Holocene Geochronology and Archaeology at Cascade Pass, Northern Cascade Range, Washington

Mem16.png
Mem16.png

Holocene Geochronology and Archaeology at Cascade Pass, Northern Cascade Range, Washington

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I’m going to have this book ready to share the next time I hear the shopworn assertion that “there’s no deposition or stratigraphy in the mountains, and besides, there’s really not much you can learn from alpine lithic scatters.” Cascade Pass is a nice illustration that even small, targeted excavations at high elevations have much to offer – there’s a tremendous amount we don’t know about peoples in the Wilderness, and this is a fine example of beginning to fill these information and perception gaps.

–Larry Todd

Memoir 16 reports on archaeological investigations at Cascade Pass, a multi-component open site in Washington State on the divide between the Columbia River and Salish Sea. The research has established a site chronology spanning 10,000 years based on volcanic ash layers (tephra) and dated carbon. Memoir 16 is the culmination of 30 years of research by Bob Mierendorf, who spent his career as an archaeologist at North Cascades National Park. To assist with the complexities of the numerous ash layers encountered beneath the surface, Bob enlisted the aid of his former Washington State University Professor, Franklin Foit, Jr. The authors draw comparisons between archaeological signatures in components from the different time periods, which are then used to identify Holocene cultural trends and to assess the empirical fitness of two opposing views of Pass and travel usage.

Mierendorf and Foit's work touches on a number of important contemporary issues that will be of interest to descendants of the peoples whose use is documented at Cascade Pass. It will also interest Indigenous audiences living in or near alpine environments, and researchers (specifically archaeologists) around the world interested in the use of alpine environments. 

Regular, hard copy JONA subscribers will receive Cascade Pass as part of their subscription. Electronic subscribers and student subscribers will receive a 50% discount.

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