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Archaeological sites in Washington State

Science 1: The student understands and uses scientific concepts and principles.
Science 2: The student knows and applies the skills and processes of science and technology.

GRADE LEVEL: Secondary

BASIC CONCEPTS: Archaeological sites are nonrenewable resources that contribute to our sense of history and define our collective heritage. The wise management of these resources is our responsibility.

ORGANIZING GENERALIZATION: Archaeologists study artifacts, features, and sites to understand the human past. They use science to explain how human societies developed over time and how they used their environment. The three main goals of modern archaeology are: to establish a chronological framework of the past (How old is it?), to reconstruct the cultural patterns and lifeways of a give culture in the past (What did people do at this time and place in the past?), and how cultures have changed over time (What is the character and cause of cultural change?)

CULTURE AREA: Entire Washington State

TIME PERIOD: Pre-historic to present

BACKGROUND: There are over 11,000 archaeological sites on file with the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation. Workers in East Wenatchee in 1987 discovered a cache of beautiful, translucent chalcedony and jasper Clovis points and other tools. Clovis points are large fluted projectile points of the first definitely dated culture in the New World know as Clovis culture. At Lind Coulee, near Moses Lake, the butchered remains of a bison gave archaeologists evidence of everyday life 10,000 years ago. Typical archaeological sites of western Washington include: shell middens, open sites or campsites, pictographs and petroglyphs, caves or rockshelters, wet sites, culturally modified trees, basket trees or peeled cedars, and burial sites, islands or cemeteries. Research in the mountains has documented a variety of site types, such as: lithic sites, quarries, camp and village sites, rock structures, huckleberry trenches, and artifacts. Sites in the east include: residential sites, hunting sites, lithic scatters, fishing sites, gathering sites and pictographs and petroglyphs.


Knowledge Students will: (Science 1.3) understands how interactions within and among systems cause changes in matter and energy, and (Science 2.1) develops abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry.

Skills Students will: read the literature for the lesson, study the glossary terms, and investigate the topic with technological resources(Internet). Students will: (biological evolution) investigate and examine the scientific evidence used to develop theories for evolution, speciation, adaptation, and biological diversity. AND (questioning) study and analyze questions and related concepts that guide scientific investigations.

ACTIVITIES: Students will study the glossary of terms, read articles on Kennewick Man, review the law pertaining to Native American grave sites, and visit the archaeology website for more information. Students should be able to decide the issues concerning Kennewick Man: Why do the tribes claim these skeletal remains are one of their ancestors? What does the law pertaining to this issue state? Apply the three main goals of archaeology. Have these questions been answered? What more do the scientists that have been studying the remains want to know?

EXTENSIONS: Many articles have been written on this issue, as well as other archaeological sites and findings in Washington State. In-depth research projects that represent both sides of this issue could be accomplished within one weeks time, with presentation of papers culminating in a Socratic seminar (Round table discussion, opinions backed up by citations from research).

EVALUATION: The purpose is to promote an ethic of stewardship for archaeological resources. This lesson will help to instill a sense of respect and appreciation of these ancestral places.


Archaeology Online- Washington Archaeology Home Page- http://www.owt.com/mcas

Articles from News from Indian Country:
-Mid July 2000 issue - articles entitled "Mystery stone may have been used as observatory" and "Buried artifacts part of couple's lifelong collection" both articles page 7A

A Field Guide to Washington State Archaeology by M. Leland Stilson, Dan Meatte, and Robert Whitlam

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