slabs, cambium peels, and mats), there is no such transportation cost constraint.

Because of the labor costs, when houses were rotated due to flea infestations or accumulation of human feces and other waste products, house walls and roofs were often pulled down and stored in sheds on site. Then the group moved to another nearby structure where nature had cleaned up things and removed the wall and roof timbers form storage at that location and had a house up in no time. If repairs were needed on the basic structural elements, this was done before rebuilding the walls and roof.

Now if you think about the costs on materials for the Meier house, and postulate that there were more than one house of this type at other locations... the amount of time and materials becomes quite staggering.

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Clackamas Basin

In the early 1970's, Woodward (1974) tested Mostul Village (35CL32) and did an analysis of the collections in the hands of private collectors. The material also included objects removed from the Gladstone burial complex, including glass, metal beads, buttons, thimbles, Chinese coins, rings, bells, brass tokens and related Euro-American trade goods. Woodward placed the graves at Mostul at 1800-1830's and the Gladstone graves between 1835 and 1855. The testing at Mostul included a C14 date of 430 ±75 (AD 1520) from charcoal recovered from a"cooking spit". Hearths and rock ovens were filled with glass and metal fragments mixed with traditional flaked and ground stone, as well as bone and antler items.

Burtchard (et al. 1993) proposed an ecological approach to Clackamas drainage prehistory. He felt that PaleoAmerican represented early broad-spectrum foraging where small bands of very mobile people were exploiting late Pleistocene animals and plants. The Early Archaic he theorized was a mesofaunal broad-spectrum foraging society with changing economic emphasis on Holocene animals. The Middle Archaic was characterized as early semi-sedentary foraging with increasing reliance on storable foods. This included the beginnings of maintaining open meadows through burning. Mass harvesting of food that could be stored as staples emphasized camas, wapato and anadromous fish. The Late Archaic was a period of intensive semi-sedentary foraging with increased populations, increasingly sedentary and complex social institutions. This was followed by an apocalypse derived form the impact of non-native cultures and waves of disease that devastated socio-economic systems.

As a result of a survey in the Clackamas drainage, Burtchard (et al. 1993) was certain that salmon were of major economic value to the groups exploiting the river throughout its archaeological history. He is certain that salmon supported villages as high as Eagle Creek and were abundant to at least river mile 79 with river miles 51-57 major Chinook spawning gravel. Clackamas historic accounts include toggling harpoons, gill nets, drift nets, fish traps and dip nets. In addition, the team found 70 peeled cedar sites, mostly Western red cedar. The trees were usually peeled on the uphill side as a long triangular scar as the peel ran out at the top. This was a major activity along the river. It was done to make storage containers for either plant on animal foods. Mt Hood was a major huckleberry grounds, but the peels are found all along the river system.

Burtchard and Keeler (1991:5-6) proposed that the best way to understand the human past is to look for the relationships between human populations and the critical elements in the physical and social environments to which they are obliged to adapt:

"In other words, we assume that the ways that human groups have used the landscape are best understood by focusing on the manner in which they have solved the practical problems of gathering and maintaining a relatively stable supply of critical resources in the face of variable climates and changing (generally increasing) population densities....

The perspective assumes that human use of the landscape tends to follow predictable, redundant patterns, regardless of cultural identity...

A basic theoretical position of the ecological point of view holds that, in general, human groups orient themselves toward locations that maximize access to resources critical to their continued success. Resources critical to prehistoric populations in the central Cascades included 1) food items such as anadromous fish in several major river systems (especially the Clackamas and Sandy), elk and deer in mid to high elevation summer pastures, and perhaps huckleberries, bear and game birds in upland clearings and wet meadows; 2) material resources such as cedar in well watered drainages and lithic materials at exposed chert and obsidian outcrops; and 3) socially significant places such as territorial markers or ceremonial localities."

They both felt that meadows were always important places for human groups because:

... more solar energy is available near the ground surface, meadow and parkland communities support higher plant and animal diversity and density than the surrounding forest. Typical of early succession ecosystems, relatively little energy is locked up in inedible cellulose (wood and bark tissue), leaving more tissue available to support animal life. Because of the relative abundance of forage, elk and deer tend to congregate near open areas, retreating into the treeline for protection from weather and predators. Meadows and parklands are also places for a variety of other edible resources such as huckleberries, glacier lilies, grouse, bears and so on...

In dry areas, meadows are an early successional response to natural or human caused fires that temporarily remove competing forest cover. Because of drier conditions, fires have probably always been more common on the eastern slope. Here, additional fires may have been intentionally set to improve ungulate forage and hunting success. In essence, forest maturity was maintained at lower maturity through human intervention. It is also reasonable to expect prehistoric humans to have burned more mature western slopes, though the impact may have been more limited. Indeed, Native American forest burning is documented in the Willamette Valley (Boyd 1986) and for the Warm Springs Reservation (Beth Walton, pers. com.) as a mechanism to improve plant and animal productivity. Because of their importance as a summer elk and deer habitat, it is unreasonable to expect its use in the mountains as well. Dry meadows are ephemeral. Without continued burning, they revert to brush then forest land over time" (Burtchard & Keeler 1991:23-24).

Plant materials were a major part of the people who lived in the Willamette Valley. Cawley describes mat making and the tools used by the wife of Klikitat Dick on the Coastal Reservation:

"She held a slightly curved needle of wood in her hand, threaded with a narrow strip of the reed she was using. These reeds are collected in requisite quantity, length and fineness. There are then divided and one set is buried in "soft, black ground" for some days, "or maybe weeks," till they show the dark hue desired. Other colors were made by dying them with wild berries, or "Indian medicines," but she had none of these at present. Taking up her arrow-like needle, she thrust it though the woof at her feet, under one strand and above another, till it came out on the other side. Holding the web down firmly with the left hand, she picked up the carved smoother with the right and ran it several times over the fiber last woven, the groove along the working edge of this pressing instrument fitting the reed of the matting. When the work seemed to her sufficiently even and flat, she ran her needle back again, the under-strands of the woof now becoming the upper, and she pressed as before. The joining of fibers, like the changing of one color for another, is done so neatly and durably that the casual observer does not notice it in the finished work, nor does it ravel as soon as the article begins to be used" (Cawley 1994: 31).

As noted, French (1999) researched the berry management technologies for huckleberries and blueberries. The berries were collected in baskets and cedar bark buckets. All through the Clackamas drainage, surveys have identified trees peeled for their bark to make berry buckets. Usually a cut was made across the bark near the bottom of a cedar tree on the uphill side. Then the person pulled up on the bark and walked backwards up hill pulling off a gradually narrowing peel. Walking up decreased the angles and increased the length of the peel. Scribing two semi-circles on the bark allowed the person to fold up a bucket from the peel. Often the top was kept open and rigid by a split root wrap that was sewn around the opening. The edges were sewn as well with a split root or withe. An example of such a bucket is in Chapter 12.

Berries were taken to a central location where a trench was built. A large dry log was placed in the trench and fired to get it burning. Then the berries were placed on mats or skins on the sloping edge of the backdirt pile near the burning log so the heat would dry them. A pole with a cross bar was used to pull the berries up hill and mix them for even drying. The dried berries could then be packed into the buckets for transport down the mountain. As everyone left at the end of the berry season, the last log was left burning, with methods to insure that the fire would spread to the berry grounds. The resulting late season fire would keep down competing plants and enlarge the berry meadow. The planned upon rain and snow would hold the fire in check, limiting the burn and its severity. Berry collection and drying sites leave very low key evidence behind. Essentially all of the processing uses organic materials which are burned in the process or decay quickly. This entire economic process may not be reflected in the archaeological record. As cedar trees grow old, die and decay, the evidence of the peels is also lost.

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Tualatin Basin

Zenk (1976) estimates that the historic Tualatin lived in about 15-20 winter villages or hamlet groups. He feels that they intermarried with the Chinook and had a distinctive merged society as part of regional network centered on the lower Columbia River to the north (Zenk 1976: 5). For this reason, I have included the Columbia Basin and Clackamas drainage in this book about the Kalapuya. It is probable that the Pudding River group had similar contact with the Clackamas Chinook on their northern border.

"The most obvious mark of central participation in this network was flat-headedness as an invariable sign of free birth - the Tualatin, Chinookans, and coastal groups including the Tillamook and Alsea-Yaquina flattened the heads of all free-born infants; flattening was apparently not universally practiced among central-language-speaking Willamette Valley groups, and it faded away entirely farther south. Slave trading was an important economic activity of the major participants in this network. The main Tualatin role in such activity seems to have been to help supply slaves to the Chinookan trading centers such as that at Oregon City. The Tualatin often obtained slaves through trade with neighboring and distant slave-holding groups; also, the Tualatin themselves at least occasionally conducted slave-raiding expeditions into such areas as the southern Willamette Valley and the central Oregon coast. Almost all slaves were captives or descendants of captives, originally taken from distant groups and often traded widely through the area" (Zenk 1976: 5).

