The Buhl Burial: A Paleoindian Woman from Southern Idaho

by Thomas J. Green, Gene L. Titmus, James C. Woods, Todd W. Fenton, Bruce Cochran
The Buhl Burial: A Paleoindian Woman from Southern Idaho
Thomas J. Green, Gene L. Titmus, James C. Woods, Todd W. Fenton, Bruce Cochran
American Antiquity
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Thomas J. Green, Bruce Cochran, Todd W. Fenton, James C. Woods, Gene L. Titmus, Lai~y Tieszen, Mary Anne Davis, Susanne J. Miller

111 Jttri11rirl, 1989 high\i'ny ,110r.ker.s erzcoriritered lzirrrrnrr skeletal remairzs irr n gravel quctr-ry irz so~rtlz-cerzrrnl Irlnlio rtenr tlie rorvrz of B~rirl. E.rcni~crtion reivnled tile rerrznirzs of n yourig Pttleoirrdinn ,I1omnrz, 17-21 yecrrs of trge ctt tile tirrze of tletrtlr, ,ilith wnrziqfncinl nrtribute.r siritilnr- ro other. Nor-rh Arrzer.icnn Irrrlinrt nrrrl Ensr Asinrr popultrtioris. She nv.r biirietl in ~vintlblo\i~ii ciritl collirvinl .rediriierits irnrrzetlintely oi~erl?ing Borzr~eville flood grrrvel. Grave good.r irzclrrrle n lnrge .rterrrrned bijkce, nri eved rzee- dle, nrzrl a borte irr~plerrient of irrzkr~o\vrz,firnction. Isotopic arlalysis suggests a diet of rlrent ctntl,fish, irrcli/dirig nrinr1rornoct.r jisli. Rnrliogrn[~/zsshobi' r~~rriieroiis [~er-ior1.rof rlietnr? stress tizro~~gl~oiir

rlze woninn's childhood. AMS (nccelerntor. rilrrss spectrvr,i- ern) rlatirig ir~tliccrres nrr nge of 10,675+95 B.P, nrirl georrzorplzologicnl studies verlfi t1zi.r sirigle rnrliocnr.bon rltire srrgge.rtirig it is ?lie bitrictl's riziriirrzririr nge. Follorvirtg Irlnlio Sttrre In~r; the skelerori M,n.r clnirned by the Sho.~liorre-Bnrznock rribe.r of Irlnho nrtd r-eblrr-ierl.

Eri enero rle 1989, trrrbrijnr1or.e~ ciel tleprirmr~zerrto de cnrr.etern.r cie.rciibrieron restos de esqueleros eri irricr ccinter-n tle cnscnjo ert k1 wgidr~ siul-cerrtrtrl de Itlcrho, cerccr del p~teblo Birhl. Ltts excnvctciones ~.evelcrron 10s resros rle Lrrln ri~iijer. Pnleoir~din tle 17 n 21 riiios tle etlarl a1 riernpo rle su rilirerte, coil nrr-ibrtros crnneofnciales sirriilar-es n orras poblaciorzes de iritlios norrenriter-icctrzos y del esre de Asin. Ellnfire erirer-rndn en .redirnerzro.r .roplndos por el viento y colr~vinles, precisnrizer~te sobre 10s cn.rcajo.r ccrrisndo.r [lor lcrs c~escierztes del logo Borzrze~~ille. irrzn purlin de tnllo rle tcirrzniio grnrttle, una ngrrjtr cori ojo, y 1411

Objeros CII la turiibcr ir~cl~iyerz instr.~rrneritolieclio rle lr~reso de,firrrcidr~ de.rcoriocidn. Arzcilisis isotdpico irzdicn iirln dieta de cctrrze y pesccrdo, irrcluyeritlo pesccr- dos nrzrirlrorizos. Rnrliogrfis inrlicnrz rnucho.~ prob1erizn.r de dietri durnrire lcr irzfancin de In jol'erz. Ln tunzbn es 10,675+95 A.P bcrsnrlo erz el rri6rodo AMS (nceler.nclor rle espectometr.icn de rrznscis) de rnciiocnr-borzo. Esturlios genrrzorfoldgicos i'erijicnri e.rrri ,feeha, y srrgiereri que e.r la etlcid r~zirzirntr rle lcr rrtrnba. De cic~rerzlo cor~ Icr ley del e.rtritlo rle Itlnlio, el esqueleto fire rpclttntncio por lcrs rrih~rs Slioslzor~e-Bttrrnock de Irlrilio, y eriterrnrlo rle rtitevo.

uman remains of the early inhabitants of iofacial morphology. The recent publication by the Americas are rare and typically frag- Morse (1997) describing a Dalton cemetery (ca. mentary when found. Steele and Powell 10,000 B.P.) in Arkansas is characteristic of the sit- (1994:Table 1) reported 32 individuals from 16 uation in that only small fragments of human bone sites older than 8500 B.P. in North America, while were recovered from an area that may have con- Neves and Pucciarelli (199 1) documented 19 indi- tained as many as 30 burials. In this regard, the viduals from three localities older than 6000 B.P. recent discoveries at Kennewick (Chatters 1997) in South America. However, only five crania from and Prince of Wales Island in Alaska (Fifield North America were sufficiently intact for Steele 1996), the sedating of human remains from Spirit and Powell (1994:142) to metrically analyze cran- Cave (Jantz and Owlsey 1997; Touhy and Dansie

Thomas J. Green .Arkansas Archeological Survey, P.O. Box 1249, Fayetteville, AR 72702-1249 Bruce Cochran .Walla Walla Corntnunity College, 1470 Bridge Street, Clarkston, WA 99403 Todd W. Fenton .Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721 James C. Woods and Gene L. Titmus .Herrett Center for Arts and Science, College of Southern Idaho, P.O. Box 1238, Twin Falls, ID 83303 Larry Tieszen .Department of Biology, Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD 57197Mary Anne Davis .Idaho State Historical Society, 210 Main Street, Boise, ID 83702 Susanne J. Miller .1450 Antares Drive, Idaho Falls, ID 83402

American Antiquity, 63(3), 1998, pp. 437-456. 
Copyright O by the Society for American Archaeology 


Figure 1. General vicinity map.

