Exploration of Wind as an Environmental Consideration for Campsite Selection at Holocene Dunes

Author(s): Scott Phillips; Paul Burnett; Norma Crumbley

Year: 2015


Cultural material-bearing sand dune deposits are common across the intermountain basins of southern Wyoming, dating from the region’s Archaic through Late Prehistoric periods in particular. Investigations there have sought correlations between dune field occupations and plant processing activities in explaining the density of sites in these settings. The abundance of groundstone and fire-affected rock concentrations has led researchers to suggest that the unique plant communities associated with dunes made them favorable environments for food procurement and associated occupations. Our current research in this region, for the Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Project, has added availability of modern wind-strength data to consider in relation to the positioning of archaeological sites in dune fields. Within our on-going research, here we explore the possibility that campsites at dunes in high wind areas could also represent the selection of more sheltered areas. This, combined with other evidence, such as that for plant processing activities, may have further implications for investigating seasonality of site and area use.

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Exploration of Wind as an Environmental Consideration for Campsite Selection at Holocene Dunes. Scott Phillips, Norma Crumbley, Paul Burnett. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398279)

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Spatial Coverage

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