Recent Analyses of Fibre Perishables from Promontory Caves, UT

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Elizabeth Ann Goldberg

Abstract

Recent analyses of the Promontory Caves assemblages by Ives and colleagues (Billinger and Ives 2015; Hallson 2017; Ives 2014; Ives et al. 2014; Reilly 2015) have renewed interest in Julian Steward’s (1937) hypothesis that the thirteenth century inhabitants of the Promontory Caves have ties to Northern Dene language-speakers, thus shedding new light on Dene migration and Apachean origins. These studies have largely focused on the similarities between Northern Dene and Promontory moccasins, but other artifact classes—namely fibre perishables—have yet to be examined. This paper synthesizes conclusions drawn from the author’s prior research into matting and cordage recovered from the Promontory Caves in comparison to a neighboring Fremont cordage assemblage from the site of Lakeside Cave, with some suggestive differences emerging from material, structure, and knot types. These preliminary results suggest avenues for future comparative analyses of the Promontory perishable artifacts.

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