Title

Of Mice and Men: A Faunal Analysis of the Rosa Rockshelter Site (45YK301)

Presenter Information

Ayla Aymond
Lisa Euster

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom A

Start Date

17-5-2012

End Date

17-5-2012

Abstract

Rosa Rockshelter, located in the Yakima River canyon near Selah, Washington, was originally excavated in 1970 by Dr. William C. Smith (CWU, Anthropology). The shelter was likely used for storage during the Late Cayuse Phase (ca. 1000 BP). In this study, 234 faunal specimens were analyzed to determine whether they represent animals that died on the shelter, or were food remains left by humans or other animals. The faunal specimens include: Salmonidae (31), Marmota flaviventris (5), Neotoma cinerea (5), ground squirrel (4), jackrabbit (2), rattlesnake (2), and owl (1). Roughly 20% of all specimens were fish, 20% mammals of size class II (e.g. rats and squirrels), and 20% mammals of size class III (e.g. marmots, rabbits, and hares). Over 15% were not identified. One instance of possible modification which might represent evidence of human processing, in the form of cut marks, was observed. No evidence of burning was found. Green breaks were also recorded, but the cause was not determined. The presence of owl pellets and various types of animal scat strongly suggests that some or all of the specimens originated from animal predation and use of the shelter for nests and dens. Since the collection from the site includes cultural materials including lithics and textiles, there is little doubt that the shelter was used by humans in some capacity but no indication was found that the faunal remains are associated with that use.

Poster Number

39

Faculty Mentor(s)

Patrick Lubinski, Steven Hackenberger

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 17th, 8:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Of Mice and Men: A Faunal Analysis of the Rosa Rockshelter Site (45YK301)

SURC Ballroom A

Rosa Rockshelter, located in the Yakima River canyon near Selah, Washington, was originally excavated in 1970 by Dr. William C. Smith (CWU, Anthropology). The shelter was likely used for storage during the Late Cayuse Phase (ca. 1000 BP). In this study, 234 faunal specimens were analyzed to determine whether they represent animals that died on the shelter, or were food remains left by humans or other animals. The faunal specimens include: Salmonidae (31), Marmota flaviventris (5), Neotoma cinerea (5), ground squirrel (4), jackrabbit (2), rattlesnake (2), and owl (1). Roughly 20% of all specimens were fish, 20% mammals of size class II (e.g. rats and squirrels), and 20% mammals of size class III (e.g. marmots, rabbits, and hares). Over 15% were not identified. One instance of possible modification which might represent evidence of human processing, in the form of cut marks, was observed. No evidence of burning was found. Green breaks were also recorded, but the cause was not determined. The presence of owl pellets and various types of animal scat strongly suggests that some or all of the specimens originated from animal predation and use of the shelter for nests and dens. Since the collection from the site includes cultural materials including lithics and textiles, there is little doubt that the shelter was used by humans in some capacity but no indication was found that the faunal remains are associated with that use.