1997) and other localities in Nevada, and the Buhl burial reported here, provide invaluable new knowledge.

The Buhl burial, discovered in 1989 in a gravel quarry near the town of Buhl, Idaho, was extremely well preserved for a skeleton of its age and con- tributes significant new information about subsis- tence, dietary stress, and the physical attributes of peoples during this time period. The purpose of this report is to describe the dating and the geomorpho- logical context of the burial, describe the skeleton, report the results from isotopic analysis, and dis- cuss the artifacts associated with the burial.

Context and Age

The Buhl burial (10TF1019) was discovered by Buhl Highway District personnel on January 17, 1989, in a highway gravel quarry located in Twin Falls County, approximately 2.5 km north of the town of Buhl in south-central Idaho (Figure 1). The quarry is situated on the west end of a large Lake Bonneville flood gravel bar at a point pro- viding a striking view of the Snake River Valley. The right femur was found by the district foreman in the screen of the rock crusher after rock and sand had been placed in it by a large front-end loader. The next day the foreman's wife contacted the Herrett Center for Arts and Science at the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. Personnel from the center inspected the quarry where the human remains were uncovered. Phyllis Oppenheim, curator at the Herrett Center, located additional human skeletal remains near the base of a 5-m sediment sequence. Following Idaho State law (Idaho Code 27-503), the Herrett staff notified the Idaho State Historical Society.


Figure 2. View from 1989 of the gravel quarry and profile undercut by the front-end loader.

Archaeologists from the Herrett Center and the Idaho State Historical Society inspected the site together on January 18, 1989. The deposits con- taining the bones had been undercut by gravel quar- rying operations and were collapsing as the upper soil horizons thawed in the afternoon sun (Figure 2). The imminent collapse necessitated immediate excavation of the bones remaining in situ or all con- text would be lost and the bones crushed in the rub- ble. Also, as news of the discovery spread through the local community, increasing numbers of people visited the site and the security of the skeleton could no longer be guaranteed. The height and instability of the profile made it impossible to remove the overburden and excavate the skeleton in a traditional manner. Thus, the bones were gingerly removed directly from the vertical profile as the excavators dodged falling chunks of frozen soil and Lake Bonneville flood boulders. Sediments at the base of the profile were screened for loose bone and artifacts with an %-inch mesh.

Most of the bones were displaced by the front- end loader and collected by workers before archae- ologists arrived at the gravel quarry. These bones were given to the archaeologists on arrival. Only the cranium, mandible, and a few ribs and verte- brae were still in place in the profile (Figure 3). It was clear from the remaining in situ material that the skeleton was not articulated. The mandible lay

1.2 m north of the cranium and many of the verte- brae and ribs had long ago been displaced. All in situ bones were located in the same depositional unit, approximately 3 m below the sloping surface, and intact, nondisturbed sediments occurred above the bones indicating the displacement of the bones must have occurred sometime after burial. The cause of the displacement was not apparent. No evidence in the soil profile indicated intrusions, such as animal burrows, to explain the distribution of the bones.

Radiocarbon Dating

After recovery and consultation with the Shoshone- Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, as required by Idaho State law, the tribes permitted a portion of the skeleton to be used for radiocarbon dating.' The proximal half

Figure 3. In situ mandible in 1989 profile.

of the right humerus and a small poition of a lib were initially sent to the University of California-Riverside for accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) dating. The samples could not be analyzed because of problems at the facility, and they were returned to the Idaho State

975 byon Rim


BUR- /

Buhl Highway
GraGel Quarry p Locality 3\ 

1989 -.. X 930

elevation in meters

Figure 4. Site map showing Localities 1, 2, and 3.

Historical Society in 1991. The bone samples were then sent to Beta Analytic for radiocarbon dating. It was necessary to combine the two bone samples to obtain sufficient collagen for dating.' Multiple AMS measurements made at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule in Zurich indicate an age of 10,675+ 95 B.P. (Beta-43055 and ETH-7729; bone collagen; d13c = -19 percent).


In the spring of 1992, Bruce Cochran conducted geologic and geomorphic investigations at three localities on the gravel bar to substantiate the radio-

Locality 3

Snake Human 

(909 m ASL)

Figure 5. Snake River Canyon cross section showing Localities 1, 2, and 3.


