Date of Degree Completion
Master of Science (MS)
Cultural and Environmental Resource Management
Second Committee Member
Karl D. Lillquist
Third Committee Member
The Chelan Station Site (45CH782/783), located along the Rocky Reach of the Columbia River, includes lithic and faunal artifacts buried beneath volcanic tephra from Mt. Mazama (6,830 BP). Artifacts were inadvertently discovered in buried soils within a secondary alluvial terrace during construction of a pipeline to supply water to the Beebe Springs Fish Hatchery. This thesis stems from participation in original field work and includes the author’s own models of early land forms and site formation. The study reviews the construction monitoring and archaeological testing of both sites, and documents the archaeological data potential early occupations of the vicinity. The stratigraphy of artifacts, tephra, alluvial sediment, and buried soils is summarized for a 1,212 m-long transect. People bearing tools related to the Old Cordilleran Tradition (cobble tools and leaf shaped points) colonized the region and fished for salmon and hunted large game in the vicinity between 9,190 ± 50 BP and 8,480 ± 40 BP. Stratigraphic models are created and schematic diagrams are used to summarize early site formation across five landforms on the terrace. Two buried soils include evidence of burning that probably represent human activity. Magnetic susceptibility measurements confirm the presence of buried organic layers and the influence of fire. All strata are iv best preserved in a deeper back-channel of the Columbia River. Artifacts are best represented at the bottom of profiles with less distinct strata on higher ground of the terrace scarp. Deeper strata in the back-channel, at first interpreted to represent tephra from Glacier Peak or Mt St. Helen’s, do not contain tephra. Results from Washington State University Geoanalytic Laboratory reveal feldspar and quartzite associated with alluvial layers from Columbia River floods bearing a unique sediment load. The site stratigraphy and models of site formation are compared with three other site investigations where the author has firsthand experience. Recommendations include: 1) nominating sites 45CH782 and 45CH783 to the National Register of Historic Places under significance criterion D, preparing a site specific historic properties treatment plan, and developing a state-wide database to aid management of buried soils as cultural features.
Breidenthal, Matthew J., "Data Potential of Archaeological Deposits at the Chelan Station Site" (2017). All Master's Theses. 906.