"In aboriginal times, the Kalapuya constructed a variety of shelters according to the season and their desired function. Sturdy winter house were built at the permanent village sites and were returned to annually. The winter lodge usually consisted of a semi-subterranean or earth-banked structure with a bark roof and a central fireplace. Such houses were rectangular, as large as 20 meters on a side, and often sheltered several families" (Zenk 1976:140-141).

Wilbur Davis (1970) reported on his work for the National Parks Service on Scoggin Creek. The reservoir had been surveyed by Dave Cole and Harvey Rice in 1965. Site 35WN4 is on a perennial spring, and was tested with three units. Artifacts included arrowheads, abraders, burins, drills, gravers, pestles, scrapers, a stone ball, and choppers. Davis proposed the "Kalapuya" phase for this assemblage. Nearby site 35WN5 is a petroglyph with four anthromorphic stick figures.

Ellis and Fagan (1990: 10-11) characterize the Late Archaic as a time of intensification in resource usage keyed to population growth and more efficient technologies for food harvesting. They indicate that the introduction of the bow and arrow was one of these technological innovations. They suggest increasing drainage basin differentiation and specialization, as indicated by the Fuller Phase as suggested by Beckham (et al. 1981).

Cawley (1994: 36) describes an artifact owned by a Tualatin on the Coastal reservation:

"Frank Kennell, or "Ponkkawanda," very much resembling Checkaon. They are the same tribe. He was possessed of a canoe-digger, the handle carved into the shape of an animal. This part was of horn. The blade was turned back toward the hand at an acute angle. It was kept sharp. Handle and blade were made fast by a cord of cedar bark or, alternatively, of tough grass. The stroke was made toward the worker. "this implement is still used,: he said, "by the Salmon River Indians in making canoes; although steel blades now commonly replace the old ones of stone." He bought his of Coast Indians and used it for various purposes about house".

Zenk (1976: 15) feels that the Kalapuya did have some kind of groupings larger than the village group because of group names for basins, "but the political significance of these entities is unclear". As noted in Chapter 3, there is evidence that "chiefs" were merely the wealthiest authority figure in a village group so designated by Euro-Americans.

"Gaschet's notes furthermore suggest that each winter-group held its own rights of access to certain subsistence resources in certain locales, but that the lot of these groups shared access to productive locales within a larger common territory" (Zenk 1976: 16-17).

He summarizes the evidence for drainage political groupings in that 1) tarweed was owned as plots by each winter-village group and that plots within this common area were individually owned; 2) hunting areas were common; 3) Wapato Lake was used by all the groups in the drainage. In other words, resource groupings were scattered and patchy so methods were set up to define access to, and control over, such widely scattered patches. This insured that each village-group could get the required products as a cooperative group venture as opposed to non-cooperating other human beings. "... each "tribe" or "band" documented to have been a dialectal-ethnic entity seems to occupy its own valley or basin formed by one of the larger tributaries of the Willamette River; each such major valley offered a range of riverine, lowland, and upland types of habitat" (Zenk 1976: 18).

The technology of wapato harvesting was relatively simple. The harvester simply had to wade around in the water, disturbing the plants in the mud, and the wapato would float to the surface. In deeper water, a canoe would be floated along next to the harvester, and loaded. Stealing wapato from the storage nests of muskrats not only increased the harvest by potentially reduced the animals ability to survive the winter. This meant less competition. As Mellisa Darby has noted (personal communication) by placing villages close to the wapato ponds, predation by waterfowl would have been lessened. Wapato cooks quickly in surface coals. Wapato can be dried and stored and for later rehydration and use.

Tarweed required careful observation to time burning. In addition, tarweed prairies had to be kept brush free to avoid fires that were too destructive. The plants must have the sticky tar-like substance burned off yet leave the plant standing and the seed pod available for beating. A mix of light grasslands and tarweed made the ideal situation, which had to be maintained. The process of beating the seeds would have broadcast seed into the fertilized (ash) soil. Burning kept out competing plants and the harvesting process ensured great number of the seeds were available for regeneration of essentially a mono-crop. Similar equipment was used among non-Willamette Valley Indians to harvest other grass seeds. It is likely that grass seed was harvested by Kalapuya with the baskets and beaters. This rather intensive system included private ownership of tarweed plots. When people take the time to maintain fields, ownership is the result.

The wapato and tarweed process leaves little in the way of material culture remains. Almost everything we know about this vital aspect of Kalapuyan and Chinook economies comes from historic records, a great deal of it from Indian informant interviews by explorers and cultural anthropologists. Plant gathering material culture includes bark buckets; wooden mortars; stone mortars; basketry hopper mortar with stone base; wood or stone pestles; gathering, transport and storage baskets; digging sticks and handles; mano and metate; winnowing trays, charring trays; water buckets and baskets; and burden baskets. Other remains include hearths and ovens.

Again, it must be stressed that the landscape was prepared and maintained even if it was not fenced and marked out on Euro-American style deeds. Visualize the basin as a gigantic garden of linked prairies where certain wild plants were encouraged into mono-crop like productivity... and you have a possible vision of the past.

Again to stress the overall patterns, all through prehistory, the groups who lived in Oregon were gatherers and hunters. The kinds of plants and animals changed over the immense time frames, but the basic economy changed little. During the earliest recorded period of occupation, Pleistocene animals were included in the hunting menu. There is increasing evidence for fairly sophisticated water craft with possible migrations of peoples down the Pacific Coast prior to the ice-free corridor between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets. I must stress this again, if you learn nothing else from this book, human beings were just as intelligent and resourceful in the past periods we are dealing with in the archaeological record for the new World as they are today.

Plant gathering in the far north is a small part of the economic strategies, simply because of the short, but productive, northern summers. Reliance on hunting throughout most of the year is essential in such climates. The groups that moved down through those ecozones were primarily hunters, but they took what plant foods and resources that were available. As they moved south, their economies must have diversified with the longer summers and shorter winters.

Northern hunters also include fish in their strategies, so hunting includes fishing as a sub-industry as used in this book. Archaeological sites associated with hunting and fishing would include kill sites where and animal was taken skinned, butchered and perhaps processed by drying. Other hunting sites could include pit traps, stone hunting blinds, drive cairns and drive cliffs. Evidence for hunting includes dart points, arrow points, knives, scrapers, hide processing tools, etc. Everything was used (meat, hides, bone, antler, horn, sinew, hooves and even teeth). Given the lack of quality storage practices, meat was often stored by giving it away so that it becomes an obligation when meat is taken at some future date. Meat was also stashed under water in cold water fresh off glacial areas. In winter, meat could be frozen and used as needed from cache pits in the ground. Meat could be sliced thin and dried, weather permitting and smoked. Fishing sites would include fishing stations, weirs of both wood stakes or stone, fish traps, with perhaps drying racks and smoking racks. Tools associated with this included fishing hooks and gorges, harpoons, lures and a large range of nets and traps.

Housing varied across the landscape and through time. The oldest surface house in Oregon is dated over 9000 years ago and pit-houses date to about 5000 years ago. The house, and its hearth, was the center of life in winter villages. Houses varied in size from small single family brush structures as found in the Great Basin to plank longhouses that contained the entire population of a substantial village containing hundreds of people. Multi-house villages had populations as large as 1,500 or more people. The great trade center at The Dalles probably had populations well in excess of this at various times of peak trading.

Transportation relied on waterways and canoes. Trails tended to follow ridge lines between drainages for ease of travel. Trails were opened and maintained by systematic burning.

Places of religious significance include burials, cairns built for the vision quest, cult places where stories linked people to the landscape through myths, and rock art inspired by shamanistic visions (ecstatic states of consciousness with spirit and animal helpers expressed in trance iconography). Oregon was cultural landscape to the tribes, just as it is for us today. Its places were named and hooked to stories, the gods, and to beings like Coyote. Now we name rivers and mountains after people and places important to our common past and present. The tribes hooked places to moral actions by stories, so that in describing a place, one was also teaching a morality tale... somewhat like fairy-tales told to children of today.

Tualatin subsistence (Zenk 1976: 31) was based on 5 main groupings:

  1. Vegetable (especially camas, wapato, tarweed seeds, hazelnuts, blackberries, salal, huckleberry, serviceberry, acorns);
  2. Fisheries (salmon, steelhead, lamprey eels, trout, suckers);
  3. Large game (white-tailed and black-tailed deer, elk);
  4. Small and medium-sized game (beaver, rabbit, squirrel, waterfowl, grouse, quail, dove);
  5. Insects (grasshoppers, caterpillars, yellowjacket larvae).

