Archaeology in Oregon
There are various groups of people that we have looked at during this term within the state of Oregon. Some of these are Paleo-Indian and Paiute, which are examined here in details, including their lifestyle and their way of life. First, the Clovis people were also called the Paleo-Indian, and they were among the people to inhabit the Oregon (Sutton, 2011). More about the history of these people has not been established, since they got extinct sometime back and disappeared. However, the archaeologists have been trying to trace the history of Paleo-Indian and it is believed that they were nomadic, who were hunters and gatherers. This group of people lived in caves and would walk in groups, as they transferred from one place to another (Fagan & Durrani, 2016). Paleo-Indian determined on their own where to live, depending on where there were animals that they could hunt for. Besides hunting, as their major source of food, the Clovis also ate seeds, roots, insects and fruits and their mode of clothing were the plant leaves and animal skins.
The second group is the Paiute, living in the southern part of Utah. The people of this group were also hunters and gatherers, just as the Clovis. They lived in the open air during summer and during the winter, when it was cold, they lived in wickups, which are cone-shaped in nature. Paiute depended on planting the corn, beans, melons, wheat and sunflowers. They also ate small animals, birds, fish and insects. At the same time, they gathered seeds, plants, and roots for food. This group of people in Oregon has a lifestyle that is almost similar to Clovis group, since they share so many things in common, as illustrated, especially in terms of food. In addition, the wickiups, the dwelling of the Paiutes during the winter, resembles the caves of the Clovis. Moreover, both groups used to travel in small family groups, as they hunted and gathered for food (Sutton, 2011).
Irrespective of the above mentioned similarities, the two groups also have some differences in their approach and belief on a number of issues. For instance, the Paiute had their way of life linked with a spiritual being, and they all prayed to the spirits as the maker of the earth. This was never the case with the Clovis, since their spiritual life was never associated with any spiritual being. On the one hand, these differences were brought about by the timings that the two groups lived in the region in the United States, since the Clovis got extinct before the Paiutes would occupy the land. On the other hand, the similarities were brought by the fact the climate and environment did not undergo that much changes during that period of time when the two groups lived in the area.
From the archaeological point of view, the Paiutes were eliminated by the Mormons when they invaded the group and occupied their land. The Clovis people, however, just got extinct and the cause for that is never mentioned by the archaeologists. Some information could be missing because they never had the proper tools for the dating process to be carried out and the cause to be determined, which also presents the difference between the two groups.
In the Oregon, United States, there are various sites which have been identified as archaeological sites, depending on what was found, where it was found and when. Paisley cave is one of the first sites that have been identified in the area. This site is located close to Summer Lake and it existed between 15700 and 12900 years ago. This time period identifies with the season when the age of ice was just ending and it was associated with the climatic changes. From the excavations, it has been shown that the people there used to be hunters and they ate bisons, deer and horses. The people were also involved in gathering the plants for food. At the same time, from the artifacts which have been found, it was evident that they were using the bone and stone tools.
Another site, the Dietz, was located in central region of Oregon in Alkalai basin. This site dates back to the end of Paisley periods and it introduces the Clovis intrusion, representing the earliest group of people to occupy the region. This is considered as a Clovis-era site with multiple artifacts having been discovered. The materials recovered here date back to about 13200 years ago. These artifacts include biface projectile, fluted points and flute flakes. The obsidian used for such tools were obtained from mount Horse, which is close to the site (Robbins, 2013). Apart from the materials, they were shouldered and stemmed tools, which the archaeologists tend to associate with tradition from the western part. Both, the Western Stemmed and Clovis probably represent the two groups of people with the former inclined towards hunting and gathering, while the latter fused hunting adaptations of that age in time. The Western Stemmed tools came much earlier than the Clovis as per the predictions of the archaeologists.
There is also the Sage Hen Gap site, which is located towards the north of Dietz. The artifacts found on this site include the gravers, obsidian flakes, single Western Stemmed point, fluting flakes and fluted points. They are the same as those found in the Dietz site, since they were close to one another. They were used for hunting the large animals due to the terrain from higher to narrow and from the steep bottoms to the high ridge (Robbins, 2013). This site and the Dietz have some similarities in terms of the artifacts found in them and the people discovered to have occupied the region.
In addition to the above sites, there is the Catlow Cave site in which bones of the Pleistocene horse were found back in the 1930s. This site was found to the south of the Catlow valley, and Luther who had found the site associated it with the Paisley caves, the first site that was ever believed to have existed in the Oregon region in the North America. At the same time, this site also contained human bones, though there were no means of estimating the period in which they existed, since there were no proper means of dating (Robbins, 2013). Because of the lack of proper information and deduction, the site had to be reinvestigated again to find more information. However, in that process, there was a mass destruction of the artifacts before they could actually be excavated. The mass destruction was caused in the 1970s by the bureau of land management, which sought to protect the site, but without involving the high level professionals.
Lastly, there is the Fossil Lake Camelid Kill site, which was located at the end of Fort Rock basin. This site contained bones of camelid, together with the projectile point fragrant. According to the radiocarbon carried out on them, it showed that they might have existed around 12000 years ago (Robbins, 2013). This site is totally different from the others, which have been discussed above in almost all of the ways, including the artifacts found in it.
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