The purpose of this web site is to provide easy access to information about the Biderbost-Thompson Archaeological Site (45SN100) situated in the eastern foothills of the Puget Sound basin in the state of Washington (USA).
On the world stage, 45SN100 is significant for three reasons.
1) Its lithic industry combines a blade technology that rivals any of Upper Palaeolithic Europe, a microblade technology as well developed as any in the arctic, a classic atl atl dart technology, a highly diversified cobble tool technology, and a good range of ground stone implements as well. A substantial proportion of this material is made of materials that have come from distant sources, making the industry a classic candidate for reduction analysis.
2) 45SN100 is one of those uncommon sites whose midden has a lateral facies where perishable artifacts and debris are perfectly preserved and abundant. This makes it possible to examine the articulation between the lithic and perishable technologies, and to identify the technological role of manuports.
3) 45SN100 is part of a cluster of sites in the eastern Puget Sound basin that collectively bear on the question of how archaeological cultures are defined and recognized in the context of hunting and gathering societies. Ethnographically, the eastern Puget Sound basin was vertically integrated, with societies occupying and exploiting territories that extended from open salt water, through estuaries, and up the river valleys to alpine meadows. Archaeologically, the eastern foothills of the basin contain a succession of industries that are far more similar to counterparts in the interior Columbia Plateau than to contemporaneous sites along the shores and estuaries of Puget Sound. This is a situation that goes to the heart of the problem of how we understand the concept of culture in the context of archaeology.
On this web site, you will find reprints of the original research articles on the materials from 45SN100, supplementary pages with annotated photographs of the original excavation and many of the artifacts recovered from it, and the original catalog.
The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture houses the collections from 45SN100 and has developed an excellent web presentation of site information and materials, particularly the perishable artifacts.
Visit the Burke Museum presentation.
INITIAL POSTING: 14 AUG 2008
LATEST REVISION/ADDITION: 19 MAR 2011