Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2023

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Cultural and Environmental Resource Management

Committee Chair

Dr. Pat Lubinski

Second Committee Member

Dr. Steven Hackenberger

Third Committee Member

Dr. Patrick McCutcheon


The Grissom site of central Washington was excavated 1967-71 by students and faculty from Central Washington State College. The site may represent a portion of a large, springtime intertribal gathering near Kittitas known as Che-lo-han, which involved camas root gathering, tribal councils, and social activities. Extensive radiocarbon dating places occupation ~1810-130 BP, based on 20 of 21 radiocarbon dates, with some stratigraphic mixing. Site materials have been subject to several previous studies, including a 2018 undergraduate pilot study by the author. Other fauna have not been reported outside of a 2012 fish analysis by Lubinski and Partlow. In consultation with Pat Lubinski, I completed a taxonomic and taphonomic analysis of 3,360 specimens, randomly selected from 1/4” screened samples below the depth of historic artifacts. My analysis shows fauna dominated by large ungulates such as deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, and elk. Duck, grouse, salmon, rabbit, marmot, and shellfish are among the other fauna likely consumed at the Grissom Site. The faunal remains were marked by a high degree of fragmentation and burning, indicating likely marrow and grease extraction activities were occurring at the site. Further, the large number of sub-juvenile remains is consistent with a springtime occupation. Results of my analysis were compared to three other analyzed upland faunal assemblages and four from riverine environments. Salmonids were present at most upland and riverine sites (7/8) while artiodactyl were found at all 8 sites. Freshwater mussels were abundant at three of the riverine sites but only one upland site. Compared to all sites, Grissom had one of the most diverse faunal assemblages.

DataSheetsA.pdf (13720 kB)
DataSheetsB.pdf (11623 kB)