An Ice Patch Artifact and Paleobiological Specimen from the Teton Mountains, Wyoming, USA
Issue: Vol 2 (2015)
Journal: Journal of Glacial Archaeology
Subject Areas: Archaeology
During the 2014 field season of the Teton Archaeological Project (TAP), twelve permanent snowfields and ice patches in the Teton Mountains were investigated for thawing organic artifacts and paleobiological specimens. During this survey, the TAP team identified two ice patches that contained faunal remains, non-cultural Douglas Fir (c. 6,000 cal. BP), and a possibly modified fragment of Whitebark Pine (c. 2,700 cal. BP). The results of this project demonstrate that ice patches have remained preserved in the Teton Range for at least 6,000 years and that organic artifacts and paleobiological specimens are actively thawing due to increasing temperatures. Furthermore, the data acquired from the organic ice patch material offers fresh information regarding the prehistoric use of high elevations in northwestern Wyoming during harsh climatic periods, and provides an environmental context for interpreting middle Holocene occupations above modern day tree line in the Teton Range.
Author: Rebecca A. Sgouros, Matthew A. Stirn
Adams, Richard. 2003. “Soapstone Research in Memory of J.D. Love, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.” University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report 27: 3–21.
———. 2004. “Continuing Soapstone Reasearch in Memory of J.D. Love, Teton Range, Wyoming.” University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report 28: 13–27.
———. 2010. “Archaeology with Altitude: Late Prehistoric Settlement and Subsistence in the Northern Wind River Range, Wyoming.” Unpublished PhD Dissertation, University of Wyoming.
Adams, Richard, Bryon Alan Schroeder, and Orrin Koenig. 2009. “Prehistoric Alpine Villages in the Wind River Range, Wyoming.” Paper presented at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference, Gunnison, Colorado.
Alix, Claire, Gregory Hare, Thomas Andrews, and Glen Mackay. 2012. “A Thousand Years of Lost Hunting Arrows:Wood Analysis of Ice Patch Remains in Northwestern Canada.” Arctic 65(1): 95–117.
Andrews, Thomas D. and Glen MacKay. 2012. “The Archaeology and Paleoecology of Alpine Ice Patches: a Global Perspective.” Arctic 65(1): 3–6. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4181
Andrews, Thomas, Glen Mackay, and Leon Andrew. 2012. “Archaeological Investigations of Alpine Ice Patches in the Selwyn Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada.” Arctic 65(1) : 1–21. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4182
Andrews, Thomas, Glen Mackay, Leon Andrew, Wendy Stephenson, Amy Barker, Claire Alix, and Shutagot’ine Elders. 2012. “Alpine Ice Patches and Shúhtagot’ine Land Use in the Mackenzie and Selwyn Mountains, Northwest Territories, Canada.” Arctic 65(1): 22–42. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4183
Bender, Susan. 1978. “Prehistoric Man in the High Country: the Archaeology of the Northern Tetons.” University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report 2: 3–7.
———. 1981. “Report on the Collection and Analysis of Botanical Data in the Northern Mountains of Grand Teton National Park.” Research report prepared for Grand Teton National Park, by the Midwest Archaeological Center.
———. 1983. “Hunter-Gatherer Subsistence in a Mountainous Environment: the Prehistory of the Northern Tetons.” Unpublished PhD Dissertation, State University of New York, Albany.
Bender, Susan, and Gary Wright. 1988. “High-Altitude Occupations, Cultural Process, and High Plains Prehistory: Retrospect and Prospect.” American Anthropologist 90(3): 619–639. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1988.90.3.02a00060
Bettinger, Robert. 1991. “Aboriginal Occupation at High Altitude:in the White Mountains of Eastern California.” American Anthropologist 93(3): 656–679. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/aa.1991.93.3.02a00070
———. 2012. “High Elevation Archaeology in the Western United States.” Paper presented at the Great Basin Anthropological Conference, Stateline, NV.
