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Archaeology First Thursday Presentation (Department of Anthropology)
Thursday, March 1, 2007 - 4:00pm
Event: Archaeology First Thursday Presentation (Department of Anthropology)

Thursday, March 1, 4:00, Cramer Hall, Room 41

Dennis L. Jenkins
will present,

Evidence for Pre-Clovis Human Occupations at Paisley Caves in the Northern Great Basin.

The Paisley 5 Mile Point (35LK3400) caves are wave-cut grottos carved into a west-facing basalt ridge by Pleistocene Lake Chewaucan.
Cressman (1940) discovered these caves contained pre-Mazama cultural remains and Pleistocene megafauna elements (camelid, horse, and bison) mixed with a small number of obsidian artifacts. Despite early questions about the purported association of cultural and megafaunal remains (Heizer and Baumhoff 1970; Jennings 1986), recent DNA and blood protein analyses of radiocarbon dated human dung have demonstrated that the site was occupied by at least 14,300 cal. BP (12,300140 rcbp). Obsidian hydration supports the radiocarbon dating of Pleistocene deposits, closely predicting the 14C dates. Bison composed a significant portion of the diet but most dung also includes elements of plants. Analysis of fibers, sewing threads, and cordage recovered from the oldest deposits indicates that sewing with very fine thread was an important industry during the Pleistocene occupations.

Dr. Dennis Jenkins is a Senior Research Associate at the State Museum of Anthropology, University of Oregon. He has published numerous articles and monographs about the archaeology of Oregon.

Event is Free and Open to the Public

For questions, contact Virginia Butler, 5-3303 or Michael Schurke,