Locality 2 Localty 3


Unit F3


Unit D3

0 50 100 crn

/// Modern backfill 
Modern solum; A, B, C horizons 

+ + + 
Truncated paleosol, 82 (Locality 1) and B2t (Locality 2)


Late Holocene; massive heavily bioturbated (krotovina) matrix supported Qeal -eolian sand and colluvial granule gravels capped by modern solum Qel Late Holocene; massive, moderately bioturbated eolian sand capped by cambic B horizon (locality 3)

aeh Early Holocene; massive (Locality 3) with intercalations of gravel lenses (Locality I), moderately bioturbated eolian sand and colluvial granule gravels capped by B2b (locality I) and B2tb truncated B soil horizons

Qepl Late Pleistocene; massive, nonbioturated eolian sand Qbss Late Pleistocene; Bonneville flood fine elastics; bedded upward, medium to very fine sand and silt abfg Late Pleistocene; Bonneville flood gravels; poorly sorted angular to well rounded granule-cobble-

pebble-boulder gravel 
Boulders and cobbles 

Figure 6. Correlation of upper sediments in Localities 1, 2, and 3.

carbon age of the human skeleton and to determine the cranium permitted the correlation of the exist- its postdepositional history (Figure 4). Between ing (1992) sedimentary sequence at Locality 1 to 1989 and 1992, gravel operations removed 2 to 4 m the original burial stratum. Sedimentary sequences of the original sediments that contained the human at two other localities, Localities 2 and 3, were remains. While obviously not an ideal situation, the studied to provide additional information pelfain- detailed analysis of the 1992 profile, an exarnina- ing to age and origin of the deposit containing and tion of photographs of the 1989 profile, and the overlying the human remains (Figures 5and 6). comparison with sediment samples retained from These investigations confirm the antiquity of the

Figure 7. Profile from 1992, Locality 1.

burial's radiocarbon age and suggest it is a mini- mum age for the skeleton.

All three localities are situated above four gravel sequences (designated units A-D) representing the oldest sediments exposed at the quarry. The sedi- mentary structures and fabrics indicate these gravels were emplaced by catastrophic flooding from Lake Bonneville ca. 14,000 to 15,000 years ago (Bright 1966; Malde 1968; O'Connor 1990; Scott et al. 1983). The lowest three gravel deposits are covered by a deposit (Unit D) of poorly sorted, rounded to well-rounded clast and matrix-supported cobble and boulder gravels. This gravel caps and drapes over the giant gravel bar and varies in thickness from 50 to 150 cm (the smallest and the largest dimension of individual gravel clasts). The deposit thins toward the top of the gravel bar, where it forms a surface similar to the nearby Melon gravel described by Malde (1968). The position of the Melon gravel on the side of the gravel bar suggests that it accumu- lated as a lag deposit as the Bonneville floodwaters receded, or that it accumulated soon after the edge of the gravel bar was oversteepened by receding floodwaters. Absence of sorting and imbrication fabrics indicates the Snake River did not readjust and flow next to the gravel bar.

Locality 1. Locality 1 (Figure 7) is located a few meters east of the immediate location of the burial. Gravel quarrying operations and geological excavations exposed four postflood deposits including a truncated paleosol that had developed on sediments stratigraphically superior to the strata containing the human remains.

The Buhl skeleton was situated in Unit E,, a wedge-shaped sand deposit on the north and lee side of the gravel bar. It consists of nonbedded, poorly to moderately sorted, medium to very fine sand, supporting randomly distributed, angular to rounded, granule-pebble-cobble-boulder clasts. These gravel clasts lack CaCO, accumulations. Thickness of the deposit varies between 40 and 110 cm across the exposure and pinches out at the top of the gravel bar near Locality 2. The large boulders, as well as the smaller pebbles and cob- bles in the deposit, originated from adjacent, higher portions of the gravel bar. The sand and silt (eolian portion) originated at the top of the gravel bar where a thick, stratified and bedded deposit caps the Bonneville gravel at Locality 3. The absence of krotovina in the unit is perplexing. Rodents usually prefer to construct burrows in soft silty sand. This absence indicates either that rodents did not occupy this portion of the land- scape or that the sediment accumulated rapidly. The human remains were located at the base of this deposit, near its contact with the underlying collu- vial or lagged Melon-like gravel.

Unit F, unconformably overlies Unit E, and consists of three beds separated by faint bound- aries. Thickness varies between 32 and 100 cm across the complete exposure, but at Locality 1 the deposit is between 52 and 60 cm thick. The beds are composed of moderately bioturbated, poorly sorted, medium to fine sand and silt supporting angular to well-rounded cobble-granule gravel clasts that are partially coated with thin discontin- uous layering of CaCO, on the undersides of the clasts. A truncated paleosol displaying Bcab (Paleosol I) soil horizonation caps the deposit. The peds are moderately developed and are covered by thin (< .2 mm) calcium carbonate coatings. The tubular pores are sealed with CaCO,. Krotovina are confined to the upper part of the deposit, well within the Bca soil horizon. The boundary separat- ing Unit Fl from overlying deposits is abrupt and wavy indicating that the A horizon of the solum was removed by an erosional episode of unknown duration. In fact, part of the Bca horizon on the downslope part of the exposed profile has been partially eroded.

Depositional Unit G, unconformably overlies Unit F, and consists of moderately to poorly sorted, moderately bioturbated fine to very fine sand and silt. Thickness varies between 74 and 80 cm across the exposure. The deposit is nonbedded and massive and lacks laminations. Angular to rounded granule and pebble gravel clasts occur randomly throughout the deposit. A modern solum caps the deposit and is characterized by a weakly developed A/B/C soil horizon sequence. At Locality I, the B horizon displays cambic charac- teristics including reddish yellow coloration and very weak ped development. The soil grades to a bisequel soil outcropping at the top of the Bonneville gravel bar at Locality 2. At Locality 2, the soil is relict and has been forming since the Bonneville gravels were deposited.