Zenk and others list the following utilized items:

Plants: mushrooms; moss; fern (bracken, sword, lady, spiny wood, male and licorice); western dock; cattail; grass; tule; sedge; thread grass; camas; wild carrot; lily (mariposa; rice-root or chocolate; tiger; fawn; harvest); springbank clover; cow parsnip; skunk cabbage; strawberry; tarweed; tobacco; wapato; yampa; ellgrass; yarrow; lupine; mint; blackberry; blackcap; salmonberry; thimbleberry, raspberry; cascara; wild cherry; crabapple; elderberry; soapberry; gooseberry; hazel; huckleberry; kinnikinnik; wild rose; salal; serviceberry; Indian plum; cranberry; willow; vine maple; fireweed; stinging nettle; ash; cottonwood; maple; oak; acorns; cedar; fir; pine; yew; bullrush; alder; ocean spray. Edible cambium could be obtained from Sitka spruce; shore pine; western hemlock; red alder; and black cottonwood.

Mammals: mole; rabbit; ground squirrel; chipmunk; tree squirrel; gopher; beaver; mouse; wood rat; porcupine; whale; bear; racoon; seal; elk; deer; antelope; mountain sheep; muskrat; geese; swan; duck; heron; crane; grouse; quail; pigeon.

Fish: clam; crawfish; mussel, salmon; steelhead; trout; sucker; eel; eulachon; sturgeon; turtle.

Insects: caterpillar; grasshopper; yellowjacket larvae; honey bee.

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Yamhill Basin

Rev Summers quoted a conversation with Sulkia, a Yamhill, on houses:

"of inner ash bark. In ancient times the walls of their lodges were made of the same material and the roof of the outer bark". Poles were set in the ground for a frame and bound together and to a cross-pole at the top by cord twisted out of the fibers of cedar bark. The cambium mats, cut as large as possible, were tied to the frame through holes made at the points of contact and the thick roof covering came out some distance beyond the walls. They likes sheltered spots in the hills for winter abodes, but came into the open valleys, or down by the ocean, in summer" (Cawley 1994:40).

Cawley (1994: 40), again presenting journal entries from Summers, shows how he described one aspect of Yamhill material culture on the Coastal reservation:

"There are some old squaws (sic) here, who showed us a long string of deer's toes, a seed tray like Ikill's, only more worn, and the usual cooking and water buckets. There was a very pretty satchel, for hanging on the wall and holding nice things. It was unlike any we had seen previously and was ornamented with colored fibers, having more than fifty deer (sic) on the one side and geometric figures on the other. The weaving was very close and fine. Another sack of like shape was here also, but much plainer. Sulkia said the mother of one of the women made these baskets in her youth, when she was known throughout her village for the beauty of her weaving. He also said "the chalbs (note - trays) were mostly made, like the one we had seen this morning, of inner ash bark".

Fuller MoundThe Fuller Mound (38 by 24 meters and 1.5 meters deep), along with the nearby Fanning Mound, were dug by Dr Edmundson in 1941-42 with the field notes stored at the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology in Eugene. This is the type-site for the Fuller Phase. Laughlin wrote up a short report in American Antiquity in 1943 in which he excavated forty-one burials. The artifacts included projectile points, knives, scrapers, a ceremonial blade, net weights, fish clubs, pestles, stone bowls, digging stick handles, ear spools, nose plugs, shell beads, bone flakers, bone awls, bone needles, antler wedges, gaming pieces, and a bone saw. Historic trade goods included glass beads, brass buttons, copper bangles, copper beads and sheet copper (Woodward et al. 1975).

The Fanning Mound was 61 by 38 meters and 1.5 meters deep. Eighteen burials were recovered. A similar range of material culture was retrieved, but also included bone harpoons, brass finger rings, a brass spike, and brass thimble (Murdy & Wentz 1975).

The Fuller Phase contains fishing technology in the weights (net or line) and harpoons as well as fish vertebra recovered at the site. Coast to interior trade is indicated by the marine shell. The burials exhibited fronto-occipital flattening (Beckham et al. 1981: 172-174). The range of artifacts may relate to increasing complexity through time or it may simply be a sign of better preservation in more recent deposits.

Fishing technology among the Kalapuya was quite complex. Fishing was done with line and hook. Hooks were made from bone and shell. Fish hooks included barbless compound forms as well as the fish gorge designed to catch in the throat of the fish. The gorge was made by splitting out bone splinters and then shaping them on sandstone abraders. The length of the gorge determined the size of the fish that would be caught. If the gullet of the fish was too small, the gorge would not open fully, if too large, it would slip out.

Fishing line was usually made from stinging nettle or dogbane (hemp), and where available, cedar. Sometimes willow inner bark was used as well. The nettle or dogbane plant was dried and then rubbed together to separate out the fiber from the chaff. This material was then made into string. Fishing nets were made out of the same material, using a wooden shuttle and a gauge for net size. Small dip nets were used on poles as well as seine and gill nets. Net weights were made out of stones and floats out of wood. Fishing traps were made from split willow or cedar. Traps were used alone or in combination with weirs that funneled the fish into the traps. Traps included many specialized forms, such as tidal weirs, double weirs to trap fish between them to be dipped out, log and rock dams, and grid traps. In some places, herring spawn was harvested from artificial floating seaweed frames. Fishing spears (leisters, gigs, and harpoons) were made from wood or bone. Sometimes soap-root was mixed with soil and water and rubbed on rocks along a stream to cause the fish to rise to the surface where they were scooped up in dip nets or baskets.

If you have an interest in fishing technology, I suggest Hilary Stewart's 1977 book Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast. He book covers line fishing; spears and harpoons; nets and netting; traps and weirs; cooking and preserving fish; and the spiritual side of fishing. She covers the complexity of NW Coast fishing technology in great detail with remarkable drawings.

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Pudding Basin

"According to Joel Berreman (1937: 23) and John Swanton (1952: 452) the area encom-passed by French Prairie was included in the ancestral territory of the Ahantchuyuk Band of Kalapuya. This band, also known as the Pudding River or French Prairie Indians, occupied the Pudding River watershed, the lower Molalla River drainage, and the area between the Pudding River and the Willamette River, i.e. French Prairie... Since this is one of the least known bands of the Kalapuya, no named villages were recorded by historians or ethnographers (Swanton 1952: 452). The lack of information on this band is directly related to the fact that French Prairie was the earliest center of European economic activity and settlement in the Willamette Valley. Direct contact enhanced exposure to disease and the year round presence of an expanding non-Kalapuyan population probably dispersed the few survivors to neighboring bands" (Brauner, Poet & Bell 1998: 20).

"A number of village groups within the Ahantchuyuk territory are noted in the literature. One of the best known is Champoeg, noted by Gatschet (in Zenk 1976: 86) as a town in the French Prairie area where the root pu'ičik [probably yampah] was dug. Rees (1880: 25) related that "Champoeg was the principal Indian village between Chemeketa and Willamette Falls and home of Champoeg chieftains from time immemorial." Based on Gatschet's notes, Zenk (1976: 4) concluded that this village, located "somewhere near Champoeg State Park," was Ahantchuyuk, "unless, or course, it represents some undocumented entity."" (Connolly 1999: 2).

"Each named Kalapuya territorial group (such as the Ahantchuyuk, or Pudding River Indians), was represented by a cluster of villages that spoke a distinct dialect of the Kalapuya language and resided within a particular tributary watershed of the Willamette River (Jacobs et al. 1945: 145). The Tualatin, for whom the historic record is most complete, probably resided in 15-20 villages or hamlets prior to ca. 1830 (Zenk 1994); the aboriginal configuration of the Ahantchuyuk is undocumented. These village groupings recognized an identify (SIC) larger than the village (Zenk 1976: 15), and shared certain resources within a common group territory that was well defined and defended from outsiders (Zenk 1976: 17). For example, some resource patches (e.g. - tarweed fields, from which edible seeds were harvested) were controlled by specific villages or individuals, while access to certain productive hunting locales within larger communal territory was shared" (Connolly 1999: 2).

Mill Creek SiteMusil (1988) tested the Mill Creek sites, the Connelly site (35MA59) and 35MA78. Both sites are at an elevation of 230 feet. At the Connelly site, OSMA dug eight 1x1 meter pits. A concentration of fire-cracked rock, fired earth, charcoal and a burned camas bulb in a bowl-shaped camas oven depression was encountered. A charcoal sample gave a date of 850 ±50 BP. There were heavy basalt tools while the chipped tools were obsidian and CCS. Fourteen projectile points were recovered. Thirteen were narrow-necked corner-notched or basal-notched Late Archaic arrowheads. A single stemless point was also recovered. Other tools included thirteen bifaces, three end scrapers, four utilized flakes and a core. One fragment of a stone bowl, a cobble uniface and five battered cobble choppers or scrapers completed the inventory.

Transportation technology was based on walking and water transport. Sandals and moccasins were made as well as snow and mud shoes. Canoes tended to be rather short, wide and deep as they appear to have been used to ferry people and goods across rivers rather than up and down rivers. The examples I have seen were shovel nosed with roughly square sterns. There is a canoe on exhibit at the Marion County Historical Society Museum in Salem. Rafts were probably also used. The watercraft were made with the adze, hammers (hammer-stone, maul), wedges, scrapers, and drills. They were used with paddles and canoe poles. Burden baskets, buckets and storage bags were used to transport raw, processed and finished goods for use or trade.