Brunelle, Andrea, Thomas A Minckley, Elliott Lips, and Paul Burnett. 2013. “A Record of Lateglacial/Holocene Environmental Change From a High-Elevation Site in the Intermountain West, USA.” Journal of Quaternary Science 28(1): 103–112. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.2600
Cannon, Kenneth, Dawn Bringelson, and Molly Cannon. 2004. “Hunter-Gatherers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming: Testing Assumptions About Site Function.” In Hunters and Gatherers in Theory and Archaeology, edited by George Crothers, 103–124. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University. Occasional Papers No. 31.
Dixon, E James, Martin Eugene Callanan, Albert Hafner, and P G Hare. 2014. “The Emergence of Glacial Archaeology.” Journal of Glacial Archaeology 1(1): 1–9. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/jga.v1i1.1
Eakin, Daniel H. 2005. “Evidence for Shoshonean Mountain Sheep Trapping and Early Historic Occupation in the Absaroka Mountains of Northwest Wyoming.” No. 29. University of Wyoming/National Park Service Research Center Annual Report.
Edmunds, Jake, Glenn Tootle, Greg Kerr, Ramesh Sivanpillai, and Larry Pochop. 2012. “Glacier Variability(1967-2006) in the Teton Range, Wyoming, United States.” Journal of the American Water Resources Association 48(187-196): 1–10.
Fall, Patricia, P Thompson Davis, and Gregory Zielinski. 1995. “Late Quaternary Vegetation and Climate of the Wind River Range, Wyoming.” Quaternary Research 43(3): 1–12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/qres.1995.1045
Farnell, R., P.G. Hare, E. Blake, B. Bowyer, C. Schweger, and S. Greer. 2004. “Multidisciplinary Investigations of Alpine Ice Patches in Southwest Yukon, Canada: Paleoenvironmental and Paleobiological Investigations. Arctic 57(3): 247–259. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic502
Finley, Chris C, and Judson Finley. 2004. “The Boulder Ridge Archaeological Inventory: a Late Prehistoric/Early Historic Shoshone Landscape in Northwestern Wyoming.” Report prepared for the Shoshone National Forest, USDA, Cody, Wyoming.
Frison, George C. 1991. Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains. 2nd ed. New York : Academic Press.
Fryxell, Fritiof. 1935. “Glaciers of the Grand Teton National Park of Wyoming.” The Journal of Geology 43(4): 381–397. http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/624317
Gugger, Paul F, and Shinya Sugita. 2010. “Glacial Populations and Postglacial Migration of Douglas-Fir Based on Fossil Pollen and Macrofossil Evidence.” Quaternary Science Reviews 29(17/18): 2052–2070. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.04.022
Hare, P., R. Greer, R. Gotthardt, R. Farnell, B. Bowyer, C. Schweger, and D. Strand. 2004. “Ethnographic and Archaeological Investigations of Alpine Ice Patches in Southwest Yukon, Canada.” Arctic 65(1): 260–272. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic503
Hare, P., C. Thomas, T. Topper, and R. Gotthardt. 2012. “The Archaeology of Yukon Ice Patches: New Artifacts, Observations, and Insights.” Arctic 57: 260–272. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4188
Ion, P.G., and G.P. Kershaw. 1989. “The Selection of Snowpatches as Relief Habitat by Woodland Caribou(Rangifer tarandus caribou), Macmillan Pass, Selwyn/Mackenzie Mountains, N.W.T., Canada.” Arctic and Alpine Research 21(2): 203–211. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/1551633
Kuzyk, G.W., D.E. Russell, R.E. Farnel, R.M. Gotthardt, P.G. Hare and E. Blake. 1999. “In Pursuit of Prehistoric Caribou on Thandlat, Southern Yukon.” Arctic 52(2): 214–215. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic924
Lee, Craig. 2012. “Withering Snow and Ice in the Mid-Latitudes: a New Archaeological and Paleobiological Record for the Rocky Mountain Region.” Arctic 65: 165–177. http://dx.doi.org/10.14430/arctic4191
———. 2014. “Melting Snow and Ice at the Crossroads of Culture and Climate Change, Phase 1: Ranking Greater Yellowstone Area Snow and Ice Resources with Archaeological and Paleobiological Potential .” Report Prepared for Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, Bozeman, Montana.