Locality 2. Locality 2 sediments and soils over- lay the Bonneville flood gravel and are thin, not exceeding 80 to 100 cm in thickness. The deposits comprise two distinctive layers separated by a buried soil (Paleosol 1). The upper portion of the Bonneville gravel at this locality is cemented with CaCO,. Depositional Unit F, consists of poorly sorted, coarse to very fine sand and silt and angu- lar to rounded granule gravel. The deposit is 56 cm thick and unconformably overlies the Bonneville gravel. It is capped by a truncated B soil horizon characterized by strong medium prismatic ped development (Paleosol 1). Depositional Unit G, unconformably overlies Unit F, and consists of poorly sorted medium to fine sand and silt sup- porting occasional rounded to angular granule gravel clasts. The deposit is thin, not exceeding 30 cm, has a lower bulk density than the deposit below, and is capped by a cambic B soil horizon extending partially into the underlying deposit and paleosol. The surface of the sedimentary sequence at Locality 2 has been modified by modern scrap- ing activity.

Locality 3. Three sand sheets are exposed at Locality 3. Two of the exposed sand sheets are thick and are considered the source for the sand deposits in Locality 1(Depositional Units El-GI). The oldest sand deposit at Locality 3, Depositional Unit E,, overlies the Bonneville gravel and con- sists of alternating beds (5 to 30 cm thick) of very fine sandhilt and medium sand. The deposit lacks rodent and insect krotovina. Boundaries between the beds are gradational and faint, and the overall thickness of the deposit varies between 120 and 160 cm. Overlying this unit is 90 cm of massive, nonbedded, poorly to moderately sorted, moder- ately bioturbated, medium to fine sand, designated Depositional Unit F3. The boundary separating Unit E, from Unit F, is faint and discontinuous. Depositional Unit G, unconformably overlies Unit F, and consists of poorly sorted medium to fine sand and silt capped by a truncated B3ca soil hori- zon. The surface has been modified by modern scraping, and it was not possible to determine whether or not the B3ca horizon was part of the modern solum or belonged to a paleosol.

Discussion. At least 68 m of Bonneville flood- water covered the highest point of the gravel bar (Malde 1968) where the Buhl burial was located. The projection of the low angle, northward dip- ping bedding planes indicates that the gravel bar has been little modified since it formed and that the part of the gravel bar closest to the present-day channel of the Snake River remained unchanged until it was buried by aeolian sand and silt and col- luvial sand, silt, and gravel (Depositional Units E, F, and G). In addition, the Melon-like boulders (Depositional Unit D) that cap the gravel bar indi- cate that strong swift currents followed the initial formation of the bar, probably as the Bonneville flood receded. Moreover, the swale topography as recorded in the 1989 photos and field documenta- tion of the burial site indicate that the gravel bar was modified by flood currents as the Bonneville flood receded. The truncation of the foreset beds provides conclusive evidence that the northern edge of the gravel bar was truncated by flood cur- rents rather than by normal Snake River flow that would have deposited a well-sorted and imbricated gravel as well as stratified fluvial sands and possi- bly stratified floodplain silts. Snake River read- justment gravels are not present in a cut-and-fill relationship to the older Bonneville gravel, because the valley had not filled with Bonneville flood sediments that would have impeded the flow and movement of the Snake River. After the Bonneville floodwaters subsided, the Snake River was flowing near its present location and elevation.

The Buhl woman was located at the base of Depositional Unit El. The matrix around and above the skeleton was windblown sand, while the sediment below the skeleton was Bonneville gravel at the top of Depositional Unit D. The amount of time separating the flood (as repre- sented by Unit D) and the initial accumulation of the sand wedge (Unit E) where the skeleton was found is unknown. This is the critical question in understanding the age of the burial and in con- firming the single radiocarbon date obtained from bone collagen. The absence of laminations and internal bedding structures combined with the absence of bioturbation, the absence of soil forma- tion, as well as the lack of calcium carbonate coats on gravel clasts, indicate the sand wedge housing the human remains at Locality I was deposited rapidly and shortly after the floodwaters receded from the area. These sands were derived from the top of the gravel bar at Locality 3 where fluvial sands were deposited in the receding phase of the Bonneville flood.

No burial pit was observed intruding through deposits (Units El, F,, G,) above the skeleton. The overhanging profile left by the front-end loader made it impossible to scrape a clean, fresh profile, but a detailed search was made as best could be done. The lack of intrusions in Units F, and G, suggests the individual was interred in Unit E, while it was forming. The skeleton was located 14 cm above the Bonneville gravel with the cranium intruding into the upper part of that gravel. This indicates the body was interred in a shallow pit placed on top of and into the Bonneville gravel as the sand was accumulating. Moreover the sands continued to accumulate after the body was in place, as demonstrated by the lack of soil develop- ment and the absence of krotovina. It is likely that a burial pit would not be preserved in a situation of rapidly accumulating sands. Some of the boulders surrounding and above the skeleton may have been purposefully placed on the grave, but it is also pos- sible that they naturally eroded from upslope sources.

If the sand deposit (Unit E,) began accumulat- ing shortly after the Bonneville floodwaters receded, as argued above, then it is important to know when the Bonneville flood occurred. Unfortunately, the precise timing of the Bonneville flood has yet to be resolved. The flood has been radiometrically dated between 16,770 + 200 years

B.P. (W-4896; wood), and 13,900 + 400 years B.P. (W-899; shell) (Bright 1966; Scott et al. 1983). Based on an erosion rate of 1,000 years for the Bonneville shoreline and amino acid ratios, Scott et al. (1983:277) suggest that the Lake Bonneville shoreline was abandoned suddenly by ca. 15,000 years ago and that the Bonneville flood inundated the Snake River through Red Rock Pass between 14,000 and 15,000 years ago. If the shells dated by Bright (1966) record a radiocarbon age that is too old (as most shell radiocarbon assessments do), then the last Bonneville flood may have inundated the Snake River canyon at least 1,000 years later and may be more closely related in time to the last major Missoula catastrophic flood, now dated between 12,000 and 13,000 years B.P. If this is true, then either the radiocarbon age of the human remains from Buhl is too young or the dates for the last Bonneville flood are too old, or both (Cochran 1992). Whatever the exact dates for the flood, the geological and geomorphic studies at the Buhl gravel quarry clearly support the existing radiocar- bon date as a minimum age for the skeleton.