Hilary Stewart's books on NW Indian material culture are excellent sources for understanding the complexity of Indian technology:

"Although some people made small dugouts for themselves, most canoes were made by a specialist working with one or more assistants, It took two men, working a few hours a day, about two months (less, if it was urgently needed) to complete a canoe of about 7.6 (25')" (Stewart 1984: 52).

The tree that was selected was always very near water as a 35 foot finished canoe can weigh up to three tons. While the Kalapuyan canoes were smaller than this, they still had considerable weight, especially as raw logs. Stewart notes that the fallen tree had its branches and bark removed. Based on the finished length of the canoe, V cuts were made near each end to allow the area between to be split out as the future interior space, leaving room for the prow and stern. Then the log was turned over and the outside contours cut. This was then left at its location through the winter to "mature". In the spring, the maker and helpers turned the log over and hollowed out the interior with fire and chisel. When the canoe was light enough from this rough work, it was skidded into the water and taken back to the village for finishing. If the canoe was too narrow, it was steamed by placing some water inside and then dropping hot rocks into the water, then cross-planks were used as spreaders to widen the top. When cool, the cross-planks would be removed. Small canoes were singed to remove splinters and to harden the wood, then smoothed with dogfish skin (Stewart 1984: 53-54).

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Luckiamute Basin

The Summers journals mention body tattoos on some women who may have came across the coastal mountains by the trail that arrives in the Luckiamute Basin:

"Three Indian women were here just now. They are from a camp of wood-cutters east of town, who have come up from Siletz bay for two months work. The oldest one was tattooed with three broad perpendicular stripes on her chin. The youngest one had three similar lines. All the lines were black.... She had a pipe of hazel wood, made all as a straight tube enlarged at one end. it is only three or four inches long. She went through the pantomime of putting tobacco in the large end and smoking from the other, to show how it was used. "Before there were white men here, they always smoked kinikinick," she says, "and most of them mix it yet with tobacco. When other supplies fail they smoke willow leaves"" (Cawley 1994: 45).

Bell's 1981 OSU thesis covered his survey and testing of a regional model for the Luckiamute band settlement patterns. He was limited in what he could do, and recorded only seven sites during several field trips over a two month time period in 1980. He looked a some land on Frazier, Berry and Soap creeks in cultivated fields. His attempts to use remote sensing to locate sites failed.

In 1984, James Bell reported his minor excavations at the Gordon Site (35PO8) on Soap Creek at an elevation of 100 feet. He placed three 30 x 30 cm shovel tests and two 1 x 2 meter test units into the site. He recovered a single Middle Archaic dart point and four Late Archaic arrowheads as well as scrapers. The owner had collected stone bowls, pestles, a broken digging stick handle, drills, gravers, spent musket balls, one Civil War medal, a 1850's dime and glass trade beads. The original landowners (Flickinger) reported the site was used during the 1850's to gather camas and to hunt.

For several years, I did weekend surveys in the Luckiamute basin, including Rickreall and Ash Creeks, the Little Luckiamute and Soap Creek with the help of volunteers (Carol Agard, Chris Jenkins and Debi Soper). The survey was based on the concept that each sub-drainage was a socio-economic and political unit that offered the full range of food resources necessary and sufficient for a populations demands for self-maintenance and growth. The Luckiamute covers roughly 198,000 acres with additional lands in Rickreall (55,000 acres) and Ash (40,000) Creeks. The survey was grab-bag based on finding landowners who were willing to allow archaeological survey on their property.

The Luckiamute is important because it does not have any major water control structures modifying the yearly hydrological regime. It is still possible to visit the river in winter floods, note the edge of normal high water, and then survey this "edge" when the land dries out. Then if one lies down on the plowed ground and looks across this "edge".... slight rises of 4-8 inches are visible... and almost every one has an archaeological site on it... and the ground is sterile between the rises. The best window of visibility is after plowing and a rain. Plowed sites without rain are essentially invisible since the sticky clay based soils cover the cultural material, hiding it from sight. I have revisited sites and could not find any sign until after a good rain. This is a major bias in survey sampling as there are fairly narrow windows for maximum visibility. All of the sites discovered during the survey were recorded on plowed ground. Only one reported site was recorded in a vegetated area, and only when the crew crawled around on hands and knees to find scattered flakes and fire cracked rock. Chris Jenkins consistently found the largest number of tools on the plowed sites because he would crawl down the rows, placing his eyes that much closer to the ground.

The Luckiamute lies within the areas mapped by Jerry Towle (1982) in his model for the burned over maximum for the Willamette Valley. He looked at the historic record for three woodland types: 1) gallery forests bordering streams and rivers; 2) isolated oak groves surrounded by savannah; and 3) forests on the surrounding hills. The gallery forests along the main stem of the Willamette River were two to four miles across and subject to winter floods. Many of the valley knolls were covered by oak groves and most of the valley was a grassland/oak mosaic opened up and kept open by the annual burning by the Indian tribes. Oak has a thick cork layer in its bark that insulates it from the heat of fires, giving oak a competitive advantage in a ecosystem dominated by fire.

The date on the Luckiamute Hearth falls into the Lingo Phase defined by Minor and Toepel (1981: 168-169) which is roughly the Fall Creek Phase proposed by Davis (1978) in his "Review of Willamette Basin Prehistory". Davis proposed the Santiam Phase to cover Early Archaic and broken into two components: Cascadia Cave I and Davidson I ranging from 1000-5000 years ago. he characterized this Phase as a time of transhumant hunting, fishing and gathering. This was followed by his Fall Creek Phase of the Middle Archaic ranging from 5000-2400 years ago when seasonal rounds now included exploitation of the mountain slopes and collecting intensified. The last was the Kalapuya Phase (Late Archaic) from 2400 to 150 years ago with its culture climax based on permanent valley settlements and full exploitation of the lowland habitat. Davis hypothesized that "during the interval between 400 BC and AD 700, the inhabitants developed a primary economic efficiency based on annual autumn burning" (Davis 1978: 77).

The Luckiamute Survey covered about 860 acres (1.34 square miles). This is only a minute percentage of the combined basins (.29%), although the survey recorded 38 sites. Putting together all of the know surveys for the basins, brings a total of 3340 acres (1.13%) and 45 recorded sites. Almost all of the surveys, and thus the sites, are within the annually burned grassland prairie as mapped in 1853... with some in, or adjacent to the gallery forests of the Luckiamute River. Of the 27 sites recorded by this survey on the Luckiamute River, 23 lay on the edge of the terrace that lies just above the annual floods. Of the 17 sites recorded on Soap Creek, 15 were above the annual flood. All 7 of the Ash Creek sites were on slight rises, as the creek does not have a clearly identified winter flood terrace.

In 1983, the survey tested 35PO21 on Ash Creek and the cultural material was found to be confined to an active plow zone. We also tested 35PO31 on Ash Creek where heavy equipment from power line installation was impacting the site. Again, everything was confined to an old plow zone. Under the direction of Chris Jenkins, a Chemeketa Community College field school tested site 35PO22 on Ash Creek where a house had been torn down and a new house slated for construction. Again, there was an old plow zone and the artifacts were confined within that zone. In 1987, a landowner was digging a pit and let us explore site 35PO57 in his garden area on Ash Creek. The site contained historic materials throughout and was a mixed plow zone deposit.

The artifacts for the survey were examined to see if they fell into three clusters defined by Wilmson on 1986:

1) 26-35 degrees: cutting edge

2) 46-55 degrees: skinning and hide scraping, sinew and plant fiber shredding, heavy cutting of bone and horn, tool back blunting

3) 66-75 degrees: wood and bone working, skin softening, heavy shredding

Of the 204 artifacts recovered, there were 214 worked edges that were measured. Of these, 40 (19%) fell into cluster 1, 104 (49%) fell into cluster 2, and 55 (26%) fell into cluster 3. The remaining 15 edges fell between clusters with most near cluster 2 and were probably back blunting of tools to avoid cutting ones hands while using the tool.

Surprisingly, utilized flakes tended to be Cluster 2 and 3 tools, and not my expected cluster 1. The bifaces strongly fell into cluster 2 while scrapers fell into cluster 3. Projectile points were the most common (37%) followed by utilized flakes (32%), bifaces (17%) and scrapers (9%). When I looked at projectile point morphology, the statistics indicated that:

  1. neck width tends to be somewhat proportionally smaller as length increase;
  2. edge angles tend to be somewhat broader as length increases;
  3. neck width tend to be larger as blade width increases;
  4. neck width fell into three fairly narrow ranges: .3-.7 cm (half a pencil diameter - reed or grass shafts?); .9-1 cm (about the diameter of a pencil- wood arrow shafts?); and 1.4-1.5 cm (about 2 inch- dart shafts?). This assumes neck width relates to shaft diameter for wrapping with sinew. If neck width is smaller than the shaft diameter, it will wiggle when bound and if it is wider, it can cut the binding material.

