Publication Date


Type of Culminating Activity


Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology



Major Advisor

Mark G. Plew, Ph.D.


In 1986 and 1987, an important Late Archaic period site was excavated at Three Island Crossing (10-EL-294), near Glenns Ferry, Idaho. As ethnographic reports depict extensive reliance upon salmon for winter consumption (Steward, 1938; Murphy and Murphy, 1960) the recovery of 19,000 fish remains was significant. Analysis of this assemblage demonstrated that the minimum number of individual fish recovered was around 300. Equally important were radiocarbon analyses that identified three distinct Late Archaic occupations. Of note was the recovery of a structure and storage suggesting semi-permanent residence. A subsequent excavation was undertaken at Three Island Crossing in 2008 to determine the eastern extent of the site area, to determine if similar features were to be found, and whether variances in diet breadth might be identified. While the site does appear to extend on to the eastern portion of the terrace, few cultural materials and no features or fish remains were found. Excavations were conducted again in 2010 to delineate site boundaries and collect further evidence regarding native diet breadth and mobility. Diet breadth includes fish, deer, rabbits and mollusks, but with no apparent preference for fish. Excavations identified two activity areas, though no additional structures or storage features were found. Further assessment of mobility as it relates to the collector-forager continuum was examined using Kelly’s (2001) Mobility Index. Both 1986-87 and 2010 assemblages were analyzed. The technological organization of these assemblages suggests a highly mobile lifeway.