Faunal Analysis of the Mesa 12 Site, Central Columbia Basin

Author(s): Justin Fitzpatrick

Year: 2017


From 1973-1975, William C. Smith of Central Washington State College led the "Mesa Project" excavating four sites on the Columbia Plateau in Grant County, Washington. These mesas are small isolated basalt buttes, 100 or more feet above the surrounding scabland channels, with cultural materials on the top and base. They are hypothesized to be defensive sites. Faunal material recovered from these sites has been in storage unanalyzed for over 40 years. The largest excavation was at Mesa 12 where 33 units were excavated. Six radiocarbon dates indicate a Cayuse Phase (2070±90 B.P. until 565±80 B.P.) occupation. This thesis is to analyze the approximately 4,500 faunal remains from the site. Preliminary results indicate the presence of suckers/minnows, turtle, rodents, rabbits, and artiodactyls including pronghorn and sheep. The faunal distribution compiled in this thesis will be compared to other regional coulee and Columbia River sites.

Cite this Record

Faunal Analysis of the Mesa 12 Site, Central Columbia Basin. Justin Fitzpatrick. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429827)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16587