The sites fell into four clusters by presence or absence of artifacts. Cluster 1 was the hearth, a feature with no artifacts, only fire-cracked rock. Cluster 2 consisted of lithic scatters with no associated tools (probably a sampling error). Cluster 3 consisted of scatters with flaked tools. Cluster 4 included ground stone. All of these may be sampling issues, as they were identified almost entirely through surface survey.

The OSU College of Forestry tested the Office View Site (35BE51) in 1995-96 under the direction of Ann Rogers. It was a small lithic scatter, probably a short term campsite used for exploitation of local resources either to collect them and move them to a larger camp or as part of the seasonal round. While no features were encountered, camas grows nearby today. Most of the projectile points were late Archaic, but a single heavily weathered Middle Archaic dart point may have been collected elsewhere from a stream and then discarded at the camp (Rogers ND). The reuse of points has been documented by the Cattail-eater Stillwater Marsh Paiute during interviews of elders. Fowler (1992: 106) writes that both Wuzzie George and Alice Steve stated that when useful projectile points and other stone items (mortars, pestles) were found they were reused, and that broken points were the work of Coyote... either he made them or broke them because of his mischievous nature. Summers records that a woman named Ki-ari-pi told him that a large "spearhead" he showed her was "made long, long ago by the wild geese, when the wild geese were men. Indians never made them, never could. Only the ancient geese-men could do it. they bit into form with their teeth" (Cawley 1994: 48).

Hunting technology was quite complex. I have already described the atlatl system in Chapter 4. The arrow was a compound structure like the atlatl dart. There was a short foreshaft that fit into a longer arrow shaft. Sometimes there was a more complex double joint with a very short intermediate bi-point. In fact, small bone bi-points that are occasionally recovered in archaeological contexts are probably such intermediate shafts. It is hard to find good long and straight arrow shafts. Hunters were constantly looking for and noting plants that were producing quality shafts. Since the hunter could not go down to the nearest sporting goods store to but replacement shafts, they were valuable items. The compound arrow has several key functions:

  1. If the foreshaft sticks in an animal and the main shaft does not enter the body of the animal, and the animal runs or flies away, the motion will wiggle the arrow off so it can be recovered;
  2. If a three-part system is used, it is just stable enough to drive the foreshaft into the animal, but the stress of entry will cause some lateral torque that insures that the main shaft will slip out of alignment and come off before entering the body of the animal;
  3. It allows the hunter the switch foreshafts with arrowheads designed for specific kinds of penetration, cutting, or shock as the prey is spotted.

Arrows were so valuable that people traded shafts. Shafts were painted with identifying marks. When an animal was killed, the hunter had some rights, but the primary right for distribution of the meat went to the owner of the arrow. This system insured that meat was shared within a group and across several groups related by kinship and marriage ties. While some meat was dried and stored, the best storage was in obligations (reciprocity).

Deer were hunted with a deer head and hide cover. Deer were also hunted with surrounds in which fires were lit in a circle to drive deer into a mass and then shot with arrows. There is the possibility that nets were used in deer drives, as this was done all over the world in forested environments. Traps (pit, deadfall) and snares were also used. As noted, the environment was carefully designed by fire to encourage edge habitat and browse for specific deer species and elk.

Tule or reed duck decoys were prepared and covered with the skins and feathers of the birds being hunted. One way to stun birds was with an arrow with a wooden foreshaft with a short pieces of wood tied across it about an inch or two behind the sharp tip. When the cross piece hits the birds body, the arrow instantly stops, converting all forward momentum into shocking the body of the bird. This stuns the animal. A similar technology was used on small animals that if they are only wounded can run away at high speed. If they are stunned, then the hunter can grab and kill them. Since tule, reed and cattail areas were burned to encourage better growth and to fertilize with ash, bird habitat was also improved or managed. Spring ponds were also cleaned and burned back to keep water supplies clear and the make hunting easier.

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Mary's Basin

A description of an earth-banked winter lodge is provided by William Hartless, a Mary's River Kalapuya who was one of Frachtenburg's informants:

"Winter houses: made of bark, grass and dirt.

Forked sticks placed into ground. Cross-pieces tied on then twist grass. This serves as wall. Dirt reinforces the grass about 2 feet from ground. Roof made of bark inclined somewhat.

Roof flat. Bark upheld by means of sticks. Just like a shed. Door consists of a mat or rushes. Could be raised from bottom or else shoved aside. Door rather small a man had to stoop to enter. Fireplace right in center. Not dug out. Floor sanded. Smoke-hole a hole in bark. Beds along wall. Mats of tulu-grass. No stools. Houses some 60 feet long as many as ten families partitioned off. Door usually faced river. Meat, etc. kept in baskets, sacks tied to rafters (Mackey 1974:42)".

Shed HouseIf the description is correct, then the Late Archaic house is a long shed surface house containing multiple extended families that had bunks, probably along the lowest wall as shown above. This differs from the earlier shallow circular saucer depression. It implies fairly large village groupings.

In 1979-80, OSU did an archaeological and historical inventory of the Finley Refuge along Muddy Creek south of the Mary's (Peterson, Bell & Brauner (1980). They developed a preliminary settlement pattern model based on ethnographic patterns, and the local ecology (1980: 71):

Permanent Winter Villages:

Seasonal/Temporary Sites:

Seasonal Sites:

They located seven prehistoric sites during the survey. One site produced both Late Archaic points and several large lanceolate forms.

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Santiam Basin

Laughlin (1941) reported on sites Willamette University dug near Harrisburg. The Spurland mound was trenched. He noted flakes, FCR, ashes, broken bone, points, knives, scrapers, and drills throughout the mound, but concentrated on the recovery of six burials. One had a necklace of dentalium and copper beads. Another had a shell necklace and an abalone pendant. The Miller mound, that had been looted of its burials was examined and a small campsite near it tested. The Halsey mound contained two burials along with fire hearths. Bone and antler scrapers were also recovered. Pestle and mortar fragments were "most common". The Shedd mounds were also dug. A burial was noted in one mound and a burial had been removed by locals from another after erosion had exposed it.

The Laughlin data strongly suggests the mounds were living sites where, when a person died, the burial took place in the mound. The hearths, mortars and pestles, and other tools related to normal human activities indicate these were tells and not "burial" mounds. They were accumulations of living debris that also made a convenient place to bury the dead.

Wilbur Davis (OSU) worked on the Little Muddy drainage in the late 1960's and early 1970's under a contract with the National Park Service. In Phase I, two sites were tested and were interpreted as Late Archaic ranging in date from 300 to 1500 AD. The sites appeared to be seasonal camps on the valley floor occupied from July through November. The artifacts did not contain end-scrapers but did contain many choppers. The illustrated points included Middle Archaic dart points. Davis though the choppers may have been used for manufacturing of canoes (1970:25), but notes no mauls or wedges were recovered. In Phase II, two more sites were tested and a camas oven excavated in one of them. In Phase III, six more sites were tested. Burials were recovered, two adult males. Artifacts included with the burials included projectile points, a bone spoon made from a child's skull (!), a slotted antler dentalium purse, a bone whistle, and a bone dagger-like spatulate object (Davis et al. 1973: 15). Middle and late Archaic points were recovered as well as trade goods. C14 dates of 800 ±90 and 1280 ±90 were obtained from the Lynch Site. End scrapers were recovered with the larger samples.

In 1987, staff from the Willamette National Forest tested and collected from a series of sites in the Sweet Home Ranger District (Cole 1987). The tools included both Middle Archaic dart points and Late Archaic arrowheads. The sites ranged in elevation from 1800 to 2250 feet and were concentrated on a complex of ridgelines near the summit of a small peak (2500 feet).

Jenkins & Churchill (1988) reported on testing of the Chimney Peak One site (35LIN312) in a saddle at an elevation of about 4400 feet. They excavated about 8.2 meters of cultural fill and recovered 3,532 pieces of debitage and thirteen tools, mostly biface fragments. The obsidian was traced to Obsidian Cliffs and Devil Point. The site had been tested earlier had recovered a single Late Archaic arrowhead. The site appeared to be a camp along a ridge-line trail system.

The North Marion Road Site (35MA107) was tested as part of the NW Pipeline project. It is close to the Marion Cr Site. One feature was discovered, a concentration of bisque, charcoal flecks and artifacts. The survey had recorded a single dart point, but the excavations yielded 17 projectile points, ten of which were arrowheads and the rest fragments of undetermined function. All of the preforms were arrow sized as well. The artifacts were sources to Inman Creek, Devil Point, and Obsidian Cliffs. Hydration gave dates from 500 BC to AD 600. A bison phalanx was also recovered suggesting trade:

One of Gatchet's informants reported a Kalapuyan word for bison (uama"nme'yuk amu's∧mus∧ - see Zenk 1976:106). Further, Jacob's informant, John Hudson, reported that wealthy people purchased bison skin "blankets" from areas far to the east (Jacobs 1945: 28)" (Fagan et al 1996: 3-37).

