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The Bandon Sandspit Site: The Archaeology of a Proto-Historic Coquille Indian Village



In 1952, a team led by Luther Cressman excavated the Bandon Sandspit site (35-CS-5), a protohistoric village at the mouth of the Coquille River. A large assemblage of bone and lithic artifacts, faunal material, trade goods, and architectural remains were recovered but remained largely unreported. I present the results of analyses of these materials. Native American oral traditions, geomorphological research, architectural remains, and radiocarbon dating of curated material provide insights into the activities that occurred at the site and suggest that it was abandoned as a permanent settlement sometime during the protohistoric period.
... We have also initiated cooperative research programs with the Coquille Indian Tribe and the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, one aspect of which is the analysis and reporting of existing collections from the southern Oregon Coast (Losey 1996;Erlandson et aI. 1997;Moss and Wasson 1998;Tveskov 2000a). One of our goals has been to help build a more refined chronology for Oregon Coast archaeological sites by radiocarbon dating sites investigated by earlier researchers. ...
... More recent geoarchaeological research has focused on southern Cascadia estuaries [11,12,16,18,26,38,43,61,64]. Estuaries are continually reworked by interrelated geological and biological processes, including eustatic sea level rise, the reworking of estuarine mouths by sand spit formation, changes in estuarine morphology by natural habitat succession, isostatic changes in sea levels caused by coastal subsidence, and the impact of tsunamis. ...
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Estuarine environments often provide exceptional conditions for the preservation of perishable materials. Over the last decade, over 70 estuarine wood stake fish weir sites have been identified on the Oregon coast. In this paper, we summarize Native oral traditions and archaeological research that indicate that estuarine fishing was primarily a household, day-to-day activity that targeted a wide range of anadromous and resident fish species. We also discuss how tectonic subsidence and uplift, eustatic sea level rise, and the succession of estuarine habitats impact the preservation, visibility, and time depth of wood stake weir sites. We then consider how these processes affect the preservation, visibility, and interpretation of wood stake fish weirs in Haynes Inlet in Coos Bay on the Oregon coast, one of the largest concentrations of such features in the southern Cascadia region.
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In this research files article, Shannon Tushingham and Richard Brooks discuss collaborative research on the history of human use of the Hiouchi Flat area near the north bank of the Smith River in California. The authors met in 2003 when Tushingham was conducting archaeological research as a graduate student. Through her research and archaeological work, Tushingham became interested in how the Native community living in the area persisted after Euro-American contact in ways that melded and introduced cultural elements within a traditional Tolowa way of life. The authors document the remembrances and stories of two families — the Cookes and the Catchings — who are examples “of how Tolowa people persisted in the aftermath of the Gold Rush at Hiouchi Flat,” and how “many Indian traditions were passed on because of this persistence.”
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