Plateau windust Phase

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Windust Phase

Age: 11,000-9,000


chipped stone technology

Windust points

lanceolate and oval knives


cobble implements

ground stone

pestles in larger numbers than before

bone (awls, needles, atlatl spurs)
antler (wedges and flaking tools)
shell (beads and pendants)

Subsistence-Settlement Patterns:

hunting large mammals (deer, antelope, elk, and bison)

gathering plant (roots and berries? known from grinding stones)

aquatic foodstuffs. (fish: chub and suckers, but no salmon)
Winter spent near river, especially in rockshelters

Spring/summer/fall move around uplands and lowlands


climate cooler and moister than at present (mesic conditions would be needed to support large mammals, and consistent with rest of continent after Pleistocene)


Cascade/Vantage Phase
Age: 9,000-4500 B.P.

chipped stone technology (used basalt frequently)

Cascade points

Cold Springs points

lanceolate and oval knives


cobble implements
ground stone

pestles in larger numbers than before

net weights

atlatl weights

bone (awls, needles, atlatl spurs)
antler (wedges and flaking tools)
shell (beads and pendants)
Subsistence-Settlement Patterns:
hunting mammals (deer, antelope, and elk; rabbits too)

gathering plant (roots and berries)

aquatic foodstuffs. (fish - chub and suckers, and salmon)

river mussels

  • winter/spring/summer/fall spent near river, probably in major canyons, especially at intersections of tributaries, larger side canyons and along rapids

  • uplands used only as special activity places, especially small hunting parties and lithic scatters where people made or re-sharpened tools

semi-subterranean houses first appeared during Vantage phase and diffused from here to south and to north


climate much warmer and drier than at present (called Altithermal period in other parts of the county, may have affected extent of forest and amount of available water.)

Some suggest that all people within the area to the south (Great Basin) moved north, east, or west. Those moving north entered the Plateau. Largest populations may have been in the northern Plateau where elevations higher.
Mazama ash fell 6700 B.P., effects unknown.


(LITHIC PERIOD) Old Cordilleran Culture Type (early)

dates 9000 B. P. to 4500 BP


1 semi-nomadic hunting and gathering. Unspecialized hunters/gatherers similar to those east of the Cascades (Plateau Windust and Cascade Phases).

2 Oriented to LAND RESOURCES
from Glenrose Cannery site: use of watercraft inferred, as well as fishing and shellfishing (but small number of sites known and only Glenrose has faunal remains, and those appear only late in period)
3 artifacts:
a pebble tools/choppers

b unifacial scrapers

c heavily weathered raw material
d Points:

Cascade point

Large leaf-shaped knives (bigger than points and impossible to attach to spears. Sometimes they are sharper on one side).
Windust Points
occasionally (rare) contracting stem bifaces
e chipped crescents at some sites.

f ground-stone tools rare; 3 found at Glenrose

g no microblades

4 Sites often found on terraces above river valleys, on rivers near coast

5 faunal assemblages are not known (except small sample at Glenrose) so subsistence unclear
6 Antler and bone wedges (at Glenrose only)


St. Mungo Phase and Mayne Phase Charles Culture Type (middle)

dates 4500 to 3300 BP (conservatively from 4300 to 3500 BP)

1) grew out of Old Cordilleran Culture - stone tools seem related
2) represents short seasonal stops (although Glenrose fauna indicate different seasons) where people camped at place of collecting and ate everything collected there (forager adaptations)
3) development towards the ethnographic cultural pattern
4) oriented toward riverine and maritime resources, emphasis on Salmon (remember that Glenrose and St. Mungo closer to the Bay then, than they are now)
5) faunal remains:

a fish (salmon 50% of fish and increases in % of fish throughout the phase, eulachon, sturgeon,

starry flounder (abundant 30% of fish at Crescent Beach and found in Bay today, stickleback in all sites;

herring at Crescent Beach),

b land mammals

deer, (most abundant at Crescent Beach

elk (most abundant at Glenrose and St. Mungo
c sea-mammals (seals)
d shellfish (bay mussel predominate; barnacles some),
e birds (duck and geese)
f salmon heads mean processed there (and are used to infer no storage capacity at Glenrose for the St. Mungo phase???)
6 shellfish and fish now make up 40% by weight of the site
7 artifacts:
a pebble tools (now only 10% as opposed to 44% of assemblage) at Glenrose cobble tools were 31% in Old Cord and 6% in St. Mungo)

b abrasive stones (17 whole at Glenrose; 18 other ground stone)

c hammerstones

d bipolar cores

e shell tools (beads, adzes and knife blades of California Mussels (Mytilus californianus)

f stone beads (only few found at Glenrose, some at St. Mungo, lots at recent Crescent Beach excavation; might be a factor of screen size)

g incised, decorated schist/mudstone tablets

h Points:

leaf-shaped (most common form, but most smaller than Old Cordilleran ones)

Stemmed points


ground-stone points (2 at Glenrose, fragment of 3rd)

(no ground-slate KNIFE; that is Mayne Phase characteristic)
i Bone tools:


unipoints bipoints

bird-bone tubes

beaver incisors

flesher? (from Glenrose and St. Mungo)

bone pendants (12 found at Glenrose, 13 at St. Mungo, none at Crescent Beach)
j antler tools (wedges, harpoons - bilateral and unilateral, barbed points, single anthropomorphic figure from Glenrose)
8 flexed burials (grave goods include only small shell disk beads and ocher; no labret wear)
9 evidence for cranial deformation and use of labrets questionable

(2 burials at Tsawwassen from St. Mungo phase deposits showed slight labret wear; labrets could have started as wooden ones).

