Title

Cordage from the Rosa Rockshelter, Yakima River Canyon, Washington State

Presenter Information

Whitney Matthes

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

William Smith, CWU professor of anthropology, excavated Rosa Rockshelter in 1971 and recovered a unique assemblage of preserved plant remains from a single storage feature. These materials include over 30 fragments of cordage and basketry that date to the Cayuse Phase (ca. 2000 years ago). Fragments of two-ply S twist cordage of Dogbane (Indian Hemp) dominate the assemblage and several of these items are found stitched in tule mat. Several fragments of two-ply Z twist cedar cordage, found woven with cedar plats, probably formed the rims of one or more open-weave basket. Examples of grass, sage bark, and hair cordage are also represented. The type and frequency of cordage fragments are compared to other larger assemblages from dry caves in the Columbia River Basin to contribute information on the material culture and technological abilities of prehistoric inhabitants from a unique time and place on the Columbia Plateau.

Poster Number

6

Faculty Mentor(s)

Steve Hackenberger

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology

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May 16th, 8:20 AM May 16th, 10:50 AM

Cordage from the Rosa Rockshelter, Yakima River Canyon, Washington State

SURC Ballroom C/D

William Smith, CWU professor of anthropology, excavated Rosa Rockshelter in 1971 and recovered a unique assemblage of preserved plant remains from a single storage feature. These materials include over 30 fragments of cordage and basketry that date to the Cayuse Phase (ca. 2000 years ago). Fragments of two-ply S twist cordage of Dogbane (Indian Hemp) dominate the assemblage and several of these items are found stitched in tule mat. Several fragments of two-ply Z twist cedar cordage, found woven with cedar plats, probably formed the rims of one or more open-weave basket. Examples of grass, sage bark, and hair cordage are also represented. The type and frequency of cordage fragments are compared to other larger assemblages from dry caves in the Columbia River Basin to contribute information on the material culture and technological abilities of prehistoric inhabitants from a unique time and place on the Columbia Plateau.