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Cultural History Phases

CRAIG MOUNTAIN PHASE
The Craig Mountain Phase developed from the Coopers Ferry II Phase and began around 8,400 years ago. More is known about these people since more scientific archeological excavations have been conducted on these sites in the region. There is increased settlement and use of the riparian zone.
Stone tools included various knives, scrapers, and projectile points. These people did not use the bow and arrow. The bow and arrow was probably not in use until between 1,000 to 2,000 years ago. Instead, these folks used spears and atlatls. An atlatl was a kind of spear-thrower. A wooden shaft from one to two feet long was held in the hand with the spear rested on a groove in the shaft. The spear was then thrown using a sweeping overhand motion. The shaft acted like a third segment of the arm, allowing the spear to be thrown with great velocity and distance. 
atlatl
 
Deer and elk were the primary large game animals hunted. A few antelope and bison remains have been found as well. Fish became a more important food item although not a major one during this phase.
 
Approximately 6,700 years ago, during the Craig Mountain Phase, Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake, Oregon) erupted, covering this area with a layer of ash about 6 inches deep. The archeological material found both above and below the ash does not have any major differences. Based on the archeological evidence, there did not appear to be any significant impact on the people from the ash fall.
 
During this phase climatic changes were occurring with a shift from mild, dry winters and hot, dry summers to cool, wet winters and warm, moist summers.

Projectile Points and fragments of the Craig Mountain Phase. Scale and divisions are in Centimeters.Projectile Points and fragments of the Craig Mountain Phase. Scale and divisions are in Centimeters. (Source: Cultural Chronology of the Lower Salmon River (pdf), DAVIS, Loren G., Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University)

Read about the
evolution of projectile points

Rocky Canyon Phase Grave Creek Phase Craig Mountain Phase Coopers Ferry II Phase Coopers Ferry I Phase Camas Prarie Phase Historic Phase

Sifting through the volcanic ash of Mt. Mazama
Sifting through the gray layer
of volcanic ash from the
Mt. Mazama eruption.


artifact yet to be catalogued
artifact (awl?) to be catalogued
from the Craig Mountain Phase

More Links

Summary of Early Idaho Archaeologic Sites

Cultural Chronology of the Lower Salmon River (pdf), DAVIS, Loren G., Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

Measuring Late Quaternary Geoecological Relationships In The Lower Salmon River Canyon, Idaho, DAVIS, Loren G., Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

Geoarchaeological Perspectives and Archaeological Interpretations of Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherer Cultural Behavior in the Lower Salmon River Canyon, Idaho, DAVIS, Loren G., Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University
Central place foraging and the winter village: a settlement pattern analysis in the Lower Salmon River Canyon in Idaho, CARLISLE, Kendra, (pdf thesis) Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University

More research by Loren G. Davis

Our Cultural Heritage (967kb. pdf) A Fragile Record of the Last 12,000 Years along the Lower Salmon River