Lee, Craig, Robert L Kelly, Rachel Reckin, Ira Matt, and Pei-Lin Yu. 2014. “Ice Patch Archaeology in Western North America.” The SAA Archaeological Record 14(2): 15–19.
Losey, Ashley. 2013. “Risk and Climate at High Elevation: a Z-Score Model Case Study for Prehistoric Human Occupation of Wyoming’s Wind River Range.” Unpublished MSc Dissertation, Logan: Utah State University.
Macfarlane, Robert. 2004. Mountains of the Mind. London: Vintage Press.
Mensing, S, J Korfmacher, T Minckley, and R Musselman. 2012. “A 15,000 Year Record of Vegetation and Climate Change From a Treeline Lake in the Rocky Mountains, Wyoming, USA.” The Holocene 22(7): 739–748. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683611430339
Morgan, Christopher, Ashley Losey, and Lukas Trout. 2014. “Late-Holocene Paleoclimate and Treeline Fluctuation in Wyoming’s Wind River Range, USA.” The Holocene 24(2): 209–219. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959683613516817
Morgan, Christopher, Ashley Losey, and Richard Adams. 2012. “High-Altitude Hunter-Gatherer Residential Occupations in Wyoming’s Wind River Range.” North American Archaeologist 33(1): 35–79. http://dx.doi.org/10.2190/NA.33.1.d
Morgan, Christopher, Robert Bettinger, and Mark Giambastiani. 2014. “Aboriginal Alpine Ceremonialism in the White Mountains, California.” Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 34(2): 161–179.
Oeggl, Klaus, Werner Kofler, Alexandra Schmidl, James H Dickson, Eduard Egarter-Vigl, and Othmar Gaber. 2007. “The Reconstruction of the Last Itinerary of “Ötzi’, the Neolithic Iceman, by Pollen Analyses From Sequentially Sampled Gut Extracts.” Quaternary Science Reviews 26(7/8): 853–861. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2006.12.007
Page, Michael, and Marcia Peterson. 2015. “The Game Creek Site(48TE1573): 10,350 Years of Human Occupation in Southern Jackson Hole, Wyoming.” Edited by Marcia Peterson. Technical Report Prepared By and Archived At The Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist, Laramie, WY.
Peterson, Marcia. 2015. “A Cultural Resources Inventory of the Alaska Basin Trail and Portions of the Alaska Basin, Teton County, Wyoming.” Report Prepared for Caribou-Targhee National Forest by the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist.
Puseman, Kathryn. 2015. “Indentification of Wood Fragments From an Ice Patch in the Teton Range, Wyoming.” Technical Report 15009 prepared by Paleoscapes Archaeobotanical Services for the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum.
Reckin, Rachel. 2013. “Ice Patch Archaeology in Global Perspective: Archaeological Discoveries From Alpine Ice Patches Worldwide and Their Relationship Wth Paleoclimates.” Journal of World Prehistory 26: 323–385. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10963-013-9068-3
Rice, Janine, Andrew Tredennick, and Linda Joyce. 2012. “Climate Change on the Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming: a Synthesis of Past Climate, Climate Projections, and Ecosystem Implications.” Report No. RMRS-GTR-264. United States Department of Agriculture / Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
Rogers, Stephanie R, Mauro Fischer, and Matthias Huss. 2014. “Combining Glaciological and Archaeological Methods for Gauging Glacial Archaeological Potential.” Journal of Archaeological Science 52(C): 410–420. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.09.010
Ryd, Y. 2010. “Saami Hunting with Bow & Arrow.” Paper presented at the 2nd International Glacial Archaeology Symposium, 5-7 October, Trondheim, Norway.