Skeletal Biology

The skeleton was well preserved but partially

Figure 8. Cranium and mandible indicating excellent preservation.

destroyed by quarry operations. In fact, it was one of the best-preserved Paleoindian skeletons ever recovered (Figure 8), with minimal postmortem damage to the bones. The weight of the bone sug- gested little or no mineralization had occurred. The outer table of the bones exhibited the charac- teristic yellow luster of well-preserved cortical bone. There was no cortical exfoliation. The excel- lent preservation resulted from the skeleton's loca- tion on well-drained Bonneville gravel deposits and being covered by dry, windblown silts and sands. Annual precipitation in this part of southern Idaho is less than 30 cm a year and has not varied much in the last 10,000 years (Henry 1984).

The human skeleton from the Buhl burial was incomplete. Most of the bones from the upper skeleton were recovered, including the cranium, the mandible, the right clavicle, the left and right scapulae, the manubrium, seven vertebrae (Cl, one C3-6, C7, T10, T11, T12, and Ll), ten left ribs (Numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12), five right ribs (Numbers 4, 8, 9, 10, 1 I), the right humerus, the left and right radii, the right ulna, two left carpals (hamate and lesser multangular), three left metacarpals (Numbers 1, 2, 4), four right metacarpals (Numbers 1, 3, 4, 5), hand phalanges (6 proximal, 5 middle, 3 terminal), and one ear ossicle (the right malleus). With the exception of the right femur, two right tarsals (the cuboid and the navicular), and two right metatarsals (1 and 4), all of the lower skeletal elements, including the pelvis, were missing. The missing skeletal ele- ments are presumed to have been destroyed by gravel operations.

Sex, Age, and Stature

The Buhl skeleton was that of an adult female. In the absence of the pelvis, the determination of sex was made by using morphological and anthropo- metric assessments of the skull and postcranial ele- ments. The cranium exhibited an overall gracile architecture, with light to moderate muscle mark- ings. The superciliary arches were lightly defined. The superior orbital borders were moderately sharp. The temporal lines were light on the frontal, nonexistent on the parietals. The mastoid wrocesses were small and suwramastoid crests were not present. The nuchal lines were fairly smooth. The cranium exhibited marked parietal bossing. Radiographic analysis of the cranium indicated the frontal sinuses were quite small. Anthropometric analyses of the postcranial ele- ments supported the female assessment of sex, including the right femoral head maximum diame- ter, the femoral circumference at midshaft, the right humeral epicondylar breadth, and the right scapular height and breadth.

The individual was 17 to 21 years old at the time of death. All third molars were occlusally erupted with fused root apices. The basilar syn- chondrosis of the cranium was fused. There was a lack of epiphyseal union of the right medial clavi- cle and the inferior angles of both scapulae. Some of the tips of the vertebral spinous processes, some of the annular rings of the vertebral centra, and some of the rib heads had newly fused epiphyses, whereas the remainder did not. The distal ulna and radii exhibited strongly demarcated epiphyseal fusion lines. The distal femur had only a light rem- nant of an epiphyseal line. Finally, the steinal ends of both fourth ribs were Phase 2, which indicate an age in the late teens (Iscan et al. 1985:853-863).

The living stature of this individual was about

Table 1. Buhl Skeleton 
Postcranial Measurements (mm) 

Left Right
Maximum length N/O 123
Sagittal diameter at midshaft N/O 09
Vertical diameter at midshaft N/O 10
Anatomical breadth (height) fragment 132
Anatomical length (breadth) fragment 89
Maximum length N/O fragment
Epicondylar breadth N/O 54
Maximum vertical diameter of head N/O fragment
Maximum diameter at midshaft N/O 19
Minimum diameter at midshaft N/O 12
Maximum length 227 226
Sagittal diameter at midshaft 9 10
Transverse diameter at midshaft 12 13
Maximum diameter head 19 19
Maximum length N/O 247
Dorso-volar diameter N/O 15
Transverse diameter N/O 12
Physiological length N/O 219
Minimum Circumference N/O 3 1
Maximum length N/O 416
Bicondylar length N/O 41 1
Epicondylar breadth N/O 73
Maximum diameter of head N/O 41
AIP Subtroch diameter N/O 25
Transverse subtroch diameter N/O 27
Sagittal diameter at midshaft N/O 23
Transverse diameter at midshaft N/O 24
Circumference at midshaft N/O 74
Note: N/O = not observed.    

165 + 4 cm (about 5 feet 2 inches). This was deter- mined by utilizing regression formulae (Genoves 1967; Neumann 1967) and the maximum length of the right femur, 416 mm. Postcranial measurements are presented in Table 1.

