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Archaeologists Find 10,000-Year-Old Site in Oregon

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  • mythisis@aol.com
    Archaeologists Find 10,000-Year-Old Site Mon Jan 30, 6:30 PM ET Another archaeological site on the Southern Oregon coast has been determined to be about 10,000
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2006
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      Archaeologists Find 10,000-Year-Old Site

      Mon Jan 30, 6:30 PM ET

      Another archaeological site on the Southern Oregon coast has been determined to be about 10,000 years old, making it the second-oldest known site in the state, according to Oregon State University researchers.

      The site on a bluff just south of Bandon included a large number of stone flakes, charcoal pieces and fire-cracked rock, according to Roberta Hall, professor emeritus of anthropology at Oregon State and principal investigator in the study.

      There also is evidence of a stone hearth, Hall added.

      "There are a lot of rock outcrops nearby that would make good sources for tools," she said. "And it appears that tool-making is one of the activities the site may have been used for. So there is potential to find much more there."

      The site was discovered after researchers analyzed a site in 2002 at Boardman State Park north of Brookings, which eventually was dated at nearly 12,000 years old, making it the oldest coastal archaeological site in Oregon.

      Both sites are unusual, not only because of their age but in how they were discovered, Hall said.

      The Oregon State research team developed a model using geologic features, soil type and radiocarbon dating to pinpoint locations most likely to include the oldest sediments.

      Their theory was that the older sediments hold the greatest potential for finding sites from the late Pleistocene epoch — sites older than about 11,000 years — or sites from the early Holocene epoch, the scientific name given to the period covering the last 10,000 years.

      The researchers hope the methods they have developed to locate and date the ancient sites will lead to the discovery of more and older sites.

      Humans may have come to Oregon earlier than 12,000 years ago, the researchers say, but finding evidence of their habitation is extremely difficult.

      Most archaeological sites are found with clues such as a projectile point or stone flakes. But the Oregon coast is a tough place to conduct archaeological research because of the weather, changing sea levels, and tumultuous geologic events, including earthquakes and tsunamis, researchers say.

      In addition, the ocean was much lower in those ancient periods, Hall said, "meaning that any site that was on the coast during the late Pleistocene is now under water."

      Results of their most recent study were published in the journal Radiocarbon.

      The research team included Hall, geoarchaeologist and field work supervisor Loren Davis, graduate student Samuel Willis, and soil scientist Matthew Fillmore


      On the Net:

      Oregon State University: http://www.orst.edu

      People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.
      - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

    • michael
      this article sent by mythisis, set me to thinking about the geology of the columbia plateau. i reviewed this info :
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 2, 2006
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        this article sent by mythisis, set me to thinking about the
        geology of the columbia plateau. i reviewed this info :


        500,000 sq miles of very deep basalt lava deposits. 300 major
        eruptions happened between 17 and 6 mya, they contend. the cascade
        chain of volcanoes are still active and very dangerous. isnt it
        strange that active volcanoes are thought to have done most of their
        flows up to 17 mya? we see from mt helen that areas recover very
        fast from volcanic eruptions. after 100 years it may be difficult to
        determine the mighty event of 1980 occurred. this was a firecracker
        compared to earlier events, but the lesson is still true. the tribes
        of that region have legends about great events of the cascade range,
        and still fear this land of fire. there must have been major events
        during the time of man in the northwest, unless the experts are
        prepared to admit 17 million years for man there.
        meteor crater of az is thought to have been impacted about 25,000
        years ago. this was formerly thought to be long before folsum
        points, and the beringian walk, and they considered the continent
        unoccupied by man then. now, after finding older sites, we know this
        is not true. the local tribes have a legend of the fire from the sky
        and impact, that can no longer be ignored and discounted. in the same
        way, we should give more credibility to the andean tribes' legends of
        the mountains uplift in peru.
        the tribes probably avoided the columbia and snake river area for
        millennias, but newcomers might have been caught by eruptions.
        basalt flows up to 5 mph at 1100 c, so its unlikely anything remains
        from them. such catastrophic events could in some special cases
        fossilize and preserve bones and relics. ice dams broke often,
        throwing raging torrents down the snake and columbia rivers. these
        too may have caused some animals, and perhaps man, to be fossilized.
        it will help if such are found. until then, i prefer the legends to
        the scientific views.

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