Scheiber, Laura, and Judson Finley. 2010. “Mountain Shoshone Technological Transitions Across the Great Divide.” In Across the Great Divide: Culture Contact and Culture Change in North America at AD 1500, edited by Laura Scheiber and M Mitchell, 128–148. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
Stirn, Matthew. 2014. “Why All the Way Up There? Mountain and High-Altitude Archaeology.” The SAA Archaeological Record 14(2): 7–10.
———. 2014b. “Modeling Site Location Patterns Amongst Late-Prehistoric Villages in the Wind River Range, Wyoming.” The Journal of Archaeological Science 41: 523–532. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2014.09.010
Stirn, Matthew, and Rebecca Sgouros. 2015. “The Teton Archaeological Project: Report From the 2014 Inaugural Field Season.” University of Wyoming National Park Service Research Center Annual Report. [In Press]
Stirn, Matthew, Rebecca Sgouros, Robert Curran, Meghan Jones, and Connor Johnen. 2015. “The Teton Archaeological Project: a Preliminary Report of the 2014 Field Season.” Poster presented at the 80th annual Society of American Archaeology Conference, San Francisco, CA.
Tercek, Michael T, Stephen T Gray, and Christopher M Nicholson. 2012. “Climate Zone Delineation: Evaluating Approaches for Use in Natural Resource Management.” Environmental Management 49(5): 1076–1091. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00267-012-9827-4
Thomas, David Hurst. 2013a. “Engineering Alta Toquima: Social Investments and Dividends at 11,000 Feet.” In Engineering Mountain Landscapes, edited by Maria N Zedeno and Laura Scheiber, 1–28. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.
———. 2013b. “Alta Toquima: Why Did Foraging Families Spend Summers at 11,000 Feet?.” In Archaeology for All Times: Papers in Honor of Don D. Fowler, edited by Joel Janetski and Nancy Parezo. University of Utah Press.
Thomas, David Hurst, and Robert Bettinger. 1976. “Prehistoric Pinon Ecotone Settlements of the Upper Reese River Valley, Central Nevada.” Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History 53: 263–366.
Walsh, Kevin. 2005. “Risk and Marginality at High Altitudes: New Interpretations From Fieldwork on the Faravel Plateau, Hautes-Alpes.” Antiquity 79(304): 289–305.
Walsh, Kevin, Suzi Richer, and J L de Beaulieu. 2006. “Attitudes to Altitude: Changing Meanings and Perceptions Within a “Marginal’ Alpine Landscape—the Integration of Palaeoecological and Archaeological Data in a High-Altitude Landscape in the French Alps.” World Archaeology 38(3): 436–454. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438240600813392
Whitlock, Cathy. 1993. “Postglacial Vegetation and Climate of Grand Teton and Southern Yellowstone National Parks.” Ecological Monographs 63(2): 173–198. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2937179
Whitlock, Cathy, and Patrick Bartlein. 1993. “Spatial Variations of Holocene Climatic Change in the Yellowstone Region.” Quarternary Research 39: 231–238. http://dx.doi.org/10.1006/qres.1993.1026
Whitlock, Cathy, Walter E Dean, Sherilyn C Fritz, Lora R Stevens, Jeffery R Stone, Mitchell J Power, Joseph R Rosenbaum, Kenneth L Pierce, and Brandi B Bracht-Flyr. 2012. “Holocene Seasonal Variability Inferred From Multiple Proxy Records From Crevice Lake, Yellowstone National Park, USA.” Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 331-332(C): 90–103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2012.03.001
Wright, Gary. 1984. People of the High Country: Jackson Hole Before the Settlers. Berne, Switzerland: Peter Lang Publishing.
Wright, Gary, Susan Bender, and Stuart Reeve. 1980. “High Country Adaptations.” Plains Anthropologist 25(89): 181–197.