Biological Affinity

The Buhl skull exhibited a suite of craniofacial features that fall within the range of American Indian or East Asian populations. This assessment is based on morphological, nonmetric analysis (Gill and Rhine 1990). The zygomatics were for- ward projecting (Hooton 1931), as were the frontal processes of the maxillae (Gill and Gilbert 1990). The nasal aperture was moderately flared, particu- larly at the base. The nasal root exhibited a

Table 2. Buhl Cranial Metric Data. Measurements immi

Maximum cranial length (g-op)

Maximum cranial breadth (eu-eu)
Basion-bregma (ba-b)
Basion-nasion (ba-n)
Basion-prosthion (ba-pr)
Bi-zygomatic breadth (zy-zy)
Upper facial height (n-pr)
Nasal breadth (al-al)
Nasal height (n-ns)
Max alveolar breadth (ecm-ecm)
Max alveolar length (pr-alv)
Bi-auricular breadth (au-au)
Minimum frontal breadth (ft-ft)
Upper facial breadth (fmt-fmt)
Left orbital breadth (mf-ec)
Right orbital breadth (mf-ec)
Left orbital height
Right orbital height
Biorbital breadth (ec-ec)
Interorbital breadth (mf-mf)
Frontal chord (n-b)
Parietal chord (b-1)
Occipital chord (1-0)
Foramen magnum length (ha-o)
Left mastoid length
Right mastoid length
Glabella-opisthion (g-o)
Glabella-bregma (g-b)
Bregma-opisthocranium (b-op)
Lambda-inion (1-i)
Inion-opisthion (i-o)
Left porion-bregma (po-b)
Left porion-basion (po-ba)
Orale-staphylion (01-sta)
Left maxillofrontale-ectoconchion(mf-ec)
Bi-endomolare (enm-enm)
Gnathion-nasion (gn-n) 100
Gnathion-gonion (gn-go) 92
Chin height (gn-id) 30
Bigonial diameter (go-go) 82
Bicondylar breadth (cdl-cdl) 120
Left mandibular body height at mental foramen 27
Right mandibular body height at mental foramen 27
Left mandibular body thickness at mental foramen 13

Right mandibular body thickness at mental foramen 13 Left minimum ramus breadth 37 Right minimum ramus breadth 36 Left maximum ramus height 56 Right maximum ramus height 54 Mandible length 84

"tented" morphology. In profile, the contour at nasion was smooth (Brues 1990). The nasal sill was low and dull, and there was bilateral nasal overgrowth (Birdsell 1951). Amoderate degree of alveolar prognathism was present (Brooks et al.

Figure 9. Mandibular dentition showing wear and buc- cally sloped wear planes.

1990). The external auditory meatus had a pinched morphology, and the oval window was not visible in the inner ear (Napoli and Birkby 1990). The occipital shelf was short and angled upwardly. There was moderate keeling of the skull. The palate exhibited a squared-off U-shape. The ascending ramus of the mandible was wide and vertically oriented. Cranial metric data (Table 2) were collected using the University of Tennessee protocol (Moore-Jansen and Jantz 1986).'

Due to extreme occlusal wear of the teeth, it was not possible to make observations on numerous key morphological traits of the dentition (Turner et al. 1991). However, the mandibular third molars exhib- ited a protostylid pit. The frequency of this trait is considered high in American Indian and Asian groups (Dahlberg 1963; Hanihara 1967). Due to the heavy enamel attrition, protostylid pits on the other mandibular molars were not observable. Three- rooted mandibular first molars were not evident in peiiapical radiographs (Turner 197 1).


Twenty-five teeth were recovered, 15 from the mandible and 10 from the maxillae. Tooth loss was postmortem. All soil surrounding the skeleton and at the base of the profile was screened through X-inch mesh to find the missing teeth. The cranium and mandible were not displaced by the gravel operations. The teeth must have been lost when the skeleton was disturbed and disarticulated sometime after burial.

The most striking aspect of the dentition was the exceptionally high degree of occlusal wear for the young age of the individual (Figure 9). Dentin was exposed on all teeth except the third molars. Stages of occlusal wear were assigned to each tooth using Smith's (1984) scale, which begins with O for a missing tooth, 1 coding the least amount of wear, and 8 for the greatest amount of wear. All of the recovered incisors, canines, and premolars exhibited stage 6 wear; the first molars were stage 7; the second molars stage 6; and the third molars stage 3.

The Buhl mandibular dentition also exhibited unusual oblique wear planes for an individual of this age. Normally, the occlusal planes on the pre- molars, first molars, and second molars have an initial lingual inclination. Through occlusal wear the planes can shift and exhibit a flat or buccal wear pattern. In the Buhl mandible these teeth were inclined buccally at a comparatively early age (Butler 1972). Such oblique occusal wear is often indicative of actual tooth-to-tooth contact caused by eating prepared foods, whereas flat occlusal wear is thought to be produced by "punc- ture-crushing" tough, fibrous foods (Smith 1984).

In this case, the oblique occlusal wear resulted in a helicoidal wear pattern. This helicoidal pattern can be seen in the Buhl mandibular arcade as the third molar retains its original lingual occlusal plane, but the premolars, first molar, and second molar occlusal planes have shifted to a buccal inclination, producing a helixlike pattern (Reinhardt 1983:228). This pattern is commonly observed in dentitions processing diets containing large amounts of gritty substances (Osborn 1982). Furthermore, the well-cupped dentin morphology of the Buhl mandibular second molars is consistent with this suggestion. Cupping has been experi- mentally linked to the presence of fine particles in food (Costa and Greaves 1981). The presence of cupping suggests the Buhl woman's food contained fine, gritty particles.

No labial rounding was evident on any of the Buhl woman's teeth to indicate the teeth had been used as tools for processing hides or baskets (Hinton 198 1 ; Molnar 197 1). The occlusal-buccal enamel edge was consistently sharp on all teeth (Figure 9).

The degree of dental wear and amount of enamel cupping are artifacts of an individual's life history. It is proposed that the tremendous amount of enamel loss and the wear patterns seen in the Buhl dentition resulted from eating well-processed food containing fine sand or grit. Possible expla- nations for how sand or grit became incorporated into the food include processing, preservation, and preparation techniques.

