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Archaeological recovery associated with the Wanapum Dam emergency drawdown, central Washington State.

Author(s): Aaron Kuntz ; Andrew Murphy ; Brett Lenz

Year: 2016

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Summary

In spring 2014, a 60-foot crack was discovered in the Wanapum Dam, a large hydroelectric dam on the mainstream Columbia River. In order to avoid catastrophic failure of the dam the reservoir it impounded was drawn down 26 feet. As a run-of-the-river dam, a complete drawdown is not normally planned, and more than 4500 acres of inundated landscape was exposed for the first time in more than 50 years. Under normal operating conditions, around 1400 archaeological sites are known to exist along the reservoir margins. As a result of the drawdown, 45 new sites were exposed, ranging in age from the Paleoindian through the historic periods. Our presentation provides an overview of the newly exposed sites and details related to treatment of significant archaeological sites under emergency management conditions.


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Archaeological recovery associated with the Wanapum Dam emergency drawdown, central Washington State.. Aaron Kuntz, Andrew Murphy, Brett Lenz. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405399)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.168; min lat: 42.131 ; max long: -113.028; max lat: 49.383 ;

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