Upper Deschutes River Basin prehistory : a preliminary analysis of flaked stone tools and debitage Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b5644w504

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  • The prehistory of Central Oregon is explored through the examination of six archaeological sites and two isolated finds from the Upper Deschutes River Basin. Inquiry focuses on the land use, mobility, technological organization, and raw material procurement of the aboriginal inhabitants of the area. Archaeological data presented here are augmented with ethnographic accounts to inform interpretations. Eight stone tool assemblages and three debitage assemblages are analyzed in order to characterize technological organization. Diagnostic projectile points recovered from the study sites indicate the area was seasonally utilized prior to the eruption of ancient Mt. Mazama (>6,845 BP), and continuing until the Historic period (c. 1850). While there is evidence of human occupation at the study sites dating to between >7,000-150 B.P., the range of activities and intensity of occupation varied. Source characterization analysis indicates that eight different Central Oregon obsidian sources are represented at the sites. Results of the lithic analysis are presented in light of past environmental and social phenomena including volcanic eruptions, climate change, and human population movements. Chapter One introduces the key questions that directed the inquiry and defines the theoretical perspective used. Chapter Two describes the modem and ancient environmental context of study area. Topics of discussion include physiography, fauna, vegetation, geology, and climate. Chapter Three introduces the aboriginal inhabitants of the Upper Deschutes River Basin and summarizes past archeological investigations in the area. Hunter-gatherer land use and lithic technology are discussed in Chapter Four. The methods used to collect and analyze the data used in this study are presented in Chapter Five. Chapter Six summarizes the results of the technological lithic analysis and geochemical sourcing. The final chapter, Discussion and Conclusions, interprets the results with respect to cultural chronology, site function and distribution, land use and mobility, lithic technology, and raw material procurement.
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