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DECIPHERING WPA ARCHAEOLOGY ON THE NORTHWESTERN PLAINS: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE CULTURAL CHRONOLOGY OF PICTOGRAPH CAVE

Author(s): Sara Scott

Year: 2015

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Summary

Pictograph Cave (24YL0001) located in south-central Montana was excavated by Works Progress Administration (WPA) crews between 1937 and 1941. Excavations extended to depths of 23 feet, yet no radiocarbon dates for the site were available until recently. Efforts to re-catalog and process the artifact collection to professional standards were undertaken along with the creation of three-dimensional models of the excavations rendered from WPA stratigraphy maps. Newly created databases allowed for artifacts from the cave’s lower levels to be easily identified and subsequently submitted for radiocarbon analyses providing chronometric dates for the sequence of human occupation in the cave. This paper discusses the results of radiocarbon dating analyses which indicate the earliest occupation of Pictograph Cave dates to the late Middle Archaic period, conflicting with the much earlier chronological sequence developed by William Mulloy in 1958. The cave’s location on the landscape and its proximity to major travel routes along the Yellowstone River are also examined.

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DECIPHERING WPA ARCHAEOLOGY ON THE NORTHWESTERN PLAINS: ANOTHER LOOK AT THE CULTURAL CHRONOLOGY OF PICTOGRAPH CAVE. Sara Scott. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395320)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America