A Collection of Crescents from the Alvord Desert Area, Southeastern Oregon

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The recovery of chipped-stone crescents, though common in the Great Basin (Amick 1995; Tadlock 1966), are reported from sites throughout the western United States (Beck and Jones 1997; Justice 2002). Associated with late Pleistocene-Early Holocene contexts (Beck and Jones 1997; Tadlock 1966), many are found along the shorelines of Pluvial lakes. Crescents, which date in a range between 11 ,000 and 7000 RCYBP (Beck and Jones 1997; justice 2002), exhibit considerable morphological variation. A number of crescents have been reported from southcentral and southeastern Oregon from both surface and excavated contexts (Bedwell 1973; Butler 1970; Cressman et al. 1936; 1942; Fagan 1988). Butler (1970) developed a typology for 84 crescents from Coyote Flat in southeastern Oregon. He describes seven distinct types (Groups A-G), though the collection is largely represented by "classic" lunar or lunate items and crescent-shaped items having a slightly indented straightedge opposite the lunar crest. These items have the appearance of having been "backed." The former type resembles what Tadlock (1966:662- 666) refers to as Type I ("quarter moon") crescents.

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