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Title: Folsom Mammoth Hunters? The Terminal Pleistocene Assemblage From Owl Cave (10BV30), Wasden Site, Idaho

The 1960s and 1970s excavations at Owl Cave (10BV30) recovered mammoth bone and Folsom-like points from the same strata, suggesting evidence for a post-Clovis mammoth kill. However, a synthesis of the excavation data was never published, and the locality has since been purged from the roster of sites with human/extinct megafauna associations. In this paper, we present dates on bone from the oldest stratum, review provenience data, conduct a bone-surface modification study, and present the results of a protein-residue analysis. Our study fails to make the case for mammoth hunting by Folsom peoples. Although two of the point fragments tested positive for horse or elephant protein, recent AMS dates indicate that all of the mammoth remains predate Folsom, and horse remains are absent from the Owl Cave collection. Further, no unambiguously cultural surface modifications were identified on any of the mammoth remains. Given the available data, the Owl Cave deposits are most parsimoniously read as containing a Folsom-age occupation in a buried context, the first of its kind in the desert West, but one nonetheless part of a palimpsest of terminal Pleistocene materials.
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4]
  1. Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
  2. Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States). Dept. of Sociology, Social Work and Anthroplogy
  3. California State Univ., Bakersfield, CA (United States)
  4. College of Southern Idaho, Twin Falls, ID (United States). Herrett Center for Arts and Science
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7316; applab; PII: S0002731617000142
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
American Antiquity
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 82; Journal Issue: 03; Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7316
Research Org:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE); Idaho Museum of Natural History (IMNH), Pocatello, ID (United States); Idaho Heritage Trust, Boise, ID (United States)
Contributing Orgs:
Fresno Chaffee Zoo, Fresno, CA (United States); The Archaeological Conservancy, Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS; Folsom; Idaho; Mammoth; Owl Cave
OSTI Identifier: