OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Landscape Evolution and Geoarchaeology of Columbia River Plateau Alluvial Systems: Lessons and New Directions for Early Sites Research

Justin A. Holcomb and Loren G. Davis

Nearly all known late Pleistocene-aged (LP) archaeological sites of the Columbia River Plateau region are located in alluvial geomorphic contexts; however, we lack a clear understanding of why and where early sites should be found in river systems. Seeking a solution, we consider four questions, including: Where are LP-aged sites found in Plateau river basins? Where are suitable LP-aged deposits found in the Plateau? How did particular geological events work to potentially preserve or destroy early sites? Given these patterns, where might we find other sites? Recent geoarchaeological research at the Cooper’s Ferry site is featured as a case study.

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