Author(s): Linda Scott Cummings; Kathryn Puseman

Year: 2005


Archaeobotanic analyses were conducted on samples from deposits at the Eagle Point

Site (5RB4662), a rockshelter/overhang located along Piceance Creek in northwest Colorado.

This shelter experienced multiple occupations, with radiocarbon ages ranging from 2510 to

1010 BP. The roof/overhang has collapsed; therefore, cultural deposits are exposed and

eroding away. Two stratigraphic columns were sampled at close intervals during both the 2004

and 2005 excavations for the purpose of building a detailed paleoenvironmental pollen record

for this portion of Colorado. Although the sampling model called for sampling at approximately

2 cm intervals, the intervals collected varied because some levels were obviously

unconsolidated and represented a single depositional, non-cultural event. In this case, the

sampling intervals were widened with fewer samples collected. In some cases, cultural lenses

dictated collecting samples at closer intervals than 2 cm to obtain discrete samples of individual

depositional events related to cultural activity. The people who lived at Eagle Point throughout the years probably were occupants of the shelter and other areas, meaning that it is important to understand the paleoenvironmental conditions for the area, not just this particular point. To facilitate this, an archaeoclimatic model was created that postulates climatic conditions for the past 14,000 radiocarbon years for this general area. The model will be compared to the detailed stratigraphic pollen record as it unfolds to create a state-of-the-art paleoenvironmental record. A mano was collected and washed for

pollen, while a corn cob was extracted for phytolith analysis and AMS radiocarbon analysis.

Two charcoal samples from the lowest cultural layer also were identified and AMS radiocarbon

dated. In addition, macrofloral, botanic, and charcoal samples were collected from various

cultural layers within the shelter deposits to provide information concerning plant resources

utilized by the shelter occupants. Two coprolites, one human and one canid, were examined for

pollen, phytoliths, macrofloral remains, and protein residues. A white precipitate noted in

several locations at the site was submitted for X-ray diffraction analysis to identify the mineral.

Cite this Record

ARCHAEOBOTANIC ANALYSIS OF SAMPLES FROM EAGLE POINT, COLORADO. Linda Scott Cummings, Kathryn Puseman. 2005 ( tDAR id: 379303) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8RB742F

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