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Archaeological Investigations at Sites 45-DO-242 and 45-DO-243, Chief Joseph Dam Project, Washington.

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Final rept.,

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Sites 45-DO-242 and 45-DO-243 are on the south bank of the Columbia River RM 579, on either side of a steep draw draining a massive escarpment of colluvial terraces. Located in the Upper Sonoran life zone, they lay on a narrow alluvial fan about 2 m above the river prior to dam construction. The University of Washington excavated 174 sq m at 45-DO-242 and 85 sq m at 45-DO-243 in 1979 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, as part of a mitigation program associated with adding 10 ft to the operating level behind Chief Joseph Dam. Systematic unaligned random sampling with 1 x 1-m excavation units with 1 x 2 and 2 x 2-m cells disclosed at least four cultural occupations at both sites. Nine radiocarbon dates from 45-DO-242 place cultural activity from about 3500-200 B.P. A single radiocarbon date from 45-DO-243 dates the most recent occupation after about 1500 B.P. Projectile points from both sites indicate occupations prior to 4000 B.P. Most cultural activity, including a probable winter village at 45-DO-242, occured in the Hudnut Phase ca. 4000-2000 B.P.. Site assemblages are remarkably consistent, with diagnostic artifacts and tool types reflecting an emphasis on hunting, partially supplemented by gathering. The presence of a village site, dated at 3500 B.P. and located between earlier and later occupations characterized as hunting and gathering camps, documents shifting patterns of site use characteristic of at least the last 5,000 years in the Rufus Woods Lake project area.

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  • Humanities and History

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