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Journal Article

AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN THE PLAINS - FOOTHILLS ECOTONE, NORTHERN COLORADO

Lauri Travis
Plains Anthropologist
Vol. 33, No. 120 (May 1988), pp. 171-186
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25668754
Page Count: 16
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AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEY IN THE PLAINS - FOOTHILLS ECOTONE, NORTHERN COLORADO
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Abstract

The study area is located northwest of Loveland, in Larimer County, Colorado. It is on and immediately adjacent to the first major hogback, the Dakota formation, which rises at the western edge of the Great Plains. This location provides a magnificent view in all directions and supports an abundance of plant, animal and geological resources. The survey covered an area measuring about 2.5 miles from north to south. The east-west dimension follows the sinuous contour of the hogback. At its widest part this dimension is about a half mile. Twenty-seven sites were recorded and surface collections made over a period of years. The relatively dense site occurrence was examined to determine settlement patterns, site function, and chronological placement. Fourteen sites contained chronologically diagnostic artifacts which assisted in temporal placement. Of these, 12 are considered to have had multi-component occupations. One site produced a Paleo-Indian point, seven sites had evidence of Early Archaic occupation, seven sites had evidence representing the Middle Archaic period, 12 sites had evidence of Late Archaic occupation, 11 sites indicated the early Ceramic Hogback phase, one site had what is thought to be a Middle Ceramic teepee ring, and one site had a slab and dead tree structure that is interpreted to date from either the Late Ceramic Period or the Historic Contact Period. Examination of environmental variables revealed the preference for campsites located on easterly sloping shelves protected from the prevailing west winds. A preference for open, relatively flat areas in the Mountain Mahogany or Mountain Mahogany- Ponderosa Pine communities is also present. The ridge itself provides views over the surrounding landscape that would have been excellent for general surveillance.

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