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Wood Identification of Trees and Shrubs in the Great Basin and Snake River Plain

Author(s): Joshua Keene ; Marion Coe

Year: 2015

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Summary

Charcoal identification is a crucial part of proper AMS dating archaeological sites, particularly in the Great Basin and Snake River Plain, where issues of old wood and root contamination can yield inaccurate dates. In addition to fuel, humans in the Great Basin and Snake River Plain have used wood from trees and large shrubs to construct spear and arrow shafts, bows, digging sticks, cradleboards, baskets, promontory pegs, and a variety of other artifacts. Wood identification is also particularly useful for the reconstruction of past environments. In this poster, we first attempt several methods for processing charred and uncharred wood to provide clear images under low magnification of diagnostic morphological traits. We then provide criteria for proper identification of common woods found in the Great Basin and Snake River Plain. This study will contribute to our understanding of the paleobotany of this region and humans’ interaction with their environment.

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Wood Identification of Trees and Shrubs in the Great Basin and Snake River Plain. Marion Coe, Joshua Keene. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398366)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;

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