Aboriginal Trails - Passport in Time

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Into the Woods: Rediscovering the Aboriginal Trails of Black Hills

Fremont-Winema National Forest, Oregon, 2009
by Michelle Durant, East Side Archaeologist, Fremont-Winema National Forests

Due to complications, the project only occurred on July 31, 2009 with two volunteers. The morning was spent introducing the volunteers to the project map and the types of features and artifacts they may encounter in the field. The project map, created using a Geographical Information System (GIS), was an 1896 General Land Office map showing aboriginal trails superimposed over USGS topographical quadrangles. For additional orientation, the volunteers were taken to Spodue Mountain. From the summit, the view was spectacular and everyone could see how the area that we would be surveying in fit into the landscape. Once in the field, survey technique was discussed and we set off.

The survey was successful, one rock stack feature and two lithic scatters were recorded. In one of the lithic scatter sites, one basalt projectile point tip and one large obsidian biface were found. It is too early yet in this research to make a connection between the findings and the aboriginal trails, but everyone enjoyed their day in the field.
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