10 Both phases are thought to be part of Charles Culture but a few objects are found in Mayne that are not found in St. Mungo

St. Mungo Phase: Mayne Phase
No ground slate knives ground slate knives

No celts celts

No labrets labrets

No microblades microblades

11 all things found in Mayne Phase are found in the next Locarno Beach phase
12 Mayne phase may have been the beginning of Locarno Beach in the Islands, found there earlier, and spread to mainland.
Locarno Beach Phase Locarno Beach Culture Type (middle)

dates 3500/3300 to 2400 BP

so if find site with this radiocarbon date, then it is Locarno Beach.
1) artifacts:

a medium-sized, basalt, contracting stemmed points

b microblades and cores

c slate knives (or scrapers of generally ovoid or ulu shape)

d cobble tools, split cobble

e ground-slate points

large, faceted points (hexagonal cross-sectioned

thick knives, often only partially ground)

f celts, rectangular in plan and cross-section

g labrets of several forms

h earspools

i abrasive stones (some shaped)

j bone/antler tools

bone points (ground)

bipoints (needles?; awls?)

bone flesher


bilateral (and unilateral) barbed antler points

***toggling harpoons

antler foreshafts for above harpoons

h mussel-shell celts and mussel-shell points

i GULF ISLAND COMPLEX finely made small ground objects with no clear function (notched, stone sinkers) made of soapstone, coal, and bone (called Whatzits)

2) faunal remains:

a land mammals; not large % of fauna

b fish

salmon , ranging from 66 to 78% of large fish. few salmon heads Locarno Beach Site occupied in spring when no salmon available, yet salmon there.

discuss: taphonomy of salmon: ratio of head-to-body bones
starry flounder still important

herring (and surf smelt) are smaller fishes used in large amounts

c birds

d shellfish (mussel and barnacles; but for first time horseclam, butter clam, littleneck, and cockle

  1. new manufacture styles:

lots of objects drilled using long, thin drills of uniform diameter (possibly fine reeds or bone) and objects often highly polished over whole surface

4) clay-lined depressions and alignments of vertically placed rock slabs
5) hot rock boiling technique implied from all the fire-cracked rock
6) locations:

sometimes associated with now-inland location and with deposits containing little shell or shell which is decomposed.

sites located away from Fraser River and may be focused on ISLANDs. This would support suggestion that Mayne Phase was start of Locarno Beach.
7) only one hand maul found at any site, so difficult to say what the role of woodworking is.
Western Red Cedar just arrived and probably not crucial until next period. Mitchell suggests that leather clothing used during Locarno Beach. No cedar? Are wedges in Locarno Beach used for splitting planks?
8) no evidence of plank houses (one "pit house" feature at Crescent Beach),
9) Burials

cairn burials are found

burials with labrets thought to mean achieved status rather than inherited (ascribed) status
no head deformation in Locarno Beach
10) difference in Locarno Beach from St. Mungo
a the addition of ground stone tool types (starting to use cedar?)
b increases in both bone and ground stone tools in LB phase.
c increase dependence on processing of salmon in LB phase.
Locarno Beach people were starting to process large numbers of salmon for storage. And they stay at one site longer than the people of the previous St. Mungo Phase.
microliths/microblades may have been used for salmon processing
ground slate may have been used for salmon processing,


Marpole Phase Marpole Culture Type (MIDDLE)

dates 2400 to 1500/1100 BP

ending date is problematic


A) Artifacts


a projectile points

lanceolate bifaces

contracting stem form

expanding stem

corner notched

basal-notched barbed (stem ill-defined)

unstemmed triangular
b microblades (less common than in Locarno beach, may be screen-size problem)
c slate points (less numerous than chipped stone points)
thought to be both points and parts of composite harpoon valve.
d slate knives

....very rare in islands

....and found in earlier contexts in island sites.
e celts/adze blades both small (like Locarno Beach), and large ones.
f hand mauls nipple-topped, plain and grooved conical top mauls
g disc beads of shell or shale.
h labrets and earspools all shapes represented (T-shaped, button, pendulant, composite, and novice)
j stone sculpture large seated human figurine bowls, sculptured heads, faunal effigies, decorated bowls
k perforated stones large stones with holes in center or at one end.
l Needles (with eyes, large and small)

m awls
n harpoon points (all unilaterially barbed) line attachment features differ

o unilaterally barbed antler points found only in Marpole
p antler wedges
q native copper ornaments (rare)
B) fauna

same as earlier phases

deer, elk, seals, salmon, starry flounder, herring, birds
heads of salmon used to suggest processing site, as opposed to winter village.
evidence of storage: pits, heads of fish, specialized seasonal sites.
C) burials (many indications of ascribed (inherited) status)
1 flexed
2 skull deformation
3 trepanation
D) house outlines and post molds


San Juan Phase Gulf of Georgia Culture Type (late)

dates 1500/1100 BP to contact with Eurasian traders

description most of what we know about this phase is based on comparisons with cultural materials known at Eurasian contact.

1 Relatively rare, small, triangular chipped basalt point (bows and arrows?).

2 thin, triangular, ground-slate points
3 thin slate knives (abundant at Fraser River, only few on islands)
4 Dominance of bone and antler objects

a bone unipoints and bipoints for fishing

b antler wedges
c small composite toggle harpoons
5 sea-mussel points toggle harpoons
6 numerous wood working tools:

- flat-topped mauls

- large well-made celts
7 irregularly shaped abrasive stones
8 weaving tools (blanket pins, combs, and spindle whorls)
9 some flexed burials (but most inferred to be above ground as ethnographic observation),
10 head deformation common.
11 winter villages with plank houses and post molds
12 summer camp sites
13 emphasis on fishing

Reef net fishing??

weirs, dams, and traps
14 trench embankment sites

thought to indicate defense and fortification


Frenchman Springs Phase
Age: 4500-2500 B.P.

Beginning of phase marked by significant changes in artifact assemblages and settlement patterns, perhaps caused by climatic shift to mesic environment. Beginning of ethnographic pattern.


chipped stone technology

1 (overall much less significant to overall tool assemblage, and quality is inferior)
2 (Basalt less frequently used, mostly chert)

Rabbit Island stemmed points (contracting-stemmed)

corner-notched/expanding-stemmed styles




cobble implements
ground stone

hopper mortar bases


net sinkers

bone (awls, needles)

shell (beads and pendants; but less common)

wood technologies (some mats, cordage in Vantage area)
Subsistence-Settlement Patterns:
hunting mammals (deer, antelope, elk, and rabbit)

(sheep may have been important)

gathering plant (seeds, roots and berries) (grinding and pounding equipment suggests this is even more important)

aquatic foodstuffs. (fish, but evidence not strong for large numbers)

river mussels (may significantly increase in importance)
River settlements consist of small, aggregated pit house sites arranged in linear fashion along the river.

uplands use changes significantly. Now have grinding tools in upland sites, indicating that people spent more time there and put more effort into activities at that location. Find base camps, extractive camps, and quarry sites.


climate much cooler and moister, changing vegetation in uplands to ones that were more productive. This period not as cool and moist as during Windust phase, but much more moist than Cascade Phase.

Moist conditions may have changed river hydrology in Snake River valley, eroding terraces with sites from Frenchman Springs (Tucannon). Few river sites found.


Cayuse Phase
Age: 2500-350 B.P. (A.D. 1600)
Phase divided into early and late at 950 B.P. (A.D. 1000) when small points increase in number and site of villages increase.

chipped stone technology

small corner-notched points

small side-notched points

knives (lanceolate and pentagonal



cobble implements

ground stone

hopper mortar bases


net sinkers

grinding stones (abraders)
bone (awls, needles)
shell (beads- Olivella and Dentalium)
wood technologies (mats, cordage, fire starters, pendants)
Subsistence-Settlement Patterns:
hunting mammals (deer, antelope, elk, and rabbit)

(sheep may have been important)

gathering plant (seeds, roots and berries)

(grinding and pounding equipment suggests this is very important)

aquatic foodstuffs. (fish, especially salmon)

river mussels

River settlements consist of large winter pithouse villages.

uplands used for root gathering and hunting. (ethnographic pattern)


similar to today.

Cascade Landslide may have increased numbers of salmon able to reach above Celilo falls
Access to Coast and Great Basin trade important factor in cultural development of Middle/Columbia River region.


B.P. = before present


0 B.P.

San Juan Phase

--- 1.000 to 1,500 B.P. ---

decline in artifact diversity in sites

(artifacts of wood and fiber over stone?)
Increased reliance on salmon?
Burial practices change


Marpole Phase

--------- 2,500 B.P. --------

Locarno Beach


-------- 3,500 B.P. --------

St. Mungo Phase

Charles Culture Type

-------- 4,500 B.P. --------

increase in artifact diversity

cultural elaboration


appearance of bone tools

ground tools, microblades

diverse shellfish and fish


arrival of Western Red Cedar in San Juan Islands

cool/moist climate

global stabilization of sea level

first appearance of shell middens in Northwest

(flatfish and mussels appear first)

Old Cordilleran Culture
Other names:

(Olcott Phase)

(Lithic Period)

-------- 10,000 B.P. -------


11,500 B.P.

few sites found - mostly stone tools

bipoints and cobbles (weathered)
open forests and prairies - Altithermal

oak forests, camas prairies = elk, deer

people depended on terrestrial resources,

with some fish (Fraser and Columbia River sites)

bone preservation is problem (absence of shells)


people using Clovis Points

by Julie K. Stein
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