The rugged Cascade Range of central Oregon has been long regarded as an enigmatic, archaeological puzzle in the study of the Pacific Northwest's ancient past. While ethnographic and archaeological research in the adjacent northern Great Basin, Columbia Plateau and Willamette Valley have revealed a rich and ancient tapestry of Native American peoples, cultures, histories and lifestyles, little is known about the human past of the intervening mountainous area. Factors such as scattered and/or small-scale investigations, limited research funding, complex terrain, variable environmental conditions and a poor historical record have tended to compel the archaeological community to shy away from casting an in-depth, contemplative eye on the central Oregon Cascades. However, recent research at Crescent Lake and other high elevation lake areas have produced evidence that suggests native peoples made seasonal use of the central Oregon uplands for at least the past 8,000 years. Analysis of cultural material recovered at the Crescent Lake Site (35KL749) suggests small, mobile groups repeatedly made seasonal journeys to Crescent Lake during both pre-Mazama (eg., pre-7000 B.P.) and post-Mazama (eg., post-6800 B.P.) times. Numerous artifacts found buried between late Pleistocene glacial till and recent surface soils suggest that Crescent Lake may have been a popular upland destination throughout the Holocene.
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