Accession Number:



Archaeological Investigations at Site 45-DO-204, Chief Joseph Dam Project, Washington.

Descriptive Note:

Final technical rept. Aug 78-Oct 84,

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Site 45-DO-204 is on the south bank of the Columbia River River Mile 567 atop a narrow alluvial fan opposite the mouth of the Omak Trench. Tucked into a small cove, the site location offered a secluded, protected campsite less than .4 km from Parsons Rapids. Vegetation is characteristic of the Upper Sonoran life zone. The University of Washington excavated 153.8 m 5.5 of site volume in 1978 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District, as part of a mitigation program associated with adding 10 ft to the operating pool level behind Chief Joseph Dam. A nested, stratified sampling design of randomly placed and purposively selected 1 x 1-m excavation units arranged in 1 x 2-m and 2 x 2-m cells disclosed at least four prehistoric occupations spanning the last 4500 years. The earliest occupation, sparsely represented by a triangular projectile point preform and chalcedony blade, some debitage and fire-modified rock, probably dates to before 4500 B.P. The second occupation is marked by a variety of functional tool forms and a small firepit with pine cones and pine seeds radiocarbon dated to 4590 or - 143 B.P. The third occupation, defined as a living surface radiocarbon dated to 2812 or - 344 B.P., contains the densest concentration of artifacts found at the site. The most recent occupation is distinguished by a stratified earth oven, radiocarbon dated at 592 or - 71 B.P. and 655 or - 67 B.P. A dense bone scatter, several firepits, and an earth oven indicate short-term activities. Tools document an emphasis in all four periods on hunting and butchering, supplemented by the gathering and processing of plant stuffs. Author

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement: