The general goals of this study are to identify, describe and summarize mortuary patterns and bio-archaeological studies within the Pacific Northwest. A major purpose is to compile this information in a form that will help address the possible cultural affiliation of Kennewick human remains with present-day Indian tribes. The specific objective is to identify continuities, discontinuities, and gaps in mortuary information and bio-archaeological data for the Middle Columbia River region from 9500 BP to the early 19th century.
This first review section of the cultural affiliation study provides an executive summary of archaeological and osteological data, and previous studies. Hackenberger is the principal author of this review. Major sources and studies are abstracted or annotated in a second section of our report. DeLeon and Shumate are the authors of the majority of these summaries. When appropriate they have added tables of data that have been retyped as part of the annotations. Other relevant tables have been copied from original sources and included in appendices. Other appendices are comprised of lists of expert contacts; written contributions from consultants; examples of original osteological data records; and spreadsheets of recently formatted osteological data. Both the review and annotation sections are supported by an extensive set of references in the bibliography compiled for the third and final section of the study.
Methods: Published and non-published books, reports, and articles were identified from existing studies and bibliographies, and interviews with consultants. Selected scholars and specialists have provided references as well as personal views that aid the study. The internet and electronic mail made this practical and efficient. Given time constraints, responses to questions have not always been complete, but only a few contacts have failed to respond. Interlibrary loan services have provided the majority of references we have located within a span of one or two weeks; copies of other sources were purchased through special arrangements. These major sources are cited in review and abstracted or annotated in detail.
Inquiries with several museums and repositories resulted in critical information on the status of burial collections and human remains. Curators with Washington State University, University of Oregon, University of British Columbia, and Simon Fraser University have been especially helpful through electronic mail and postal services. Travel to the University of Idaho and the Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum was timely and practical. The help of gracious staff at both institutions produced valuable information on references, archival records and collections. Within this overview key archival records are described, and the locations of significant sets of human remains are noted. However, full inventory of known burial sites, and curated collections of burial artifacts and skeletal remains fall outside the scope of this study. Most of these collections have been inventoried and described as part of NAGPRA projects and reported to the National Park Service, or have been summarized by the Smithsonian Institution Office of Repatriation, National Museum of Natural History.
Tribal officials and staff experts have/will be consulted on sources.
Analysis: Four forms of comparative analysis are presented in this review. The first analysis orders data and sources in a temporal sequence. The second approach compares various interpretations of the relationship between culture change and mortuary practices. A third review contrasts the analytical approaches of biological anthropologists and the research emphases that have developed within the Pacific Northwest. The final analysis presents a critique of osteological studies of metric and non-metric skeletal traits within the context of the Pacific Northwest in general and the Columbia Plateau in particular.
(1) A chronological outline of major burial sites and osteological data sets provides a database with which to assess mortuary practices and evaluate studies of skeletal variables. The results of this analysis indicate continuities, discontinuities, and gaps in bio-archaeological data for the Middle Columbia River region from 9500 BP to the early 19th century.
(2) A historical review of literature on burial patterns provides a useful synthesis of published and non-published interpretations on the relationships of Columbia Plateau culture change and mortuary practices. A current synthesis tentatively accounts for regional variation and sex and age differences in variables such as: burial settings, mode of disposal, modification or treatment of human remains, body orientation, funerary objects. This review supplements the synthesis of mortuary studies by Schulting (1995) which includes a valuable summary of burial patterns within the northern and southern Columbia Plateau.
(3) A review of the biological anthropology of Pacific Northwest peoples places focus on the preliminary nature of genetic, anthropometric, and osteological studies of populations within the Mid-Columbia Basin and related populations. Several significant case studies are summarized. Skeletal and dental evidence for pathologies and the general health and nutrition of individuals are outlined. Attention can be drawn to the unanalyzed data records and human remains that might be investigated in archives and repositories.
(4) A critical review of morphological studies of crania, dentition, and post-cranial remains is relevant. Although such studies suffer from limited data, regional population comparisons may reveal continuity and/or discontinuities in regional populations. Comparative analysis of existing data sets, and reformatting records for more comprehensive analysis fall outside the scope of this study.
A summary of the more preliminary and incidental reports of disease and nutritional indicators, and taphonomic observations is possible, but may be of more limited use for this study. A separate study, including northern coastal regions, should evaluate the time depth and geographic distribution of different forms of cranial modification as they might reflect social and cultural changes.
Key archaeological sites with burials and related osteological studies are summarized in Tables 1 through 4. These tables reflect an effort to place major sites and several distinct types of burials into probable time periods and indicate the type of skeletal data that may exist from osteological descriptions. Principal investigators are listed for burial investigations and osteological studies. Readers can look up bibliographic references, annotations, and supporting appendices. A key is also provided that cross-references to maps of general site locations illustrated in Figures 1 through 4.
A question mark next to a site designation denotes an uncertain temporal assignment. Sites with multiple burial components are listed in two or more time periods. A relatively larger number of sites and burials are known from the Late Prehistoric, Protohistoric, and Historic Periods, therefore sites are grouped by sub-regions in Tables 2 through 4. Also, some burial sites are combined by vicinity.
Table 1 includes Early and Middle Period archaeological sites assigned to 2000 year intervals. Most of these sites and/or burials can only be roughly assigned to time periods. The best known and least interrupted record of burials and human remains is found at the Marmes Rockshelter (45FR50) and adjacent open sites (Fryxell and Keel 1969, Rice 1969). However, even within the Marmes Rockshelter human remains and grave features are described according to interpolated age ranges estimated from boundaries such as Mazama ash layers (ca. 6800 years ago) and a series of radiocarbon estimates (Breschini 1975, 1979; Sheppard et al. 1987). Stratigraphic interpretations are also complicated by secondary burial or re-burial, and grave intrusions.
11000-9000 BP: Krantz (1979) describes and discusses the early, fragmentary and burned human remains from inside and outside the Marmes Rockshelter. His hypothesized taphonomic and morphological interpretations stand untested. Although presumed to represent early cremation practices by various investigators (Fryxell et al. 1968), Krantz outlines evidence he suggests fits a hypothetical scenario for cooking for the purpose of cannibalism. Although adult crania are heavily modified by fire and post-depositional forces he concludes they represent relatively broad headed individuals. Dentition may be too incomplete to infer the extent of Sinodont and/or Sundadont dental traits. Human remains from the Marmes Rockshelter have been inventoried by Washington State University and remain under the control of the Walla Walla Army Corps of Engineers.
The disturbed archaeological context of Buhl could be documented by archaeologists (Green et al. 1998), although the nature of a speculated grave is uncertain. Huckleberry and Stein (1999) have interpreted the stratigraphic context of the Kennewick remains. Recent osteological analyses have been conducted for the more complete, early remains from Buhl (Green et al. 1998) and Kennewick (Chatters et al. 1999, 2000; Powell and Rose 1999). Craniometric measures for these and other individuals have been compared by Jantz and Owsley (1999a, 1999b), and Powell and Neves (1999). Although the Buhl skeleton has been reburied studies of the morphological data for this individual continue.
9000-7000 BP: Only two incomplete sets of remains from the Marmes Rockshelter (Burial 1 and 2) may post-date the cremation features and pre-date the Mazama ash fall (ca. 6700 BP). Only one individual may be complete enough to yield significant metric and non-metric data for morphological study (Burial 8) (Breschini 1975, 1979). The individual from Burial 8 most probably post-dates the Mazama ash fall, and may be better placed in a younger time period (7000-5000 years ago). However, examination of all three sets of remains could provide valuable comparative data related to the origins of early populations in the Pacific Northwest. The potential of these remains to contribute samples for radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis has not been assessed.
The remains of an individual were published as being located below Mazama Ash near Prospect, Oregon (Cressman 1940). The remains of this man have received renewed interest due to his potential for contributing to morphological studies. Jantz and Owsley (1999a, 2000) have compared the craniometrics of this individual to a number of other early individuals including Buhl (Green et al. 1998) and Sydney (Lovvorn et al. 1999). However, as of yet, no other comparisons with early Northwest specimens have been published with similar statistical techniques. The reburial of the Prospect individual necessitates extra efforts to try to place the skeleton in some relative stratigraphic, and/or radiocarbon dated, chronology.
The partial remains of a male caught in a mudslide at Gore Creek in British Columbia are dated to 8340+/-1115 BP (Cybulski et al. 1981). To the extent possible the morphology of these remains has been well described. Investigators describe a relatively tall and slender man who possessed a powerful lower limb system. They interpret this to represent a parent population with well-developed adaptations to an interior region of mountains and plains. Bone samples were subject to carbon isotope analysis. This analysis provides evidence of a diet largely made up of terrestrial plants and animals as opposed to marine resources such as salmon (Chislom and Nelson 1983). The Gore Creek remains were returned to the Shuswap people, and are reported to be reburied.
Osteological studies of metric and non-metric traits will no doubt benefit from more exhaustive work with relatively early remains from California (Angel 1966; Breschini and Haversat 1980; Jantz and Owsley 1999a).
7000-5000 BP: Within the Middle Columbia region the most significant gap in burial and osteological studies appears between 7000 and 5000 years ago. With the exception of a series of disturbed pit burials in the Marmes Rockshelter (Fryxell and Keel 1969, Rice 1969; Breschini 1975, 1979), the only individuals that may fall into this time range are from sites located in Middle Snake tributary valleys and in the upper Fraser River Valley.
These sites, Braden (5790+/-120) and DeMoss (ca. 6000), include partial or fragmentary remains (some burned) of individuals from mass burials. Harten (1975) gives the first osteological description of both cremated and non-cremated remains from Braden. Pavesic (1985, 1992) discusses the Braden Site as a type site for the Idaho Archaic Burial Complex. Yohe and Pavesic(2000) also report that the burials from this site include the earliest known examples of dog interment with human graves in North America. Seachord (1985) provided the preliminary documentation of skeletal elements from DeMoss (see Green et al. 1986). Researchers, including Douglas Owsley, have reanalyzed human remains from both sites and are collaborating on a joint publication of results (Robert Yohe, personal communication 2000)
The remains of two adults from near Clinton, British Columbia, should be cited for this time period. An uncorrected radiocarbon date gives an age estimate of 4950+/- 170 B.P. (McKendry 1983; Stjelia and Williams 1986). An adjusted radiocarbon age estimate will assign the remains a date greater than 5000 years ago. Both remains were buried in extended positions and lack grave objects. Both sets of remains and a descriptive report are held at Simon Fraser University (Appendix 29).
5000-3000 BP: Several burial features and sites within The Dalles vicinity exhibit similar mortuary practices and may originate in this Middle Prehistoric time period. Definitive temporal assignments of both burial features and specific sets of human remains are very problematic. However, a pair of unpublished radiocarbon dates may place human remains within a Middle Prehistoric Period. The most distinctive burial features are characterized by mound like caps of talus rock covering partially cremated human remains. These rock mounds, or large cairns, are documented only within this geographically unique locale. The relationships of these features with earlier cremation burials and later cairn and talus pit burials are unknown (Schulting 1995). Therefore, for all practical purposes, this period also represents a major gap in burial and osteological data for the Middle Columbia Basin.
The lowest levels of the Congdon Site, located near The Dalles, may date as early as 3500 years ago (Butler 1963). The temporal placement of this component (Congdon II) and associated burial features are uncertain, as are the stratigraphic assignments for specific sets of human remains. The osteological collection from this disturbed site has been split between the Thomas Burke Museum and Central Washington University Department of Anthropology. Both institutions are working to inventory and document their respective portions of the collection. The Burke Museum holds records from the original osteological analysis by Garner (1963); and new analyses and assessments are in progress at Central Washington University (Hackenberger et al. 1999).
Other sites with features and assemblages that resemble Congdon II are listed in Table 1. These are the Big Leap, Atlatl Valley, and Maybe sites (Strong 1958; McLeod 1958; Butler 1959; Schulting 1995). These sites are known from cursory investigations by professionals and the notes of active "avocational archaeologists." Butler (1959) estimates that between 60 and 80 individuals may have been represented in the cremated remains present in large cairns (low mounds of boulder caps) at the Big Leap Site. Schulting (1995; cf. Bergen 1989) notes relatively early primary interments may have also been present at Congdon and early partial cremations may have been present at other sites such as the Sundale Site. Given the disintegrated nature of these remains and lack of grave artifacts these burials were often exposed, but then not collected. Without radiocarbon dates of materials that may survive in collections from these sites the burials can not be given definitive age estimates (Schulting 1995). The disposition of human remains from these sites is unknown at present.
Three sites in southern British Columbia yielded relatively early burials excavated from within housepits (EdRk9, Sanger 1970; EfQu3, Sendey 1972; FiRS1, Fladmark 1976). The housepit and assemblage associations suggest they fall within a time span between 4000 and 2500 years ago. Osteological study or re-study of these burials would add valuable information to the bio-archaeological study of the Middle Prehistoric Period. A sample of forty-two human skeletons from Namu on the Central Coast of British Columbia are among the earliest burials on the coast (Curtin 1984). The earliest burials at Namu are assigned a date of between 5000 and 3000 BP. Most remains are from males. Cranial lesions and labret facets characterize some individuals. Based on dental characteristics Namu remains show closest affinity to recent remains from the Queen Charlotte Islands.
An adult burial at Yaquina Head Site may also provide comparative data (Hemphill 1987; 1991). This adult was associated with an infant, and a fragment of a whalebone artifact associated with the infant gives a radiocarbon estimate of 3400+/-240 BP (1991: 67).
3000-1000 BP: Most burial features assigned to this time period lack radiocarbon age estimates, and the temporal placement of sites and graves are based on associated artifact assemblages. Numerous sites that are probably correctly placed within this time period reflect the wide distribution of semi-flexed and flexed pit burials. Many burials include grave objects that may indicate ascribed or achieved status of men, women and children.
Some sites and/or burials assigned to the Late Prehistoric Period (see Table 2, 1000-400 BP) may in fact belong to a time span between 1500 to 1000 BP. Attributed age has often been based only on general notions of projectile point sequences and estimated dates given for the introduction of arrow size projectiles. Pestles, mauls, pipes, dentalium, and bone and antler tools may appear in this span of time. However, archaeologists have tended to assign burials with these objects and other exchange goods to the Late Prehistoric Period (1000-400 BP).
The burial practices reflected in the flexed pit interments in Marmes Rockshelter are thought to have continued into this period of time at the shelter and nearby open sites. Open sites with multiple flexed-pit burials along the Lower Snake and its confluence with the Columbia include AS9 (Sprague 1959); WT101 (Rodeffer and Rodeffer 1972); FR42 Combes (1968); and FR101 (Cleveland and Ubelacker 1980) (see Table 2). Some of the burial features at these sites may pre-date 1000 BP, while others may post date 1000 BP. If the majority of the burials at each site are tightly clustered in time, and reflect a particular age structure, then they might represent cemeteries of semi-sedentary or sedentary households.
The lower component at Rabbit Island (BN55) includes burials. This Rabbit Island I component deserves reevaluation. On the basis of artifact types and extended position of individuals Crabtree (1957) suggested that this level of the site might predate 2500 or 3000 BP. He assigned the superimposed burial features with flexed individuals, associated with Rabbit Island II, to a time range of between 2000 and 1000 BP. Schulting (1995) speculates about the circular arrangement of burials in Feature 1 of the Rabbit Island II. He points to parallels with the circular dog burials at Wildcat Canyon and suggests that evidence for homicide or multiple sacrifice might be gathered through re-examination of the human remains in Feature 1. Remains from Rabbit Island have been transferred from the TBMWSTM to Washington State University where they are held for the Walla Walla District of the USACE. A 1993 reburial program included other remains for this site once held at Central Washington University. A set of remains still curated at CWU from this site will soon also be transferred to WSU.
The burial site with the largest number of individuals (N=230) may have included relatively early burial features is 35UM35. Unfortunately this site near Umatilla is also one of the least well documented (Rice 1978a). An undetermined number of flexed individuals with grave objects may date back to between 2500 and 2000 years. The majority of this collection was reburied without full analysis. The University of Idaho and Washington State University retain data records for several individuals.
The best documented burial site dated to between 3000 and 1000 years ago is the Wildcat Canyon "cemetery" (35GM9 Area 3). Limited radiocarbon work combined with sufficient stratigraphic and assemblage analysis suggests that numerous flexed and semi-flexed individuals date to ca. 2000 years ago. An interesting record of possible dog sacrifice and multiple dog burials is also documented for this site. Original notes and manuscripts (Cole and Cressman 1960) combined with a published reanalysis (Dumond and Minor 1983), and more recent detailed osteological analysis (Tasa 1997) make Wildcat Canyon a highly significant site for more sophisticated mortuary studies and bio-archaeology. Subject to repatriation policies of the University of Oregon State Anthropology Museum, the collection may continue to yield significant data on the social patterns and health of relatively early sedentary foraging, hunting and fishing peoples.
The numerous, but less investigated burial sites of the Middle Snake River could be evaluated to better identify possible mortuary patterns in this region between 3000 and 1000 years ago. The sparse osteological collections from excavated burials could be revisited to develop comparative studies of skeletal morphology. Burials described from Clearwater River (Charney 1968; Toups 1969), Salmon River (Warren and Fitzwater 1963) and Hells Canyon (Caldwell and Mallory 1967; Leonhardy et al. 1987; Hackenberger 1993) could be reevaluated such as completed for McGraw Creek (Yohe and St. Clair 1998). Burials from areas upriver might also be reexamined (Gruhn 1960 and 1961; Yohe et al. 1999).