Ellis (in Fagan et al. 1996) did a study for one of the largest groups of sites tested throughout the length of the Willamette Valley. In correlating dart points with arrow points, he found that arrow points occurred in very small numbers starting about 1000 BC in the latter part of what is usually called the Middle Archaic, and reached their maximum in the late Archaic especially after 1000 years ago. Dart points continued to be found until contact (Fagan et al. 1996: 12-21). In addition, Obsidian Cliffs (near the Sisters) was the primary source through the Middle Archaic and was replaced by Inman Creek (near Eugene) sources in the Late Archaic. It may be that the Inman Creek sources, found only as small cobbles, became more useful with the conversion from larger dart points to smaller arrow points in the Late Archaic (Fagan et al. 1996: 12-25).

He goes on to note that possible explanations for these changes may lie in "population growth and intensification in resource use and changes in access to obsidian sources" (Fagan et al. 1996 12-63).

"There is some evidence that the Willamette Valley shared in cultural developments that were widespread throughout the Pacific Northwest during the late Middle Archaic and Late Archaic periods... These developments include the growing populations, the appearance of semi- or fully sedentary settlement patterns, increasing social complexity, greater reliance on locally abundant resources, and greater manipulation of the environment (i.e., creation of a 'domesticated environment') ... Manipulation of the environment in the Willamette Valley is most evident in the annual burning of the valley grasslands to maintain and enhance natural production of a variety of plants and animal resources (Gilsen's [1992] 'pyroculture'). Gilsen (1992:10) hypothesized that the practice arose during the late Archaic in response to population growth, and recent pollen data (Schoonmaker et al. 1995) have suggested that extensive grassland burning began about 3,000 BP." (Fagan et al. 1996 12-63).

Ellis found that the sites discovered during the NW Pipeline project along the east side of the Valley, formed eight clusters focused on streams: Marion (6); South Santiam (8); Butte (4); Calapooia (8); Spoon (3); Little Muddy (6); Muddy (3); and Dry (6) (Fagan 1996: 12-56). These sites were also associated with prairies.

Ellis noted that 62% percent of the sites were found on the Winkle surface while only 34% of the pipeline project crossed Winkle surfaces and 34.8% of the sites were on the Ingram-Horseshoe surface while only 19% of the pipeline corridor was found there. Almost two-thirds (64%) were associated with prairies (Fagan et al. 1996: 12-43,44). He wondered if camas production could have been maintained for centuries, let alone millenniums.

"We have therefore considered the hypothesis that the scarcity of wood through this area by the 1850's was the result of massive consumption of wood for camas processing over thousands of years. In this hypothesis, we posit that the numerous drainages (the Muddy Creek system and the GLO 'swails') were lined with gallery forests in the late Middle Archaic (at the end of the 'thermal maximum'), ca. 4000 BP. For much of this earlier period, arboreal regrowth along the streams was able to keep pace with consumption. The initiation of grassland burning as a regular practice (Gilsen's 'pyroculture') about 3000 BP would have adversely affected the ability of the gallery forests to regenerate themselves, especially along the smaller streams with narrower bands of trees. The reduced canopy would resulted (SIC) in a drier understory that was more vulnerable to late summer burning. The Late Archaic populations may have seen a slow but steady diminution of tree growth along the smaller streams until only brush and ground cover could be sustained. Alternately, if the Late Archaic period was characterized by substantial population growth and intensification of resource use (especially camas), the destruction of the gallery forests may have been accelerating through the Late Archaic" (Fagan et al. 1996: 12-67).

He concluded that sites were close to prairies for camas exploitation, but close to gallery forest woodlands for camas processing and water and that sites occur in clusters on these wooded streams.

Ellis' study of projectile point hydration on 27 dart and 156 arrow points suggested the bow and arrow was introduced by perhaps 2500 BP suggesting the Late Archaic began about 500 years earlier than the generic convention used in this book, but that dart use continued well into the Late Archaic. Roulette (in the same report) suggests that Kalapuya mounds begin forming as mounds around 2000 BP, the generic date for the Late Archaic used here.

Bourdeau (1997) discussed the debate over Kalapuya house. He notes that Jacobs described Santiam Kalapuya houses as large, semi-subterranean of fir bark covered with earth. He also noted that Zenk reported gabled plank houses similar to Chinook types among the Tualatin ... but these house type have never been found south of the Portland Basin through archaeology. He noted that Zenk felt the ethnographic data was questionable. Bourdeau also noted that Zenk described Molala houses:

"Northern Molalas built rectangular, semi-excavated winter houses like those described for other interior western Oregon peoples. Plank-like slabs of hemlock and cedar bark, peeled at full thickness during the spring and then weighted down do dry flat, comprised the basic building material. A single log ridgepole, positioned in the nocks presented by two upright forked center posts, supported a gabled framework of poles, to which overlapping bark slabs were lashed vertically as wall and roof. Inside, mats and hides covered the walls and floor, and there was a central square pit holding several hearths. Smoke-holes with movable bark covers were located on either side of the roof peak. Dirt was banked around the walls outside. Doors were mat or bark; according to Frachtenberg, each house had two, leading into the moderately excavated interior via dirt ramps" (Zenk 1994: 162).

"If bark slabs were the 'basic building material', then Kalapuyan houses are not likely to leave substantial archaeological remains. These materials do not have the rigidity necessary to maintain deep, earth-covered walls. However, they are well-suited for more surficial structures.

If the Kalapuyans built only temporary, surficial winter dwellings, distinguishing then from outside activity areas could be difficult. Both Chinook-style plankhouses and Plateau-style pithouses are easily recognized features. Typically, both of these styles were semi- or fully subterranean. Under these conditions, refuse would tend to accumulate in the depressions and be contained by the surrounding matrix after the structure was abandoned. Even in cases where a plankhouse was dismantled, the materials that accumulated during use would be contained within its former dimension. In fully surficial houses, materials would be initially contained by the walls of the structure, making their archaeological expression more-or-less discrete. However, on the case of a surficial mat or bark-covered lodge, possibly the Kalapuyan winter dwelling of choice, the insubstantial nature of the walls and their more temporary occupation would tend to smear the house deposits with those from activities surrounding the structure. In fact, if Kalapuyan dwellings were primarily sleeping quarters, houses may actually appear as areas of lower artifact density, but higher diversity" (Bourdeau 1997:9).

Bourdeau suggests that the climate of the valley allowed less substantial structures, but nearby Chinook areas with a similar climate built large cedar plank houses. "This conundrum may be partially explained by the Chinook's proximity to large, slow water estuaries and rivers. Transportation of large planks and/or logs was expedited by these large bodies of water. In fact, most plankhouses recorded in the Portland Basin and the Columbia Gorge are or were within a stone's throw of a major river, lake, or slough .... Additionally, the Chinook reliance on substantial canoes made moving large quantities of food and other materials from collection sites to their villages relatively easy. Moving large timbers, raw or processed food-stuffs or any other bulky resources to suitable locations was more challenging for the Kalapuyans who were not as river-oriented as the Chinook. Connolly demonstrated that most large Kalapuyan sites in the upper Willamette Valley are located on the Winkle geomorphic surface, somewhat removed from the current course of the Willamette" (Bourdeau 1997:10).

Roberta Hall (1995) reported on several burials form the Crow site (35LIN60) near Scio:

"In general, the Crow site complex compares fairly closely with previous Willamette burial complexes excavated and with the ethnographic data supplied by Jacobs (1945). Those features which correlate with the above data and the Crow site complex are: (1) fronto-occipital cranial deformation, (2) dentalium and other shell beads, currency, (3) evidence of fairly extensive trading, i.e., dentalium and other shell and European origin trade goods, (4) social status, and (5) biological, i.e., sex and age differentiation as reflected by the burial patterns" (Hall 1995: 4).

The burials included fragments of an iron bucket, fabric scraps, nails, a gunflint, hide fragments, glass trade beads, 2 ply z twist cordage, copper pendants, copper tubing, rawhide string, sinew thread, a fragment of a flintlock rifle or pistol, musket balls, Chinese money, and dentalium beads. The trade goods dated the burial to about 1820-1850, when about 75% of the Indian population died from several waves of disease.

Silvermoon (1990) with Infotec tested the A. C. White site (35MA92) for ODOT, which used to lie along a channel of the Santiam River. The recovered projectile points were narrow-necked arrowheads typical of the Late Archaic. based on the styles, he estimated the site was occupied between AD 1250-1750. Also recovered were charred camas, hazelnuts and cherry fragments. A possible living surface associated with a likely camas roasting oven was found as well.

Hopper MortarOne interesting item was a small shallow mortar with a hopper-mortar like base as well as two possible hopper-mortar surfaces along the sides of the object. This indicates the object was used many ways before its final use as a mortar. Previous use may have fractured the original larger stone, transforming its use through time. Hopper mortars bases were stones pegged to the ground by an open-bottomed basket. The primary pestle force was downwards into the stone base, and the basket simply kept the materials being crushed from bouncing out of the mortar. Crushing was the only action possible in a hopper-mortar. With a full stone or wood mortar, the pestle could also be rotated for a grinding motion against the walls of the mortar in addition to the downward crushing motion.

