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Reevaluation of Site Chronology, Subsistence, and Unifacial Lithic Technology at the Connley Caves (35LK50), Lake County, Oregon

Author(s): Dennis Jenkins ; Joshua Ziegler

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Connley Caves are a series of rockshelters and caves eroded into a south-facing ridge of Miocene welded tuff, rhyolite and fine-grained basalt in the Fort Rock Basin of Oregon. Initially excavated by Stephen Bedwell in 1967-68, their deeply stratified late Pleistocene-early Holocene deposits produced rich lithic and faunal assemblages potentially associated with earliest radiocarbon ages of 10,600±190 and 11,200±200. The Connley Caves data played a major role in the development of Bedwell’s proposed ‘Western Pluvial Lakes Tradition’, a concept emphasizing the central place of lacustrine settings to early Holocene occupants of the Great Basin which has been replaced by the ‘Western Stemmed Tradition’ (WST). The University of Oregon field school revisited the site in 2000, 2001, 2014, and 2015. These excavations recovered extensive unifacial WST lithic assemblages associated with Haskett style projectile points and tiny bone needles. Protein residue analysis (Cross-over Immuno-Electrophoresis) of a substantial number of scrapers and edge modified flakes investigates potential differential use of these tools. Distributional analysis indicates concentrations of artifacts along the east side of the cave and deposits dipping to the west. Charcoal from primary deposits to bottom of the profile has been radiocarbon dated, providing chronologic control for these studies.


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Reevaluation of Site Chronology, Subsistence, and Unifacial Lithic Technology at the Connley Caves (35LK50), Lake County, Oregon. Dennis Jenkins, Joshua Ziegler. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404767)


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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