Although the early temporal placement of Congon II remains in doubt, Congdon III probably does date to between 2500 and 1000 years ago. This component includes partly burned/cremated human remains buried within the talus boulders of a rock mound like feature. The burial features at Indian Well, also located in the area of The Dalles may represent similar mortuary practices dating to the same time as those at Congdon (Butler 1963; Schulting 1995 cf. Bergen 1989). The large number of cremated human remains that are associated with the large rock features suggest two or more stages of deposition for the purpose of incorporating the dead into space that functioned like a cemetery for a clan and/or village. Schulting (1995) discusses the possible relationship between cremation of defleshed remains and the possible early use of mortuary sheds or open areas where families or groups of families curated the remains of their dead. The symbolic burning and secondary interment of individuals in this mixed fashion may represent the transformation of the dead into undifferentiated ancestors (Schulting 1995: 97).
Other significant sites in Oregon with burial populations that may share cultural and linguistic affiliations with Middle Columbia River people include: Fuller and Fanning Mounds of the Yamhill River (Laughlin 1941, 1956; Stepp 1984; Ferllini 1989); and the Gold Hill Site (Ferllini 1989). The archaeology and osteology of burials from these sites suggest several lines of productive comparative research in bio-archaeology.
An equally extensive archaeological literature on mortuary practices can be explored for the Upper Columbia and adjacent river drainages of British Columbia (Schulting 1995). The relatively early cairns, pit features, and cremation burials found at the Government Site (Smith 1900), and Cache Creek Site (Sanger 1968; Pokotyo et al. 1987) deserve special attention due to their apparent resemblance to features at sites on the Lower Columbia River and Lower Snake River (Schulting 1995). While important osteological studies exist for coastal British Columbia (Cybulski various) less comparison and synthesis has occurred within Interior British Columbia.
1000-200 BP: Tables 2 through 4 cover three time spans: Late Prehistoric, Protohistoric, and Historic periods. For another fairly complete listing of individual sites see tables retyped with the annotations of McClure (1984), and copies of tables from Schulting (1995). Sites are generally categorized as Late Prehistoric when burial features exhibit cists, wood and/or other perishable materials. Burials are also often assigned to this period when they include dentalium shell, pipes, mauls and bone or antler tools such as wedges, points, awls, and digging stick handles. More often sites with these types of artifacts that also include traces of copper are most often labeled protohistoric (Stapp 1984; Schulting 1995). In some areas burials have plank covers, and these tend to be placed in Protohistoric and Historic periods. Historic burials are marked by Euroamerican trade goods, and are characterized by interment in boxes, trunks, canoes, coffins and caskets.
These types of burial classifications are defined and discussed by other researchers (Sprague 1959, 1960, 1967: Combes 1968; Sanger 1968; Rodeffer 1973a; McClure 1984; Schulting 1994). Their major purpose has been to infer the nature and rate of culture change during historic period contact with Euroamerican traders, missionaries, and settlers over the course of the 18th and 19th centuries.
Given the larger number of burials known from the protohistoric and historic periods some hypotheses about the cardinal orientation of individuals within their graves have been formulated and tested. The purpose has been to interpret the possible influence of Christian burial customs and associated religious beliefs on Native American communities. Other researchers have used the more extensive data on grave objects in all three periods to assess the nature of gender roles and status and/or possible political ranking among Columbia Plateau peoples (Rice 1978a; McClure 1984; Schulting 1995).
For the purpose of this study the sites listed in Tables 2 through 4 provide a starting point for assessing the amount of variation in burial practices across ethnic groups in more recent times. For a summary of ethnohistoric and ethnographic observations of burial practice the reader is referred to Schulting (1995). The tables also point directions for studies of genetic, dental and osteological information that might evaluate genotypic and phenotypic variations within and between populations. Studies of the larger samples of recent remains might help understand the nature and amount of variation within local populations and/or regional variation within the Columbia Basin as a whole. Some range of patterns observed in more numerous recent remains might correspond with those of earlier remains of more sparse past populations. The historic period remains may also provide base line data for comparing interregional variation (see Carino 1987, and Tasa 1997).
The data listed in Table 2 for the Late Prehistoric Period probably under-represent the frequency of burial sites and features along the Lower-Middle Columbia River. The nature of rock cairns and cremations and the probable mixing of remains from late time periods counters attempts to sequence observations of burial practices or identify collections of human remains and related osteological studies. The area is best known in terms of historic cremations, talus and cairn burial sites, and the mortuary sheds of Memaloose and Grave Islands (Cole 1958). All of these have been attributed in part to mass deaths with contact related epidemics. Recent work includes the analysis of a large sample of teeth from a pre-500 BP burial component at Crates Point (35WS221) (Minor and Hempill 1989). The burial features are talus covered secondary and multiple interments and these are interpreted as distinct from the charnel house burials of the historic Chinookan speaking Wasco, although this conclusion might be reevaluated given Schulting's (1995) discussion of secondary burials of cremated remains from mortuary sheds.
The sites listed in Table 3 reflect the extensive archaeological programs of the Middle and Upper Columbia River conducted as part of reservoir projects from the 1940's through the 1980's. The majority of these projects were designed to complete test excavations over extensive sets of sites. The Historic Period Snake River listing in Table 4 represent the Nez Perce grave removal projects by the Walla Walla District Corps of Engineers and the University of Idaho. In general the WWACE contracted Snake work by Washington State University in the late 60's and early 70's concentrated on larger scale investigations at a few major sites along the Snake River.
Studies of Mortuary Patterns
A historical review of literature on burial patterns provides a useful summary of interpretations regarding the relationships of Columbia Plateau culture change and mortuary practices. Schulting (1995) presents the most current synthesis for regional variation and sex and age differences in variables such as: burial settings, mode of disposal, modification or treatment of human remains, body orientation, funerary objects.
From an archaeological perspective Plateau burial patterns were described, typed and sequenced in order to outline cultural historical periods in Pacific Northwest prehistory and history (Sprague various, Combes 1968; Rodeffer 1973a; Sanger 1968).
Sprague's explicit concern with historic burials was to investigate rates of acculturation and/or resistance among Nez Perce and related tribes of the Snake River (1967). Combes (1968) and Rodeffer (1973a) were interested in expanding and refining Sprague's burial types, while also identifying and explaining extra sources of variability in mortuary patterns. As graduate students continued the research started by Sprague at WSU, Sprague's three period grouping of burial patterns was confirmed. However, it became apparent that independent tests of burial age would be needed before the rate and geographic extent of changes in late prehistoric and protohistoric burial practices could be understood. Schulting (1995) has pointed out that this is especially important before cultural historical comparisons can be made between the northern and southern portions of the Columbia Plateau.
Without funding for systematic radiocarbon dating programs in the 1960's and 70's interest in mortuary studies waned. WSU faculty and student attention turned to studies of house features, subsistence, and lithic technologies of earlier archaeological phases (Leonhardy and Rice 1970). Interest in burial excavation and more rigorous osteological analysis of human remains continued at the University of Idaho under Sprague (Pullen 1970; Iverson 1976, 1977; Fielder 1979 Lynch 1976, 1977; Murillo 1979; Randolph and Boreson 1975; Rice 1978a, 1978b, 1978c; Rodeffer 1973a, 1973b, 1973c; Rodeffer et al. 1972, Rodeffer and Rodeffer 1972; Sprague and Birkby 1970; Wegars et al. 1983). Sprague (1993) presents an historical overview of this work within the eastern Columbia Plateau. He outlines changes in working relationships between university, agencies and Native American governments and their agreements about reburial projects and repatriation efforts.
From the beginning of the WSU and UI programs mental and financial investments in local field programs partitioned the mortuary literature of the Snake from the previous studies of the Lower-Middle Columbia (Strong et al. 1930; Strong 1958, Butler 1959, 1963), the Middle Columbia (Smith 1910, Smith and Fowke 1901; Garth 1952; Greengo 1982; Krieger 1928), and the Upper Columbia (Smith1899, Smith and Fowke 1901; Smith 1900; Sanger 1968) . The cremation and mass burial practices of the Lower Columbia were the subject of more cursory reports and observations of sites disturbed by artifact collectors and avocational archaeologists (Strong et al. 1930; Butler various; Garth 1952; Strong 1959, 1960; Bergen (see 1989 notes). The relatively great time span over which various types of disposal practices existed combined with the lack of absolute dating defied interpretation.
The significance of the large Middle Prehistoric Period "cemetery" at Wildcat Canyon went without attention due to delayed publication (Cressman and Cole various; Dumond and Minor 1983), and the lack of data for burial sites of comparable age and size. This gap in the sequence of published burial research, combined with the modern socio-political divides between Washington State, Oregon and Northern California effectively prevented extensive comparative or broadly synthetic mortuary studies in the Pacific Northwest. In some ways this divide is greater than that which has existed between research in Washington State and British Columbia. Researchers seldom attempted to bridge summaries of Columbia River Basin mortuary information with burial data collected by archaeologists working in areas of Oregon and northern California. This remains the case even through it is well recognized that populations with similar languages and cultural patterns resided from the Columbia River Basin and coast of Washington and Oregon down to rivers and coasts of central California (Breschini and Haversat 1980). An emphasis on Late Prehistoric occupations of east-west tending interior river basins has fractured our conception of the obvious early importance of the north-south orientation of the Pacific Coast and related river drainages.
The survey and testing projects of Collier, Hudson and Ford (1942) provided some comparative data. However, the subsequent hiatus in work on the Upper Columbia slowed mortuary studies in the region until reports of the Lake Roosevelt investigations were published in the 1970's and early 1980's (Sprague 1971a, 1971b; Sprague and Miller 1979; Sprague and Birkby 1970; Sprague and Mulinski 1980; Mulinski 1977; Iverson 1984; Iverson et al. 1981). Also in the 1970's mortuary investigations began to accelerate in Interior British Columbia (Sanger 1968a, 1968b; Wilson 1972; Stryd 1973; Richards 1976, 1988; Rousseau and Rousseau 1978; McKendry and Skinner 1981; Cybulski 1980; Sumpter 1982; Simonsen 1984 a, 1984b; Curtin and Lawhead 1985; Copp 1986; Skinner and Copp 1986; McLeod and Skinner 1987; Skinner and Thacker 1988; Arcas Ltd. 1987; Pokotylo et al.1987; Schulting 1995).
Schulting (1995) notes that during the early studies of burial sites and analysis of grave types, the significance of different burial forms found in the same locale were often under emphasized. This was generally true for the seminal studies in each area of the northern and southern Columbia Plateau. An exception is found in the work of Stryd (1973). Styrd recognized that alternative burial types might reflect social differentiation; otherwise comparisons of social indicators such as grave objects that might discriminate rank or status were seldom attempted.
When comparisons of graves by objects were conducted at specific burial sites no clear artifact associations or ranking were observed. Grabert (1968a) is among the first to describe the lack of evidence for sexual dichotomy in grave goods. One Sprague student, Pullen (1970), found more beads with adult historic burials than with burials of the young. Rice (1978a) also began an analysis of grave objects at 35UM35. McClure (1984) summarizes Rice's results. More "points" were found in female graves than male. Pestle and bone awls were found with both sexes. Some strong associations occur between males and atlatl weights and fishing equipment. Dumond and Minor (1983) at Wildcat Canyon found that only adults might have more objects than young.
Schulting (1995) reviews mortuary data from 47 sites in the Columbia River and Fraser River basins. Selecting sites with 10 to 63 individuals per site he analyzes burials from 22 Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric sites. Schulting's (1995) efforts provide valuable detailed summaries of burials and grave objects at many of the major burial sites in the Columbia Plateau (Cannon 1996). His statistical analysis of pooled samples failed to reveal strong relationships between artifacts and age or sex. Schulting calculates Gini indices of inequality in grave goods. Differences are observed when Middle Prehistoric, Late Prehistoric and Protohistoric burials are compared. An increasing inequality in social status is inferred from the number and type of exotic trade goods after 2000 years ago and again after 1000 years ago (see abstract of Schulting 1995). His conclusions support the growing consensus that regional societies were transegalitarian (Cannon 1996).
In general the labor intensive nature of burial work, the inability or unwillingness to date burial remains, and the great variability in burial types and grave goods have dampened enthusiasm for mortuary studies in the Pacific Northwest.
Anthropology in the Pacific Northwest
Several methodological approaches to bio-anthropology studies can be traced in the study of Pacific Northwest populations. Trends closely follow international and national developments in research methods and theories. This review is made possible by the incorporation of many historical bibliographic references provided by Dr. Roderick Sprague. Dr. Sprague has kindly shared his most current draft of an annotated bibliography that supplements a book length manuscript he is compiling with several other contributors (see Appendix 49). The concise summary and comprehensive bibliography shared by Guy Tasa was very valuable for a very brief review of current approaches to studies of skeletal morphologies and population genetics (see Appendix 54).
One major difference between the work of archaeological studies of mortuary patterns and the work of biological anthropologists and osteologists is obvious. Archaeologists have been concerned with documenting cultural changes within specific areas of the Columbia Plateau and proposing routes of diffusion for burial practices. On the other hand biological anthropologists and osteologists have focused on regional comparisons of populations that are often devoid of significant time depth due to sampling problems. When biological anthropologists have tried to address questions about long term migration, gene flow, and genetic drift on a continental scale their analyses lack adequate osetological, dental, and genetic samples even for historic Pacific Northwest populations.
Early Reports and Observations: The earliest physical anthropology studies of Pacific Northwest Peoples focused on collections of historic crania (Boas 1888) and miscellaneous crania and post-cranial remains from major sites such as coastal middens. Special attention was focused on the variety of cranial modifications practiced by coastal and interior people (Morton 1839; Virchow 1892; Simms 1873; Dorsey 1895, 1897; Hrdlicka 1905), and notes were published on more obvious trauma, pathologies of bone and teeth (Hrdlicka 1905; Kidd and Darby 1933; Congdon 1931; Leachman 1934; Cressman and Larsell 1945), and possible cases of trephination (Smith 1924; Kidd 1930, 1946; Hrdlicka 1939).
Cressman and Larsell (1945) give a relatively early detailed description of a skeleton found in a cave in the Tule Lake region. Many of the bones showed marked deformities and extensive osteomyelitis probably developed due to staphylococci infection following traumatic injury. Studies of cultural modification of bone and pathological conditions continue to the present (see below).
Cranial Modification: Evidence for the origin and diffusion of various types of cranial modification have been revisited by archaeologists and biological anthropologists in each decade of this century. For the Pacific Northwest Coast Owen Beattie (1981, 1985) concluded that cranial deformation was rare or absent in the South Coast Strait of Georgia region before 500 BC but that it had become common in the Gulf of Georgia during the Marpole Phase. Cybulski (1996) states that deformation is absent in: the 4500-3300 year-old St. Mungo phase burials at the Tsawwassen site (Arcas Consulting Archaeologists Ltd., 1988); the 3400 year-old Duke Point burials (DgRx 5) (Cybulski, 1991); the 5000-2000 year old Namu burials; the 2600-2400 year-old burials at Hardy Bay. In an unpublished report for the Archaeology Branch of BC, Carlson (1990) dates the earliest known example of cranial modification from Pender Canal (DeRt 2) at 2620 +/- 50 years BP. Cybulski (personal communication 2000) and Carlson reviewed the evidence for cranial modification in Pender Canal sites in 1997-98. They confirmed the lack of evidence for crania older than about 2600 years ago.
No recent comparable study has been conducted for interior portions of the Pacific Northwest. Lacking such a comprehensive review of radiocarbon dates for interior cranial modification it is not possible to determine if such practices are earlier or later in the Columbia Plateau and adjacent area as compared with the coast. Current thought holds that all cases of intentional cranial modification in the Columbia River Basin post date 2500 or 2000 years ago. It is possible that some of the oldest interior examples may be identified among the varied, interior British Columbia burial collections. Alternatively the oldest examples may be found in sites along the Columbia River such as: Wildcat Canyon (35GM9), Rabbit Island II (BN15), Chiawana Park (FR101), or the Umatilla Site (35UM35). A fuller survey of the earliest dates for cranial modification in archaeological literature for coastal Oregon and California falls outside the scope of the present study.
Morphological Studies: The most well known and early study is Oetteking's craniology of samples collected by the Jesup Expedition (1928). This study is still used for comparative data on crania measurements and includes relatively large samples of unmodified skulls from coastal and interior groups. The Yakima individuals are among those sampled. Oetteking (1930) also detailed the nature and type of skull deformation found among various groups of the Pacific Northwest. Data reported by other researchers include Hrdlicka (1927, 1947), Cameron (1928); Smith (1924), and Kidd (1933). Similar data recording continues into the present with the work of Smithsonian Institution repatriation inventory and assessment projects (Bray various).
White (1962) completed a relatively early statistical comparison of metric data from two populations. He referred to these as the Salishan and Sahaptin "somatypes" (see annotation). More recently extensive comparative work has been conducted for northern Coastal populations (Haida, Kwakiutl, Nootka, and Coast Salish). Cybulski (1972 ) analyzed 315 crania from 18 local groups. Results show sizes distinguish the probable relationship among groups, whereas shape separates groups by modes of cranial deformation. Non-metric mean rank differences do not indicate inter-group relationships, but may reflect local groups with effective breeding populations.
A separate battery of statistical techniques have been applied to reported cranial measurements by Haversat (1982) in her efforts to distinguish historic and archaeological crania from the Puget Sound region. Hegrenes (1985) has completed studies of non-metric traits in Oregon populations and Upper Columbia River populations. Carino (1987) gives a clear report of the comparative analysis of a large sample of non-metric observations. He demonstrates distinct patterns in several genetic traits that distinguish the archaeological samples he affiliates with Colville and Nez Perce populations. Most recently Tasa (1997) has completed a comprehensive study of metric and non-metric traits for the crania, post-cranial skeleton, and dentition of populations from several archaeological sites in Oregon (see details in Tasa annotation).