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Long Tom Basin

Davis (1978) reported on the work done in the Flat Creek watershed under an NPS grant. Site 35BE7 was tested in 1973. A skull fragment and glass beads dating to the 1840-50's were found immediately below the ground surface. Brauner reported on the testing of 35LA201 in the same report. A C14 date of 360 ±100 came from a hearth. Also reported was a heat-treating oven containing large overheated chert flakes. All of the chert showed heat treatment.

Cheatham (1988) developed a settlement pattern model for this basin from work done around Fern Ridge. He studied a cluster of sites around Coyote Creek (59 sites) and the Long Tom/ Hannavan Creek area (24 sites). In both areas, there were large sites surrounded by a series of smaller sites on the floodplain of the valley floor (1988: 161):

"Therefore, the analysis shows that sites are concentrated on the valley flood plain, with most of them located on the Ingram surface. The Ingram surface, thought to have been the active flood plain from 3300 to 550 years ago, has been regularly inundated by annual floods in historic times. The wet meadows of this geomorphic unit would have been ideal locations for camas, a primary staple of the native Kalapuya menu. The high correlation between prehistoric sites and their location on the Ingram surface is almost certainly related to the aboriginal use of that vegetal food. However, the nearby gallery forests along the rivers and creeks would have been ideal locations for a variety of large and small mammals and birds" (Cheatham 1988: 167).

He found that large sites tended to avoid flood conditions so were located on terraces above the seasonal floods. Winter occupations would fall above flood levels, simply because the land was available. "In both cases, the clusters suggest that a group of small and medium sites, mostly on the valley flood plain, are associated with a large site at the edge of the pre-Holocene surface at the valley margin. This is believed to represent a complex including a winter village and associated summer base camps and activity areas" (1988: 175). He also felt that the Grand Prairie, the area NW of Eugene and SW of Junction City was the focus for camas harvesting for the drainage. This may also be a simple artifact of the relative amounts of usable space between winter flooding and the rest of the year when more land is exposed for use. Winter concentrates groups onto fewer choices, and sites build up due to reuse during lower surface area choices. At other times of the year, more land is available, and sites are reused less and are more diffuse in locations. Unless there are confirmed houses present, I would hesitate to call any site a winter village.

Radiocarbon DatesIn an attempt to look at population growth, Cheatham use C14 dates as an indicator for expansion. He assumed that the dated components for each given time period gives a reasonable representation of growth trends over time for human groups in the basin. He used 79 dates and concluded that there was a population surge around 3000 years ago, that was interrupted by the waves of disease that swept through the New World at contact with the Old.

The data suggested to Cheatham that groups were occupying the valley floor early, using areas above the winter floods during that season, and spreading out the rest of the year in a seasonal round based on plant food availability. During the Middle Archaic, warmer and dryer conditions lead to greater use of acorns during the oak maximum and then as things got wetter and cooler, a shift back to camas.

"The model may be summarized as follows: (1) large sites situated on flood-free terraces at the valley margins are considered to be winter villages inhabited from about November to March by groups of several families; (2) during this time task sites were probably maintained in the nearby uplands; (3) from April through October, summer base camps, usually smaller than the winter sites, were established on the nearby moist Ingram surface(s); (4) summer task sites, usually near the base camps, were utilized to process ccamas and game animals; (5) the tendency for sites to occur all across the valley floor, away from the Willamette River, reflects a generalized hunting/gathering subsistence pattern with an emphasis on camas processing; it gives no evidence of dependence on anadromous fishing" (Cheatham 1988: 207).

As noted, O'Neill (1987) found that the Middle Archaic sites were located on levee and flood plain settings where gathering and processing plant foods were of major economic importance. Projectile points were absent while ovens and plant processing tools were abundant. Plants included hazel nuts, acorns and camas. In contrast, Late Archaic sites were found associated with Point Bars and the upper levels of levee and flood plains. Projectile points become the primary tool, suggesting a switch to hunting and ovens are fewer, suggesting a change to a broader spectrum gathering and hunting system. This suggest to me that the resource base was under population stress, forcing a change in adaptive strategies.

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McKenzie Basin

Hurd SiteThe Hurd site is also the type-site for the Hurd Phase. C14 dates ranged from 150 ±90 to 1120 ±140 for the upper layers above the house. The upper layers contained numerous camas ovens with charred camas bulbs in association. Other features included hearths and cache pits. Narrow-necked projectile points, scrapers, gravers, spoke shaves, drills, burins, knives, hammerstones, pestles, mortars and abraders fills out the material culture inventory. The upper layers were interpreted to have been a camas processing location used in mild weather (early spring to late summer) when shelters were not needed. The site was used by small kin groupings many times for the purpose of camas processing. This was done over an extended period of about 1,100 years (White 1975).

Why there was a change from an early house occupation situation to later seasonal camas processing camps was not addressed.

Halverson SiteThe Halverson site (35LA261) was tested by the University of Oregon and reported by Minor & Toepel (1980). It was surface collected in 2 x 2 meter grids, then 35 auger holes placed to determine the extent of the deposits. This was followed by a random sample of twelve 2 x 2 meter test units and then a thirty-one 2 x 2 units were dug as a block. About 450 m3 of cultural materials were excavated. Seven FCR clusters (probably ovens or hearths) were dug. A C14 date of 160 ±130 (GaK-7477) was obtained from one feature. Only 144 artifacts were recovered including 11 projectile points, with one possible Desert side-notch. The artifacts indicated a Late Archaic date for the site. They concluded the site was a single component seasonal hunting camp.

Bergland (1990), Blue River Ranger District archaeologist, looked at peeled trees for evidence of bark containers in the region of Hidden Lake. A total of 43 trees were examined (39 Western red cedar and 3 Western hemlock). They bark varied in size from 312 to 3417 square inches. He believes the trees were peeled for huckleberry baskets by groups from the Warm Springs Reservation traveling a trial between the South Fork of the McKenzie and Indian Ridge. Dates for two trees were AD 1911-16 and AD 1935-40). Heart-rot made increment boring the remaining trees for a date impossible.

BasketThe last large scale seasonal migrations of Warm Springs into this area was during the 1930's. The peels indicate baskets ranging from 1.9-13 gallons, within the range of known typical baskets (1-10 gallons). Since baskets tended to be made in pairs, the largest peel may have been for two 6.5 gallon baskets rather than a large 13 gallon version.

Baxter (1986: 116-184) proposed a model for the Archaic period in the upper drainage systems of the Willamette Valley. He felt that the archaeological remains represented indigenous groups adapted to the high elevations and exploiting upland prairies and forest edge ecotones. He thought these groups were relatively isolated and stable cultures with a great time depth rather than transitory groups from the Valley or eastern Oregon. He proposed three functional site types:

  1. Multi-family winter residential villages located in the lower elevations to provide access to winter resources (large array of material culture remains);
  2. Early to late season base camps in the lower elevations that followed seasonally abundant plant resources (medium array of material culture); and
  3. small task specific camps for specialized resource extraction, found at all elevations (minimal array of material culture).

Snyder (1987) looked at sites in relation to land types and vegetation, and proposed that upland sites are correlated with non-forested areas consisting of wet meadows and bogs.

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Coast Fork Basin

Rev. Summers visited an Umpqua man on the Coastal reservation and made the following observations:

"He had a number of large and small beaver's teeth dice with which his wife played. Most of them were "written" on one side. One game she called sko-sus and she played it the way her mother, a Klamath, taught her. Two long and two short are used by each of two players, sitting opposite each other on a large mat. The beaver teeth are marked with black lines on one side only. The long ones are named "men" and the short ones, "women". One player shakes her four dice, forming a box in her hands, and throws them on the mat. If all four show the marked side, or are "up", it counts two, and the thrower takes two small sticks from a pile of twelve such, beside her, and throws again. If any two men are now up, and the woman down, or women up, and men down, the throw counts one and a third little counter is added to the first two. All other throws count nothing, and so soon as the player gets one of these last, she stops and her opponent begins. When all her own counters are exhausted, she draws on the other pile. The game ends when one of the squaws (sic) has all twenty four sticks" (Cawley 1994: 41).

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Middle Fork Basin

The type-site for the Rigdon Phase (Beckham et al. 1981: 170) is Rigdon's Horse Pasture Cave (35LA39), a small rockshelter in Lane County on Willamette National Forest lands and published in the University of Oregon Anthropological Papers No. 28. The rockshelter is located at 3200 feet elevation. While located within the Willamette drainage, it is only 12 miles from Summit Lake and the Deschutes drainage basin and is along the Molala Trail.

