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Archaeology of the Snake River Plain

Snake River Plain book cover

by Mark G. Plew3rd Edition (2016)
ISBN:  978-0-9893325-0-7
326 pp.

COST:  $36.95

There are several ways to order:

  1. Credit card:  go to the Boise State online purchasing website (Touchnet)
  2. Check or money order:  complete and print the Publications Order Form and mail it to the Department of Anthropology, 1910 University Drive, Boise State University, Boise, ID  83725-1950

View Table of Contents


This work represents the first major synthesis of the prehistory of the Snake River Plain.  Discussions include chronology, depositional/ post-depositional site context, material culture variability, ecofactual data, and site function.  The book uses a period chronology that includes Paleo-Indian, Early, Middle, and Late Archaic and Protohistoric/Historic periods and consists of eleven chapters. The first chapter provides a history of archaeological research in Idaho while chapter two provides an overview of geology, climate, and floral/faunal communities of the plain. Chapters three and four outline the ethnographic/historic context and summarize the chronologies of the eastern and western plains. Chapter five reviews the paleo-environmental setting of the eastern and western plains while chapter six discusses the evidence of Paleo-Indian (12,000-8,000 B.P.) occupations of the plain.  Review of the excavations at Wilson Butte Cave, Wasden Site, and at Jaguar Cave are included as is summary of the Buhl burial.  Chapter seven summarizes Early Archaic (8,000-5,000 B.P.) components while chapter eight reviews the less known Middle Archaic (5,000-2,000 B.P.) occupations of the plain. Chapter nine includes an extensive discussion of the Late Archaic (2,000-250 B.P. Discussion of increased sedentism, elaboration in material culture, intensification in the use of anadromous fish, and funerary behavior on the western plain are included.  Discussions of settlement/landscape archaeology, rock art, and stone alignment complexes are summarized in the context of the Late Archaic. Chapter ten summarizes the archaeological record of Protohistoric and Historic occupations while the final chapter provides summary of the major developments in Idaho archaeology.