General Healtlz

The Buhl dentition exhibited a linear enamel hypoplasia (LEH) on the right mandibular canine. Enamel hypoplasias are defects in the enamel believed to be caused by metabolic stresses linked to disease or nutritional deficiencies. The observa- tion of a unilateral enamel defect is somewhat unusual. In this particular case, it may be explained by the loss of large portions of most tooth crowns from occlusal weas, thereby obliterating other pos- sible defects in the teeth; or this unilateral LEH may have been caused by localized trauma, inflamma- tion, or another nonsystemic factor. The hypoplasia was observed 3 mrn above the cemento-enamel junction, which correlates with an occurrence age of

4.7 years old (Goodman and Rose 1990).

Caries were not present on any of the Buhl woman's teeth. The lack of caries is consistent with reports on other PaleoindianIEarly Archaic dentitions (Powell and Steele 1994: 182).

Radiographic analysis of the Buhl right femur showed the presence of 15 radiopaque transverse lines in the distal segment. These lines, called Harris lines, are hypothesized to result from growth arrest episodes followed by subsequent startup of bone production (Martin et al. 1985). It is believed that Hasris lines occur most frequently in reason- ably well-nourished people who experience peri- odic growth-arresting stress. The causes of such stress have been attributed to seasonal nutritional deficiencies and to serious illness. The presence of Hanis lines and a linear enamel hypoplasta indicate evidence of some stress or hardship during the Buhl woman's growth and development. No other skele- tal pathologies were evident. The overall health of the Buhl woman appeased to be good. The cause of death was not evident.

Isotopic Analysis

A small piece of collagenous material not needed for radiocarbon dating was used for isotopic analy- sis4 eta Analytic computed the dL3c value of -19.5 percent for the extracted bone collagen. The remaining residue of the extract was analyzed at Augustana College following procedures described in Aufderheide et al. (1994). It yielded a d'k value of 15.5 percent, a C:N ratio of 3.69, and a percent carbon in the collagen extract of I1 percent.

It is important to assess the preservation of col- lagen and the presumed reliability of the extraction and analyses. The preferred method of extraction is to place whole bone pieces in weak acid or EDTA to obtain a pseudomorph, which is then ranked from 1 (fully dissolved) to 5 (fully intact). As the collagen residue was provided by Beta Analytic, this was not possible. Ambrose (1990) argues that low C percentages are an indicator of diagenesis; however, a value of I I percent is ade- quate and, above the lower limit, found acceptable by him. The C:N ratio is higher than the 3.6 often considered as the upper limit of acceptable colla- gen. Thus, this sample provides "collagen," which is only marginally acceptable and needs to be interpreted with caution.

The -19.5 percent value for carbon reflects a dietary dependence on continental terrestrial or aquatic resources with marine supplementation (see Tieszen 1994). The marine supplementation is most likely from anadromous fish in the nearby Snake River. This interpretation is consistent with that of Chisholm and Nelson (1983) for an Early Archaic skeleton (dl" = -19.4 percent) found in the Fraser River Valley in interior British Columbia (Cybulski et al. 1981). Coastal Northwest Coast populations depending on marine resources yield more positive values, in the range of -13.5 percent (Chisholm et al. 1982, 1983). A -19.4 percent value suggests some dietary carbon from marine resources, as values for terrestrial animal resources are around -25 percent, and freshwater fish are even more nega- tive at -28.8 percent. The majority of birds eating marine resources have collagen values (calculated by Teiszen) between -14.5 percent and -20 percent (Hobson 1993), as do Arctic marine mammals, including polar bears (Chisholm et al. 1982; Ramsay and Hobson 1991). In contrast, terrestrial values can be as low as -23 percent (Chisholm et al. 1982; Hobson 1993). It is expected that southern Idaho animals would be nearly dependent on C3 plants and, therefore, would possess larger negative values compared to

animal resources in the Great Plains, which may be more positive. The dI5~

of 15.5 percent is quite positive and well above the value expected from a normal trophic shift (+3percent) in Great Plains bison and elk reported at 6.4 percent and 7.0 percent (Tieszen 1994) or other modern and prehistoric animals from the northern Great Plains (Loken et al. 1992). Data from natural streams in western Montana show d15~ values higher than 8 percent in cutthroat trout (Odney and Spencer 1994), still well below the value required to explain 15.5 per- cent in the Buhl collagen sample. However, Cabana and Rasmussen (1994) report values as high as 15.5 percent for fish and indicate that such values are clearly a function of the type of lake that determines the number of associated trophic steps. Hodson (1993) has shown that Arctic seabirds have values ranging from 12 to 17.5 percent, con- sistent with a range of 14.5 to 17.5 percent reported for Arctic seals and polar bears (Ramsay and Hobson 1991). Furthermore, Schwarcz et al. (1985) report a number of values for human spec- imens from southern Ontario that are near the 15.5 percent for the Buhl woman.

In the absence of diagenetic alteration, the only explanation for a value as large as 15.5 percent found in the Buhl woman is a substantial reliance on meat and fish resources-most likely animals at the end of a long food chain. Supplementation of terrestrial resources by anadromous fish would account for the high nitrogen value as well as a car- bon isotope value more positive than expected from a solely terrestrial or freshwater resource base.

Associated Artifacts

Four artifacts and one unmodified badger baculum were found with the Buhl skeleton. The badger bac- ulum appears to be an intentional grave offering because no other badger bones were found at the site. The artifacts included one pressure-flaked stemmed biface (Figure lo), a portion of a bone needle (Figure 1I), and two fragments of an incised bone awl or pin (Figure 11). The biface was found in situ immediately under the cranium. The other artifacts were found while screening soil that fell from the profile during gravel extraction. As no other archaeological components or features were observed in the deposits, it is likely that these items were burial offerings.