Rigdon Horse pasture CaveThe site was tested with seven 2x2 meter units and one 1x2 unit in the main area, one 2x2 unit in two nearby overhangs and testing of three small caves. The upper levels were dated to <130 and 190 ±50. The first date was associated with small narrow-necked arrow points and the second with medium sized dart points. The similarity of the dates indicated that the transition from darts to arrows was quick and "remarkable" (Baxter et al. 1983: 37). A date of 2450 ±60 was obtained from the Middle Archaic dart filled lower levels. Fourteen features, all fire hearths were excavated. Based on the size of the shelter, and space estimates for users, perhaps 6-7 people occupied the site at any one time. Floral specimens included sugar pine nuts, hazel nuts, chokecherry, wild cherry, and Oregon grape. Deer bones were the primary faunal remains recovered. Organic preservation was good enough to preserve two simple twined S-twist basketry fragments, four rolled copper beads, a copper pendant, an olivella bead as well as nine white glaze beads and a royal blue bead. (Baxter et al. 1983).

In 1985, Willig and Musil tested the White Cliffs and Armet rockshelters. The latter had been "scraped clean, screened and removed by looters, destroying what was once a valuable culturally-rich shelter camp situated in a unique ecotonal setting" (1986: i). The former contained Late Archaic remains as well as earlier deposits. Almost none of the rockshelters tested within the Willamette Valley have been pristine. Instead, archaeologists have had to deal with looted sites with badly disturbed or completely destroyed deposits.

Scheid RockshelterScheid Rockshelter is a late proto-historic to historic site on BLM lands near Lowell on the Middle Fork drainage. It was tested by Heritage Research Associates and turned out to be a 19th century Molala hunting camp with a C14 date of 80 ±50 (AD 1870). Of the 43 stone tools, 20 were Desert Side notched projectile points with 1 narrow-necked and 1 corner-notched point. Seven glass trade beads and two shell disc-beads were also recovered (Oetting 1997).

"Further refining the temporal focus if the cultural assemblage at Scheid Rockshelter are the seven historic trade beads that were collected in association with the debitage and stone tools. The beads include white drawn short cylindrical beads, one green drawn short cylindrical bead, and one turquoise wound spherical bead. The smooth rounded finish of the drawn beads indicates that they were manufactured using a hot tumble process, which came into use in or after AD 1817. Glass beads of these types were among the most common available at Fort Vancouver and other Hudson's Bay Company facilities in the Pacific Northwest between 1829 and 1860. These factors suggest that Scheid Rockshelter was probably occupied during the first half of the nineteenth century" (Oetting 1997:99).

"Small triangular side-notched points occur in many areas of North America, and are a general hallmark of late prehistoric times (Kehoe 1966). The class name 'Desert Side-notches' was applied by Baumhoff and Byrne (1959) in their discussion establishing small side-notched points as time-markers for the late prehistoric in California (AD 1450 to historic). The term was used for all small side-notched points in California, as well as those found throughout the Desert West (Baumhoff and Byrne 1959:32). These points were in use in the central and western Great Basin after AD 1300 and their use continued into the historic period (Thomas 1981). In Oregon, these small triangular points are common in some parts of the Great Basin of central and eastern Oregon (Oetting 1990), in the Klamath River region (Mack 1983), along the lower Columbia River in and west of the Columbia Gorge (Minor 1983; Minor et al. 1987), in parts of southwest Oregon (Pettigrew and Lebow 1987; Connolly 1986), and at sites in the Cascade Mountains (Baxter et al. 1983; Baxter and Connolly 1985; Baxter 1987). They are present but less common on the southern Columbia Plateau (Lohse 1985:347) and appear to be relatively rare in the Willamette Valley, along the Pacific Coast, and in the small valleys of southwest Oregon" (Oetting 1993:38).

Oetting thought the collection of projectile points suggested a small hunting camp and the shelter is on steep ground well above water, so it was probably never used for extended periods, if fact, may have been the result of a single visit to the rockshelter by a small group or the same group over a relatively short period of time. The point type suggests Molala rather than groups from the Valley or Umpqua drainage (Oetting 1997: 99-100).

Swift (1986) tested the Dead Horse rockshelter (35LS656). A C14 date of 390 ±70 was taken from level 2 from which most of the artifacts were recovered. Five complete and five partial points included two narrow-necked points, and the rest broad-necked dart forms. Besides the unifaces, bifaces and utilized flakes were three bone tools: a gaming piece, a bone scraper and a bone awl tip. Botanical remains included hazel nuts and pine nuts.

Churchill (1989) reported on the limited testing of three rockshelters: Olson 1 (35LA190) with a 1x2 meter unit; Olsen 2 (35LA191) with two 1x2 meter units; and Deadhorse (35LA656) with a single 1x3 unit. The Olsen shelters contained shallow deposits dating to the Late Archaic with a C14 date of 430 ±70. Deadhorse was deeper and produced a date of 860 ±70. The deposits did contain some Middle Archaic dart points. Floral materials included hazel nut, bitter cherry, oak, red cedar, fir, hemlock, maple, alder, elderberry, sweet gale or waxy berry, wild plum, cat's ear lily corms, ponderosa pine seed, acorn and golden chinquapin nut. The obsidian was traced to Inman Creek (17), Obsidian Cliffs (14), Silver Lake (8), Newberry (4), McKay Butte (1), Spodue Mtn (1), and Couger Mtn (1). All three sites suggested short term task-specific activities. The deer were killed and butchered elsewhere and portions brought to the rockshelters for marrow extraction. The sourcing suggested to Churchill (page 64) that the Winefelly Band of Kalapuya used the sites.

Churchill and Jenkins (1989) also tested the Katz shelter. Only 292 pieces of debitage, 21 tools and a rolled copper bead were recovered from 1.25 cubic meters of fill. The projectile points were Late Archaic narrow-necked arrowheads. As at Pepper, small riverine cobbles were reduced with the bipolar method: breaking a cobble on an anvil with a hammerstone to produce a single s-curved tabular flake the same diameter as the cobble (for maximum single flake raw material length, but wasteful in terms of non-useful shatter). ten specimens were sourced: all from Inman Creek to the north around Eugene. Plants included Hazel nuts, and Douglas fir. The Katz material appears to be Kalapuyan.

The bow and arrow was a more complex system that works better in a closed environment like forests. The Indians used compound arrows with foreshafts. This was done because there is always a problem in finding and maintaining good quality straight arrow shafts. One could go to the local sporting goods store and buy them. Short straight foreshafts are easy to find and are expendable. Foreshafts also allow fewer arrows in the quiver like the dart technology. Again, the foreshaft allows for quick replacement of multi-function or special-function arrowheads. As with the dart system, the arrow shaft falls from the shot animal, is recovered and rearmed and reused. Bows could incudes sinew backing covered by an oil-based or pitch-based waterproofing.

There is evidence poisoned arrows were used by the Kalapuya, Umpqua and Klamath. The Rev. R. W. Summers, First Episcopal Priest of Seattle (1871-73) and McMinnville (1873-81) collected examples of poisoned arrows and special quivers for poisoned arrows. His collections ended up in the British Museum.

"I drove this afternoon several miles into the region of the Umpquas, to find the witchcraft doctor, Santiago. The air was so balmy and the aged man so interesting that I gave the rest of the day to this expedition and shall always retain in my memory as a vivid picture in the Grand Ronde gallery. He had a beautiful ancient spoon of carved bone, a tiny white water-bucket, ornamented with diamonds of brown; a quiver of Klikitats, exactly of the style and material of a cowhanna (my note: this appears to be a leather bag of some kind) , even to the fringes, in which, he said, poisoned arrows were safe, as the points could not work through. A strong band, over one arm and under the other, kept it on the warrior's back" (Cawley 1994: 41).

"Seven men and some squaws (sic) formed a circle in front of me tent this morning, bringing two yew-wood bows and some arrows.... The wood for these bows is sap-wood, and the back of the bow is the side nearest the bark. It is carefully scraped and is thinned so that no place shall be thicker or thinner than the rest, which would make it bend unevenly; and a bit of each end is made to turn back. Deer sinew is now split into fibers and these glued to the bow till its outer side is a good deal convex. The fibers are bent around the tips of the bow, making its strength and elasticity very great. Deer and elk bone are boiled to make this glue and pitch put with it... The duck-arrows are of reed tipped, with light-weight arrow wood, the reason being, as they tell me, so that, when they miss what they are aiming at, they may recover the arrow, floating on the surface of the lakes. The heavy, stone-pointed arrows are poisoned, with broad brown streaks of venom wound around several inches of the shaft. These are held as dangerous now as at first making.... On the plains the Indians make arrows of button-willow, buckeye and reeds; but their best ones, as well as their finest bows come from the mountain tribes, who have superior wood.... These Klamaths call their bows "N-tice" and their poisoned arrows "N-doc-tis"" (Cawley 1994: 60-61).

Indians used belly or a side quiver rather than Hollywood style back quiver in most cases. The Paiute used crossed stick bird stunning and expanding wood dum-dum arrows for rabbits. There were many fletching styles and methods. Once an animal was down, the hunter needed a separate knife for skinning, butchering, and to filet the animal. The arrow foreshaft was too small to use as a knife in most instances, but may have been used as a knife on small game and fish.