Title

Archaeological Investigations at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site (45PI408) in Mount Rainier National Park

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Mt. Rainier, Archaeology, Field School

Abstract

Archaeological investigations at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit site (45PI408) in Mount Rainier National Park continue to yield information about precontact land use in the upland environment of the Cascade Mountain Range. The National Park Service (NPS) contracted Central Washington University (CWU) to conduct archaeological investigations at 45PI408 as part of mitigation for past damage to the site from historic gravel borrowing activities. Initial testing at 45PI408 was conducted between 1997 and 2001 in order to establish site boundaries. Excavations were conducted by CWU Archaeological Field School students under the guidance of Professor Patrick McCutcheon between 2011 and 2013 in an effort to characterize the site. A total of 19 1x1 meter units were excavated yielding thousands of artifacts and identifying several intact features. Analyses of the recovered materials from both testing and excavation are currently underway at CWU. These analyses include thermoluminescence dating of fire modified rock, radiocarbon dating of faunal remains and charcoal, macrobotanical analysis, analysis of the chipped stone tool assemblage, and obsidian source-to-site analysis. These analyses will refine the age of the site and allow inferences about changes in past lithic technologies through time, trade networks, and subsistence patterns. An excavation report detailing the findings of these analyses will be completed by Professor McCutcheon with the assistance of CWU students and submitted to the NPS.

Poster Number

48

Faculty Mentor(s)

McCutcheon, Patrick

Additional Mentoring Department

Resource Management

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Archaeological Investigations at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit Site (45PI408) in Mount Rainier National Park

SURC Ballroom C/D

Archaeological investigations at the Sunrise Ridge Borrow Pit site (45PI408) in Mount Rainier National Park continue to yield information about precontact land use in the upland environment of the Cascade Mountain Range. The National Park Service (NPS) contracted Central Washington University (CWU) to conduct archaeological investigations at 45PI408 as part of mitigation for past damage to the site from historic gravel borrowing activities. Initial testing at 45PI408 was conducted between 1997 and 2001 in order to establish site boundaries. Excavations were conducted by CWU Archaeological Field School students under the guidance of Professor Patrick McCutcheon between 2011 and 2013 in an effort to characterize the site. A total of 19 1x1 meter units were excavated yielding thousands of artifacts and identifying several intact features. Analyses of the recovered materials from both testing and excavation are currently underway at CWU. These analyses include thermoluminescence dating of fire modified rock, radiocarbon dating of faunal remains and charcoal, macrobotanical analysis, analysis of the chipped stone tool assemblage, and obsidian source-to-site analysis. These analyses will refine the age of the site and allow inferences about changes in past lithic technologies through time, trade networks, and subsistence patterns. An excavation report detailing the findings of these analyses will be completed by Professor McCutcheon with the assistance of CWU students and submitted to the NPS.