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Chapter 2
Review of the Archaeological Data
Kenneth M. Ames

Figure 32

Figure 32 depicts the relationship between various culture chronologies, environmental change, and the presence of house pit clusters or "winter villages" and storage caves on the Lower Snake River (reproduced with permission from Reid 1991a). The temporal sequence runs in 100 year intervals from left to right at the top of the figure from 3500 B.C. to 1900 A.D.. Reid (1991a) argued that storage pits became numerous and storage caves appeared in Period III (1500 B.C. - A.D. 1700), commencing during the late portion of the Tucannon phase (Yent 1976; Leonhardy and Rice 1970). As Ames stated in the text, "It is also during Period III that we see the evidence of increased bison exploitation between c. 500 B.C. and A.D. 500...." The overall evidence suggests a diverse subsistence base, with the implication of a relationship between a heavy reliance on salmon and the expansion of features for food storage.

Pit houses appeared earlier on the Southern Plateau, perhaps as early as 5500 - 4300 B.C. Ames and Chatters perceive a cessation of pit house evidence about 1800 B.C., after which pit houses reappear with some evidence of fluctuation. Others researchers such as Reid (1991a) and Schalk et al. (1998) disagree with this supposed gap in pit house construction, suggesting the features were present continuously on the Plateau after their initial appearance.

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