Bear Creek and the Pacific Northwest Western Stemmed Tradition

Author(s): Charlotte Beck; Amanda Taylor

Year: 2017


The lithic assemblage from Bear Creek (45KI839), a late Pleistocene-early Holocene site in King County, Washington, is representative of the Western Stemmed Tradition (WST), likely the oldest lithic tradition in most areas west of the Rocky Mountains. It is followed in the Pacific Northwest by the Olcott Tradition. Although some argue that Olcott represents an intrusion from Alaska, archaeological evidence supports in situ development from the WST. In the Great Basin the WST is biface oriented, represented by a relatively standardized reduction sequence present in assemblages across that region. On most of the Columbia Plateau, however, the WST appears to be a core and flake/pseudo blade technology, which is well suited to the reduction of tough, coarse-grained materials so prevalent in that area. Biface reduction is only one of several core reduction strategies represented in the Bear Creek assemblage; others include multidirectional unpatterned, centripetal, and unidirectional core reduction. In this poster we demonstrate that the Bear Creek assemblage identifies more closely with the core and flake/pseudo blade strategy of the Columbia Plateau than the biface-oriented strategy of the Great Basin.

Cite this Record

Bear Creek and the Pacific Northwest Western Stemmed Tradition. Charlotte Beck, Amanda Taylor. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430709)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15898