Pan-regional studies of metric and non-metric traits have been used to hypothesize about the migrations of peoples into North American (Li et al. 1991; Ossenberg1992; Szathmary and Ossenberg 1978; Heathcote 1986; Utermohle and Merbs 1979; Jantz and Owsley 1999a, 1999b). Very recently these traits have been examined in concert with models of divergence based on alternative assumptions of founding populations (Powell and Neves 1999). All of these studies are severely limited by problems of sample sizes and are subject to qualification on the basis of assumptions about grouping of sub-samples by geographic and linguistic areas.
Anthropometric Studies: Extensive studies of body measurements of living subjects were conducted and supervised by Franz Boas (1891, 1892, 1896). This work is well summarized by Jantz et al. (1992). The Boas data have been used by Hall and McNair (1972) and Jantz et al. (1992) to reanalyze the huge data bases of head, face and body measurements with modern statistical techniques. Their results provide conclusions regarding physical variation among both coastal and interior populations in the Pacific Northwest. The results may generally complement similar statistical studies of metric data for cranio-facial dimensions and proportions of post-cranial elements; however, results of body measurements and measurements of the skeleton are not readily comparable in grouped data sets.
Jantz et al. (1992) distinguish Na-Dene groups (n=7) from both coastal (n=15) and interior (n=6) Salish groups. Penutian (n=4) and Wakashan (n=5) fall between these groups. Northern Na-Dene have large bodies with high noses and faces that are both more narrow. The Puget Sound Salish share broad heads and faces with wide, short noses. Some of these similarities are shared with Penutian speaking Tsimshian. Interior Salish of the Thompson and Fraser rivers are separated from coastal Salish, and distinctions also appear between the upper and lower Thompson populations. Thus in some cases groups with different languages overlap in phenetic space, while other groups with the same language have distinct phenetic space.
Dentition: Dental patterns are among the most recent type of data to be analyzed in order to answer questions regarding the genetic similarity and differences of Pacific Northwest Coast people. Turner (1985, 1990) and Ossenberg (1992) have developed the most extensive set of data on non-metric dental traits. They have used these data for comparisons of populations between major regions of North America and Asia. Tasa (1997) has the only recent study of dental non-metrics which makes comparisons among local populations in the Northwest. His study includes data from Wildcat Canyon, but best covers the Coastal Athapaskans of southern Oregon (see annotation of Tasa 1997). Tasa also analyzes odontometrics, and may soon be able to incorporate comparisons of dental metrics and non-metrics with other sample populations in this region with data from other collections and researchers (see annotation of Hemphill 1987).
Paleopathologies: The dentitions of 208 prehistoric human skeletal remains from five different regions of Oregon were analyzed by Hall (1986). The five regions were Lower Columbia Valley, Central Oregon, Klamath Basin, Coast of Oregon, and the Willamette Valley. The Willamette Valley and Klamath Basin are areas in which the heaviest dependence on soft vegetable resources produced the highest level of dental problems. People of the Lower Columbia Valley relied more on riverine resources, which causes more attrition and thus lower number of caries. Higher frequencies of abscesses were recorded for the Klamath Basin and the Lower Columbia Valley samples. Central Oregon and the Coast of Oregon samples depended on gathering and hunting equally which is exhibited in their moderate levels of attrition and pathology.
Lynch (1977) examined a sample of crania for precontact populations (n=330: 186 from the middle Columbia, 70 from the lower Snake, and 74 from the Upper Columbia) and historic populations (n=161: 135 from the lower Snake, and 26 from the upper Columbia, and none from the middle Columbia). Of the 330 precontact samples only 16 (4.8%) have one or more caries (1977:71). All three precontact populations exhibit more wear on the maxillary teeth than the mandibular teeth. Tooth wear was greatest in the lower Snake due to the greatest amount of wind-blown silt. The lowest amount of tooth wear occurred in the upper Columbia region. Precontact males have more wear than their female counterparts, in all three regions. Overall the dental health of the upper Columbia River People was slightly poorer than was the case on the lower Snake or middle Columbia rivers. The greatest change in the dental health between precontact and historic time was a significant increase in caries and the development of more virulent periapical involvement (1977:79).
Cybulski (1977) examined 379 skulls from four ethno-linguistic divisions in museum collections and seventy-five from recent archaeological work representing Haida, Kwakuitl, Nootka, and Coast Salish. Cribra orbitalia, a sieve like expanse in the orbital plates of the frontal bone, was common in early historic period (1750-1850). Anemia, particularly iron deficiency anemia, is considered a likely cause of the condition. Cribra orbitalia is similar in manifestation and appearance to a condition referred to as porotic hyperostosis, symmetrical osteoporosis, or hyperostosis spongiosa. Greater rates of affliction in the Haida female sample points to iron deficiency anemia as a likely cause of cribra orbitalia in past populations. Weaning between two and three years of age accounts for a higher incidence in this age range. Dietary causes are unlikely; however, historic changes in diet can not be completely ruled out due to disruption in eating patterns. Malabsorption syndromes, such as parasitic infections and disease can cause iron deficiency. Both inherited and acquired forms of anemia may be implicated in the etiology of cribra orbitalia.
Beattie (1976) details the skeletal pathology of 18 burials from Crescent Beach phases (I, II, III) from near Vancouver, British Columbia. Crescent Beach I dates to 3400 BC to 1100 BC, Crescent Beach II dates to 1100 BC to 400 BC, and Crescent Beach III dates to 400 BC to AD 400. Fourteen individuals were recorded as having at least one pathological condition. No nutritional deficiencies were obvious in any of the three prehistoric phases. One trephination was performed on an individual suffering from ankylosing spondylitis. Results show that the populations represented by the eighteen burials participated in rigorous ways of life, as exemplified by arthritis and vertebral collapse.
Boyd (1996) presents the most recent survey of pathologies common to the Columbia Plateau for both pre-contact and contact periods. The majority of the evidence Boyd reviews comes from the University of Idaho osteological records complied by Mulinski and others. Harris lines are not generally reported due to a lack of x-ray analysis. Porotic hyperostosis is not noted in osteological records from the University of Idaho; however, cribra orbitalia, osteoporosis, and enamel hypoplasias are recorded in many sites. The most prevalent paleopathology evident in the sample of remains is osteoarthritis. Females were more often affected than males. The second most common paleopathology was periostitis, a minor bone infection. Three familial conditions are identified for prehistoric and protohistoric Plateau sites: ankylosing spondylitis, spondylosis, and spina bifida. Ankylosing spondylitis is an inflation of the spine and subsequent ossification of the spine. Spondylosis is the bilateral separation of the neural arches in the lumbar vertebrae. Spina bifida is the exposure of the spinal cord or meninges. Some fifteen cases of benign bone tumors and osteomas are identified in the Idaho collection, and these are mostly sited in the head (Boyd 1996).
Blood Type Studies: Blood samples were collected from living subjects in numerous Native American groups. Within the Northwest and neighboring regions blood typing was conducted and studies were published over three decades (Gates 1929; Gates et al.1934; Matson 1938; Hulse 1955, 1957; Hulse and Firestone nd; Corcoran 1959; Flory 1963).
Laughlin began blood type studies and published results from a method he used to test for blood group for archaeologically excavated skeletons. He used samples of cancellous bone. His published case studies include work with Cressman on materials from the John Day area (1950) and work on the Kawumkan Springs Midden (1956). Heglar (1957) also reports results he obtained from Laughlin and tries to interpret his sample in terms of the hypothesis of a Cascade boundary and Northern Rocky Boundary between populations (cf. Hulse 1957). The accuracy and usefulness of additional work of this nature is not known.
Geneticists now use more highly informative series of genetics materials such as Immunoglobulin Gm (Szathmary 1979; Szathmary and Ossenberg 1978, 1993; Laughlin and Harper 1988). They use comparison of Gm and other systems (ABO, RH, MNSs, Diego, Duffy, Kell, Kidd, P, Gc, Hp, ACP, AK, PGD, and PGM1) to illustrate genetic distances among populations. Others have employed serum proteins (Williams et al. 1985; Schanfield 1992; Harrison et al.1988; Schell and Blumberg 1988). Much of this work has been completed in order to test hypotheses about migration, gene flow and genetic drift among Native American populations. The majority of work focuses on Eskimo and adjacent subarctic populations. When the Pacific Northwest is represented, the northern coastal groups are often better represented in these analyses, as opposed to interior Northwest groups. Due to the large amounts of admixture in contemporary Plateau populations, population genetics based on these types of systems may be impossible. In general, the most useful results are probably limited to comparisons of major cultural geographic and linguistic groupings (Asiatic, Amerindian, Eskimo).
DNA Studies: mtDNA has been sampled from living populations, and archaeologically recovered bone and teeth. The inheritance of mtDNA through the maternal side can make mtDNA a better tool for estimating genetic distance, and with careful sampling based on genealogical charting may partly help overcome the effects of population admixtures in recent generations. Several articles have incorporated mtDNA work in overview studies of the possible migration of people into North America (Shields et al. 1993; Szathmary and Ossenberg 1993; Torroni et al. 1993a, 1993b; Merriwether et al. 1995; Parr et al. 1996; Stone and Stoneking 1993). A full analysis of this current literature falls outside the scope of this study, but it is relevant background in so much as several efforts to identify mtDNA lineages in the Pacific Northwest are underway. Teeth and bone from archaeological sites are yielding mtDNA.
Studies in the Pacific Northwest
More detailed review of several studies of Pacific Northwest skeletal morphology illustrate the progression of methods and statistical techniques used to assess the relatedness of past populations of the Columbia Plateau and adjacent regions. In general, results of these studies show that distinctions can be made between local populations on the basis of metric and non-metric traits. However, relatively little emphasis has been placed on the nature and magnitude of within group variation. This would appear to be a problem related to small sample sizes for local groups and the cultural historical focus of researchers who primarily wish to evaluate models of migration and social relations across ethnic boundaries.
Heglar (1957) devised what he termed a "racial analysis" of Indian skeletal material. He analyzed human remains representing a sample of populations that existed from 3000 to 200 years ago. Material for his study came from two general areas: the Plateau and Western Washington. These two areas were subdivided into Upper Columbia, Middle Columbia, Lower Columbia, Puget Sound, and Upper and Lower British Columbia. The samples were described and interpreted using various different methods: observation, blood group, metric analysis, cranial deformation, anomalies, pathologies, fractures, and dental characteristics.
The females of the Plateau sample, when compared to males, show greater alveolar prognathism. The males have more skeletal robustness and narrower nasal apertures than the females. The Upper Columbia sample exhibited greater dental indices, broader palates, and shorter palate lengths. Male Middle Columbia crania from the Pot Holes Site exhibited greater length-breadth and maxillo-alveolar indices. Plateau and Northwest Coast crania differed in a few ways. The Coastal crania were larger and had shorter, broader faces with more prognathism and longer palates than their Plateau counterparts. Puget Sound crania exhibited a greater cranio-facial longitudinal index than any of the other Coastal samples.
Stature estimates for the Plateau sample were bimodal, which the author suggests may be due to population mixture. "However other metric data, blood groups, and observations do not support this hypothesis" (1957:72).
Upper Columbia remains exhibit a high frequency of the gene for blood group A, especially the females, which may be an influence from the neighboring Plains groups, that also have a high frequency for A. The Middle Columbia sample had a higher frequency of O, similar to Coastal frequencies. Cranial deformation occurred in both areas. Fronto-lambdoidal and fronto-occipital were common in the Plateau and Coast, although frontal and cylindrical were also common on the Northwest Coast. Plateau artificial deformation was consistent with the use of cradleboards. Dental traits between the two population samples differed. The Plateau sample exhibited more dental attrition, which in turn increased the occurrence of dental pathologies such as periapical abscesses. The occurrence of pathologies, anomalies and fractures was not significantly different.
From his limited subregional samples, Heglar (1957) concludes that Pacific Northwest populations are homogeneous in the sense of 'physical type' Observed differences were usually due to, "variations within a given range, which may be the result of population mixture to a minor degree" (1957:70). From this he infers that their geographic isolation from one another had not been long enough to lead to genetic differences.
Heglar (1957) provides all of his summary statistics for sub populations in his Appendix I- Statistical Tables. In 1990 Dr. Heglar mailed all of his original data sheets for collections in the Burke Museum back to the Museum with the intent that they be used by students of osteology (Rodger Heglar, personal communication 2000). His inventories of burial records and examples of original data records are found in Appendix 23).
Cybulski provides a (1975) descriptive and comparative study of cranial variation within and among select indigenous populations of the coast of British Columbia (1975:1). Eighteen groups were selected from within the territory of the Haida, Kwakuitl, Nootka, and Coast Salish language area. "Metric and non-metric morphology is described and compared in the context of anthropological and geographic frameworks and in the context of artificial head deformation" (1). The purpose of this study is to describe the metric and non-metric traits, describe regional variation, and describe variations in cranial deformation.
Most of the Kwakuitl, Nootka, and Coast Salish crania exhibited deformation. No individuals in the Haida sample were deformed. He concludes that, "the four ethnolinguistic divisions could be identified as discrete morphological entities owing to differences in shape influenced by variations in the cultural practice of intentional head deformation." He also notes that, "Negligible between-division variation is found in the Kwakuitl, Nootka, and Coast Salish with respect to size of crania, but the Haida groups are distinct" (Cybulski 1975). Similarly, no variation could be found for Kwakuitl, Nootka, and Coast Salish in divergence of non-metric traits, but the Haida groups exhibit distinct frequencies of non-metric traits.
White (1962) completed comparative analysis of skeletal materials from the Columbia Plateau. The skeletal material that forms the basis of White's study comes from two areas of the Columbia Plateau. The total sample consists of 60 skeletons, many of which were incomplete. The material is late precontact or early contact in age, placing them from shortly before AD1800 on into the 1800's (White 1962:4). The Salishian data were derived from burials excavated in the Coulee Dam Reservoir by Collier, Hudson, and Ford (1942). The Sahaptin material was recovered from sites on the Snake River near the towns of Asotin and Pasco, Washington. Measurements and observations were recorded. The craniometrics and osteometrics are located on tables in White's report (see Appendix 52). Nearly all the Sahaptin crania are deformed to some degree. The crania display only fronto-lambdoidal deformation. One instance of carious teeth was found. Abscesses were rare. Incisor shoveling is common in the sample. Nearly one-half the maxillae contained tori (1962: 60). No data are provided that would enable White's observations to be matched with skeletal elements for validation and original data records are not available for his study.
Carino (1987) estimates the biological distance of historic Colville and Nez Perce populations from non-metric traits of the crania. He attempts to determine the biological relationship of Colville and Nez Perce populations. He recorded 25 non-metric traits (21 bilateral and 4 midsagittal) from 91 Colville and 119 Nez Perce crania. The crania selected for this study were chosen on the basis of age, and preservation. Nonmetric traits were selected on heritability, the inclusion of a wide range of variant classes, and the inclusion of major areas of the crania. The frequencies of nonmetric traits of females and males were combined for this study. The existence of sexual dimorphism was not great enough to divide the sample. The inclusion of bilateral traits was also justified. The mean measure of divergence, MMD, was calculated using two methods (see annotation). The MMD was calculated between the two groups. The Condtandse-Westermann (1972) procedure yielded the following results: MMD= 0.0287644, standard deviation= 0.0020683. Thus, the hypothesis of no difference is rejected.
Carino's analysis is based on data from Birkby and others that recorded both metric and non-metric traits for over 1000 individuals. The majority of the osteologial records for the University of Idaho burial projects was completed by Mulinski. A proposed analysis was never completed with these data, thus the data await a number of types of tests and major synthesis. The Green, Suchey, and Gokhale method yielded these results: MMD= -0.0154168, standard deviation 0.0061441. Thus the hypothesis is rejected again. "It was concluded that the aboriginal Colville and Nez Perce Indian populations were biologically quite distinct" (1987; iii). The distance between the two groups suggests a long period of independent development.
Ferllini (1989) studied the human skeletal remains from Gold Hill, Oregon and compared them to collections representing prehistoric Modoc from Northeastern California, Paiute/Shosoni from Stillwater Marsh, Nevada, and the Athapaskan from Alaska. The groups represent the Penutian, Uto-Aztekan and Na-Dene (iii). One of the Penutian speaking groups was the ethnographic Takelma, who inhabited the interior southwestern region of Oregon. The purpose of Ferllini's research was to assess the degree of morphological correlation between the Gold Hill skeletons and skeletons from the Nightfire Island site in Modoc territory, and the presumably unrelated skeletons of Athapaskan and Paiute/Shosoni ancestry. The Gold Hill site was first occupied as early as 3000BP, abandoned, and occupied again about 1000BP. Most of the deepest burials were lying on the left side, the heads toward the south and facing west, the legs flexed with the knees flexed against the chest, the feet pulled in against the pelvis and the arms folded across the chest. The shallower burials were apparently all flexed (16). Obsidian blades were found in the deepest burials.
The statistical analysis of morphological traits from Gold Hill (prehistoric Takelma) and Nightfire Island (prehistoric Modoc) skeletal material indicates that based on the craniometric and non-metric traits the two may be genetically related. According to Ferllini the Gold Hill and the Athapascan remains also appear to be related. The Athapascans belong to a different language phylum and did not arrive in the area until about 900AD. These results are probably a result of the small sample size (35). The Paiute/Shosoni material appears genetically distant. When the same skeletal material was evaluated on non-metric traits, the results indicated a closer genetic affinity. From the available evidence it would appear that the Gold Hill population was most likely ancestral to the historic Takelma. They were also genetically related to the Modocs and did not share significant genetic material with the Paiute/Shoshoni. Results of the analysis indicate a relationship to the Athapascan, but the small sample size must be considered.
Stepp (1984) develops a descriptive analysis of remains from the Fuller and Fanning Mounds. He presents an analysis of the skeletal remains of 66 individuals recovered from mounds, located on the Yamhill River, Willamette Valley, Oregon. W. T. Edmundson and William S. Laughlin excavated the sites in 1941-1942. The literature and original field notes were analyzed. A description of burial type, side, orientation, grave type, associations, original preservation was compiled for each individual. A series of craniometric measurements, and non-metric traits, a dental analysis, and general description of obvious pathological and morphological conditions was made. The human remains from the Fuller and Fanning Mounds represent the largest well-defined skeletal population of prehistoric peoples from the Willamette Valley. According to Stepp, the Fuller and Fanning sites seem to be good representatives of Late Archaic Kalapuya occupation of the Willamette Valley. Stepp discusses Cressman's 1930-1932 fieldwork. Cressman recovered 39 individuals at the Gold Hill site along the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon in 1930-32 (Stepp 1984:27, Cressman, 1933a, 1933b). Most of these burials were so fragmentary that the remains were not saved, although Ferlinni (1989) reports parts of 29 individuals were recovered.
Stepp includes craniometric information of the Gold Hill skeletal remains. The burials were always found in a flexed position, typically on the right side with the head oriented to the south, and an abundance of grave goods was usually associated with each burial including many large obsidian "wealth" blades (Stepp 1984:27). Cressman reported cranial data on 10 individuals. Ferlinni (1989) remeasured the cranial remains from the site (see Ferlinni annotation). Comparative summary of Ferlinni's cranial data is presented in Tables 12 and 18 of Stepp's thesis. Craniometric results were compared to several known populations including the Gold Hill material. The results are shown in Tables 12, 13, 14 and 15 of Stepp's report. Craniometric results were also compared to the Kalapuya data of Franz Boas (Boas 1891, Jantz et al. 1992) and presented in Table 16.
Crania were evaluated for a series of non-metric traits. In the Yamhill population, highest nuchal lines are present in 80% of the sample. High rates for this trait are typical of Native American populations. Non-metric trait variation was compared between Fuller and Fanning sites. According to Stepp two traits showed significant differences. Lambdoid ossicles were present in 45.71%(n=35) of sites in the Fuller sample, but only 15.0% (n=20) of sites in the Fanning group. The mastoid foramen was exsutural in 77.78% (n=27) of sites from Fuller, and only 37.5% (n=8) of sites from Fanning. Incidences of non-metrics variants were compared (chi square frequency analysis with continuity correction) between the Fuller and Fanning combined sample to the Gold Hill, Takelma. Differences were considered significant at p-0.05. The Gold Hill sample was different in frequency of several traits including presence of highest nuchal line, lambdoidal ossicles, ossicles at asterion, presence of auditory torus, and exsutural (Stepp 1984:85).
Most individuals had a "broad or round skull, high in relation to length and medium height in relation to breadth, average frontal breadth in relation to vault breadth, average height to breadth ratio of face, medium breadth to height of nasal aperture and wide orbits" (Stepp 1984:96). Male and female skulls are of similar shape. According to Stepp the Gold Hill Takelma, were expected to be biologically similar to the Yamhill (Fuller/Manning/ Kalapuya?), yet the Gold Hill showed several differences in metric and nonmetric traits. The Gold Hill population was different in cranial length, cranial index, length-height index, mean height index and orbital index (Stepp 1984:77). Markedly shovel-shaped incisors are present in eight of the 20 individuals with incisors to study. Shoveling occurs in all eight of the individuals in both central and lateral incisors except for Fuller # 41 in which only the central incisor is available for inspection.
Tasa (1997) completed metric and non-metric analysis of 66 Late Prehistoric and Historic skeletons that represent Pacific Coast Athapaskans (PCA) from southern Oregon. Statistical comparisons suggest that their skeletal traits resemble the Tlingit. Skeletons of the Pacific Coast Athapaskans from both northern California and southern Oregon are found to be more variable than previously assumed for a population that migrated from the Northwest Pacific Coast approximately 1000 years ago. Ten sites with 1 to 28 individuals contribute to his total sample of 66 skeletons. Tasa also reports non-metric and metric observations for approximately 75 individuals from the roughly 2000 year old cemetery population recovered at Wildcat Canyon (25GM9) located near The Dalles on the Oregon side of the Columbia River (see annotation of Dumond and Minor ). Remains excavated by Cole and Cressman (1960) from some 68 burials (Burials 1-33, 35-47, 49-67, 70, 72, and 74) in this cemetery include the remains of about 75 individuals, and are curated at the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology. An informative description of measurement techniques and statistical methods precedes results for age estimations, sex determinations, sample bias, cranial metrics, cranial non-metrics, odontometrics, dental non-metrics, post cranial metrics, stature, and post-cranial non-metrics.
Cluster analysis of a subset of males and females from Tasa's samples show that Kalapuya (Fuller/Fanning/Yamhill?) and Wildcat Canyon populations are "quite dissimilar" from Pacific Coast Athapaskans. Coquille are only "slightly more similar." Non-metric traits were analysed using mean measure of divergence (MMD) and cluster analysis based on Euclidean distance, average linkage methods. Significant differences were found in estimates of stature from both skeletal samples (see Table 29) and the anthropometry of living peoples (Boas 1891). Males in the Chinook, Sahaptin and Wildcat Canyon samples represent significantly taller individuals when compared to males of all other Pacific Northwest peoples.
Non-metric cranial and sub-cranial data reveal clusters similar to metric data. Wildcat and Kalapuya samples are again distinct from Athapaskan samples which join in more related clusters. Dental non-metrics are compared with data from three lumped sample groups Aleut-Eskimo, Na-Dene, and Indian (Turner 1983, 1985, 1986). Tasa shows that PCA dental morphology deviates from the known range of other samples and that while PCA may lean toward the Sundadont pattern for some traits, a great amount of traits indicate the Sinodont pattern.
In a descriptive summary focused on the PCA, Tasa concludes that PCA neurocrania exhibit: average or broad heads, low cranial height, and relatively flat cranial base. Most cranial non-metric traits are found in ranges "in-line" with world samples, but several traits occur in low frequencies (such as various ossicles, and the absent mastoid foramen) and some in unusual high frequency (such as nuchal lines and accessory infraorbital foramen). PCA post-crania are robust (with sexual dimorphism), and exhibit low incidence of platymeria and platycnemia. Post-crania also exhibit low frequencies of non-metric traits such as third trochanter and the acetabular crease. A similar summary of the Wildcat Canyon is in progress. Appendix 55 includes ten spreadsheets for data that combine Tasa's Wildcat Canyon observations and those from Crates Point.
Ossenberg (1994) employs MMD for 25 nonmetric cranial traits. Her sample includes 50 recent and prehistoric samples (N=2800 individuals). Plots of MMD versus Spearman's r complement cluster analysis for depicting two-dimensional relationships between groups. Significantly 15 traits discriminate between Aluets and Eskimo and show intermediate placement for Athapaskans. Aluets are hypothesized to represent a relict Paleoartic population. Remains from Namu (N=25; 5000-2000 BP) cluster with Aleut and NaDene, although the remains from Namu also exhibit unique morphological characteristics such as external occipitals protuberance in some adults. Ossenberg remarks in her footnotes that the Namu crania do resemble the crania in samples with which they cluster according to nonmetric MMD.
Ossenberg (1994) reviews previous studies of craniometrics (Howells 1973,1989; Brace and Leonard 1989). She concludes that both types of data can be used to support Newman's (1952) older hypothesis that relatively late Aleut migrations involving a "Deneid" variety exerted profound influence on populations along the Pacific Northwest Coast, in the Southwest and on the Northern Plains. She finds that early American samples (Umnak, Kodiak Early, and Namu) are distant from Neolithic Japan and historic Ainu when compared according to nonmetric traits. However, Haida, Tlingit and Tungus might share affinity with Japan and Ainu. Ossenberg hypothesizes that the Paleo Tlingit-Haida populations might have Southeast Asian roots and could have founded a very early pebble-tool industry in the Pacific Northwest. Later Paleo Aleut-NaDene populations might have carried an 9000 year old immigrant microblade traditions to the coasts. By 5000 BP these populations are represented in the human remains from Umnak, Kodiak and Namu. Although she points to the lack of evidence for such a scenario she also remarks that the archaeological record is, " too incomplete to rule out the possibility of Proto-Mongoloid movements from Southeast Asia around the Pacific Littoral and in the New World" (1994: 106).
Several sets of investigators are collaborating on bioarchaeological studies within the Pacific Northwest. Most of this work is known through personal communication and few details are available in advance of publication. At least three sets of researchers are engaged in DNA studies, and three sets of researchers are undertaking projects to develop more extensive, region-wide osteological studies.
Dr. David Smith and his graduate students at UC-Davis are continuing efforts to recover and analyze DNA samples from teeth and bone. These efforts include work on the early Braden and DeMoss remains with Yohe and Pavesic (2000), and work on Congdon remains with Chatters and Hackenberger (2000). Merriwether et al.(1995) have also attempted to extract DNA from teeth from archaeological sites in Washington State (Chatters et al. 2000). Bonnichsen and Weitzel (1998) continue to refine their approaches to archaeologically recovering animal and human hair for DNA analysis. A collaboration is also developing around re-evaluating the bioarchaeology and osteology of the Karlo Site in Northern California (Breschini, personal communication 2000).
Loring Brace (University of Michigan) and Richard Jantz (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) are attempting to incorporate cranio-facial measurements from Pacific Northwest crania into their respective worldwide comparative databases. Jantz and Owsley (1999a) are performing multivariate analyses to explore differences between ancient crania and modern populations. They have recently argued that Buhl skeletal remains show differences between the ancient and modern populations, and that Buhl's morphometric traits are not similar to modern Native American groups; in fact they are closer to groups from the Pacific. They suggest that a source of the early migrants to America might be found in Asian Circumpacific populations. These populations are quite naturally variable, but their craniofacial morphology consists of cranial vaults that are large, long and narrow, forward projection of the face, and low faces. Polynesians and some ancestors to early California Indian populations probably came out of these populations. More recently Jantz and Owsley (2000) analyzed a sample of 11 crania (Spirit Cave, Wizards Beach, Browns Valley, Pelican Rapids, Prospect, Wet Gravel male, Wet Gravel female, Medicine Crow, Turin, Lime Creek, and Swanson Lake). The sample includes the pre-Mazama Prospect burial, from Oregon.
Each cranium was compared to 34 modern groups. Six crania (Prospect, Wet Gravel male, Wet Gravel female, Medicine Crow, Turin, and Wizards Beach) fall into the variation of modern groups; however, they do not show any particular affinity with nine modern Native American samples. When the crania are compared to each other they form three distinct groups. The first group is comprised of Browns Valley, Pelican Rapids, and Lime Creek. Turin and Medicine Crow make up the second group, and the third group consists of the Wet Gravel specimens, Swanson Lake, Prospect, Wizards Beach, and Spirit Cave. They conclude that their results are inconsistent with hypotheses of a single ancestral group and suggest that historic cranial variation is probably of recent origin.
As early as 1991 Brace and his collaborators (Brace et al. 1990) began to suggest that their multivariate analysis of the world-wide Michigan database showed that west coast Amerindian samples most closely aligned with the Jomon-Pacific samples. These ideas are cross-fertilizing with the Ossenberg (1994) scenario involving migrations of proto-mongoloid, Paleo Tlingit-Haida populations from Southeast Asia followed by later Paleo Aleut-NaDene populations. Brace and Nelson (personal communication 2000) are further developing the Circumpacific origins of early New World migrants. In this respect, Fenton and Nelson (personal communication 2000) are further exploring the affinity for the Buhl woman. Fenton is also addressing the related significance of the Buhl woman's Harris lines and Os Acromiale.
Neves and Blum (2000) are testing the recent claim that craniofacial observations of the Buhl Paleoindian remains are similar to other North American and East Asian populations. The measurements of the Buhl skull were compared to twenty-six modern populations (Howells), and to a Paleoindian skull from Lapa Vermelha, Brazil, which shows morphological similarities with Africans and Australians. Multivariate analysis shows that there is a great difference between the Paleoindian skulls, and when compared to the modern populations the skulls belong to different clusters. They suggest that at least two populations peopled the Americas; one with characteristic "Mongoloid morphology," and another with a generalized morphology.
Guy Tasa (University of Oregon) has recently expanded his efforts to construct an osteological database for Oregon. Tasa's work includes metric and non-metric data for crania, post-cranial remains and dentition. Equivalent data records compiled by the University of Idaho require similar computer database work in order to improve their value for comparative analysis. The TBMWSM and Central Washington University should conduct analysis of metric and non-metric records of human bone and teeth. Such analysis should be completed as part of their efforts to document cultural affiliations for NAGPRA consultations. Results from these studies should be incorporated into databases from the University of Idaho and University of Oregon.
All of the above works in progress have relevance for investigating the biological affinity and cultural affiliation of early human remains such as those of "Kennewick Man." Two works in progress have particular significance. One project involves the analysis of an early unprovenienced cranium (Chatters et al. 2000), the other involves initial comparative analysis of crania from across the Pacific Northwest (C.L. Brace, personal communication 2000) and the Columbia River Basin (Shumate and Hackenberger 2000).
CWU BOX- DO1: During the Central Washington University NAGPRA inventory, an unprovenienced neurocranium (CWU BOX- DO1) was identified to be remarkably similar to "Kennewick Man." Although the skull lacks provenience information, it may derive from eastern Washington. The corrected and uncorrected age estimates place the remains in a time range between 8000 and 9000 years ago (Chatters et al. 2000). Nuchal development, very large mastoid processes, a moderate supraorbital ridge and rounded supraorbital margin, mark this individual as male. The cranium is high, long, and narrow (cranial index 70.9, dolicocranic), with an unusually narrow cranial base and narrow, forwardly-placed face. Like the Kennewick skull (Chatters 2000) temporal lines occur high on the parietals and extend posteriorly to the lambdoidal suture. Superior and inferior nuchal lines are well developed and there is an inion hook. Morphometric analysis comparing CWU BOX -DO1 with the Howells worldwide database, shows that like most Paleoamerican skulls (e.g. Chatters et al. 1999, Jantz and Owsley 1999c), CWU-DO1 differs significantly from all modern peoples, but is most similar to Polynesians. Pending the results of additional forensic science work to determine the origin of the remains, CWU will explore possible cultural affiliation of CWU-DO1 in discussions with representatives of the region's Native American communities.
Comparative Analysis: Current studies of cranio-facial morphology are investigating patterns in measurements that may express biological affinity within and between Pacific Northwest populations. The majority of the sample of crania represent middle and late period populations, but the comparative analysis can be expanded to include earlier crania from the region and elsewhere. Different preferences for choice of measurements and statistical methods among researchers, fragmentary crania, and small sample sizes hamper definitive conclusions at this time. The conceptual ties between hypothesized biological affinities and possible cultural affiliation are also at issue.
Loring Brace (personal communication, 2000) has recently added a significant sample of cranio-facial measurements for the Pacific West and Northwest into his Michigan database. Many of these measurements are derived from crania in the Central Washington University osteological collection. His preliminary results show that a sample of undeformed crania fall near Haida and Jomon-Ainu-Polynesian samples opposite Athapascans and other Amerindian samples. D-square values are being calculated and plotted in order to determine possible levels of mixing that might be present among the Northwest samples. Such mixing is already well represented in a Patagonian sample that shows combinations of Jomon-derived and Amerindian-derived features. Most of the sample of unmodified crania lack documented archaeological contexts.
Shumate and Hackenberger (2000) have compiled data for a sample of some 70 male crania from across the Columbia Basin (see Appendix 41). The study is exploratory in nature; however, results are of potential interest to investigators studying Paleoindian crania. One interest is whether or not any middle or late period crania fall in the range of variation of the earliest sample. Another interest is if middle and later period samples from the Pacific Northwest separate into distinct subgroups.
The majority of the sample of Pacific Northwest crania in the Shumate and Hackenberger study comes from data records completed by Heglar (1957) and Mulinski and others (University of Idaho). The set of approximately 70 crania has measures for between 9 and 20 cranio-facial dimensions. A preliminary analysis using nine standard measures discriminates between a group of Polynesian-like Paleoindians and several groups of historic Amerindians (Richard Jantz, personal communication, 2000). Two Columbia Basin male crania fall near the Paleoindian cluster in the analysis (these fall on the upper right of the discriminate plots). One is from 45FR101 and one is from 45OK159. Both skulls like the Paleoindian crania are relatively long, narrow, and high vaulted. An outlier with some similar characteristics (long and narrow) is identified from the Wildcat Canyon Site (35GM9). This cranium also falls on the right side of plots and may represent a cranium with some degree of post-depositional modification. Most of the Columbia River Basin crania fall in the center of the discriminate plots; however, crania from 45FE44, 45GA110, and 45GA18 represent outliers on the opposite (left) side of the plots.
The implications of these results await detailed consideration of osteological data records, photographic records, and fuller evaluation of the archaeological contexts of the sample crania. Expanded analysis should include a larger battery of cranio-facial dimensions and enlarged samples of male and female crania. Attention should also be focused on cranial non-metric observations and dental measurements and observations. Clearly placing the "Kennewick Man" within this type of fuller regional investigation of cranial morphology and other osteological and dental traits holds promise for additional study of his possible phenotypic affinity and, based on other types of considerations, his possible cultural affiliation as interpreted under NAGPRA.