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New Excavations at an Old Site: Reevaluation of Chronology and Subsistence at the Connley Caves (35LK50), Lake County, Oregon

Author(s): Katelyn McDonough ; Dennis Jenkins

Year: 2016

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Summary

The Connley Caves are composed of eight rockshelters eroded into a south-facing ridge of welded tuff, rhyolite and fine-grained basalt in the Fort Rock Basin of central Oregon. The caves contain deeply buried and well-stratified sediments dating to the late Pleistocene-early Holocene. Excavations directed by Stephen Bedwell in the late 1960s recovered many lithic artifacts and intriguing radiocarbon dates of 10,600±190 14C yr B.P. and 11,200±200 14C yr B.P. Bedwell’s interpretations of the Connley Caves data were central to his proposed concept of the ‘Western Pluvial Lakes Tradition’, and sparked much debate concerning the importance of wetland resources to early Holocene occupants of the Great Basin. However, his conclusions were questioned due to a lack of precise provenience data, and imprecise methods of analysis. The University of Oregon (UO) field school has since revisited the caves for four field seasons, and will return to the site again in 2016. Recent excavations of Cave 4 uncovered a dense unifacial and expedient tool lithic assemblage, two bone needles, and projectile points of the Western Stemmed Tradition. A summary of observed stratigraphy, recovered artifacts, protein analysis, and radiocarbon dates from the 2014 and 2015 UO excavations are presented in this poster.


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New Excavations at an Old Site: Reevaluation of Chronology and Subsistence at the Connley Caves (35LK50), Lake County, Oregon. Katelyn McDonough, Dennis Jenkins. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404871)


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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