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ONLINE ONLY: Redmond Caves - An Archaeological Treasure in an Urban Landscape

Wednesday, May 19, 2021, 2:00 PM

This is a live webinar. Register here to receive the Zoom link or click on Register Here above.

A recording of this event will be available after 5/21.

Discover remarkable insights into human use of the area over the last 4,000 years revealed by archaeological fieldwork at the Redmond Caves.

Between 2003 and 2006, the University of Oregon Archaeological Field School conducted archaeological fieldwork at Redmond Caves (35DS173), five lava tubes located just south of the community of Redmond. The last scientific excavations occurred in the caves in 1940 and that work was followed by decades of intensive looting. U of O students employed a variety of techniques to identify intact cultural deposits inside two of the caves and recovered an impressive array of artifacts. The artifacts include a variety of projectile points, knives, beads of various kinds, and bone tools such as an elk antler digging stick handle. The archaeological evidence suggests that both trade and subsistence were important factors in the use of the caves. Bone fragments reveal the types of animals that were being captured for sustenance and plant seeds indicate the use of locally available species as well as those from distant desert lakes. Collectively, the assemblage offers remarkable insights into human use of the area over the last 4,000 years, suggesting that the lava tubes may have served as a crossroads for travelers from both the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau moving back and forth along the Deschutes River corridor. The talk will include information on the historic background, excavation techniques, the artifact assemblage, and the results of various analyses including obsidian sourcing and hydration, radiocarbon dating, and faunal and botanical studies.

This program presented in partnership with the Redmond Historical Landmarks Commission "Saving Places" event series.

Patrick O'Grady is a staff archaeologist at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. He was an archaeologist for the Oregon Department of Transportation from 2002–2005, and has also worked for the Burns District Bureau of Land Management. O'Grady earned B.S. (1996), M.S. (1999), and Ph.D. (2006) degrees from the University of Oregon. He has been involved in University of Oregon field schools since 1994 and as an instructor since 2000. Primary research interests include hunter-gatherer subsistence practices, late Pleistocene - early Holocene cultural transitions in the Great Basin of western North America, zooarchaeology, mobility patterns, and remote sensing applications, particularly ground penetrating radar. His Master's research "Human Occupation Patterns in the Uplands: An Analysis of Sourced Obsidian Projectile Points from Playa Villages in the Fort Rock Uplands, Lake County, Oregon" was an exploration of highland village settlement and mobility patterns in the uplands between the Fort Rock and Summer Lake basins in south-central Oregon. His Ph.D. research "Before Winter Comes: Archaeological Investigations of Settlement and Subsistence in Harney Valley, Harney County, Oregon" is an examination of mid to late Holocene multi-elevation land use patterns encompassing wetland to upland settings.

Phone: (541) 312-1032
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