Figure 10. Stemmed biface.

The stone biface is made of a black, opaque obsidian, locally called ignimbrite or vitrophyre. It is stemmed, with well-defined, squared shoulders, and the basal margin is rounded. Lateral margins of the stem are nearly parallel and are dulled with striations oriented inline with the margin. The heaviest zones of dulling are at the intersection of the stem and blade where the striations are multi- directional. Basal margin dulling was apparently accomplished using a coarse abrader, in contrast to the highly smoothed margins, which are more typ- ical of other basal-dulled points from the Snake River Plain (Titmus and Woods 1991). Lateral margins of the blade are excurvate and terminate in a chisel-shaped distal end. The chisel-shaped dis- tal end was intentionally produced by the removal of one flake from each face, which detached the extreme distal end of the point in a transverse ori- entation. This termination has been called a "tranchet tip" and has been reported on stemmed points from the southern Great Basin (Tuohy 1968). The point is 9.66 cm long x 3.75 cm wide x

0.89 cm thick. The chisel-shaped end is .6 cm wide, and the stem is 2.05 cm wide at the juncture with the blade and 2.2 cm long.

The biface has been bifacially pressure flaked, with most flakes oriented perpendicular to the tool margin. Flakes are widely expanding and highly variable in width and length. Examination of the pressure-flake initiation points indicates the pres-

Figure 11. Bone needle

sure flaker was relatively small in diameter. Each face has one area where flake scars terminate in a series of stacked, step terminations, leaving topo- graphic plateaus. One margin is relatively straight; the other is markedly curved, possibly reflecting the curvature of the original percussion flake mar- gin. Each face retains one percussion flake scar remnant. Examination of one of these primary scars indicates the biface was made on a macroflake with the original bulb of force located toward the distal end of the biface.

One face of this artifact retains traces of exten- sive surface abrasion. It is not clear if this was intentional or inadvertent abrasion, but it was developed enough to smooth the edges of the step fractures, which are stacked on each face. Low- power microscopic examination of the functional margins of the biface did not indicate any diagnos- tic use-damage, and it is our conclusion that it was made (or reshaipened) just before interment.

Stemmed bifaces are reported from numerous locations in the Columbia Plateau and Great Basin. A variety of names have been given to these items, such as Windust points on the Plateau (Rice 1972) and Great Basin Stemmed points in the Great Basin. Carlson (1983) lumps these and many other stemmed and shouldered points from western North America into a single category called the Stemmed Point Tradition (see also Willig and

and incised-bone objects.

Aikens 1988). These bifaces exhibit a variety of blade and stem attributes, and the stemmed point from the Buhl site is stylistically similar to many specimens illustrated in the archaeological litera- ture from both the Plateau and the Great Basin (see especially Fryxell et al. 1968:Figui-e 5a). The tip is unusual, however.

On the Columbia Plateau, Windust points date between 10,800 to 8000 B.P. with the earliest dates clustering between 10,800 to 10,600 B.P. (Ames 1988; Ames et al. 1981). The age of stemmed points in the Great Basin is debated (Bryan 1979, 1988; Thompson 1985), but generally they range between 11,000 to 7500 B.P. with many specimens between 11,000 and 10,000 B.P. (Willig and Aikens 1988).

A proximal portion of a bone needle was recov- ered while screening the soil that fell from the immediate area of the burial. The original length of the needle is difficult to determine, as the shaft diameter remains constant the full length of the recovered fragment and shows no sign of tapering toward the needle tip. The break appears to be recent, although the distal end was not located." The fragment is 3.1 cm long and .2 cm in diame- ter. The sides of the needle begin to taper toward the proximal end about 8 mm from the eye. The proximal end, near the eye, is nearly flat in cross section. The interior walls of the eye perforation are round and .8 mm in diameter. Microscopic examination of the eye suggests it was carefully gouged with a hand-held perforator and was not drilled with a rotating drill. The perforation is biconical; the conical depressions are slightly irregular, which would not be the case if a rotary bit were employed (Flenniken 1978).

The perforating tool used to form the eye of the needle was a percussion flake with a small protru- sion based on replications studies by Wood and Titmus for this report. The flake-perforator was rotated in a back-and-forth reciprocal motion with the hole being drilled halfway from each side. The arc of the rotation was just under 360°, leaving a discontinuity in the concave indention. No eye- wear was observed on the needle and, as with the biface, it may have been made specifically as a grave offering.

In the Northwest, similar bone needles were found in early deposits at the Lind Coulee site (Daugherty 1956; Irwin and Moody 1978), Marmes Rockshelter (Fryxell et al. 1968), and the Shoup Rockshelters (Swanson and Sneed 1966). The needles from these locales reveal morphology and dimensions similar to the specimen from the Buhl burial. Similar needles have been found at Paleoindian sites in Alaska (Office of History and Technology 1992), Colorado (Wilmsen and Roberts 1978:131), Wyoming (Frison and Craig 1982: 166), Montana (Davis 1993:272), and Texas (Redder 1985:43).

The two bone ornament fragments may be parts of a single artifact. Both pieces are elliptical in cross section and taper gently to a blunted end. The surfaces are polished and show signs of being scraped, possibly with an obtuse angle cutting edge (Crabtree 1977). One fragment is 2.4 x 0.6 x .3 cm, the other is 1.8 x 0.6 x .3 cm. The longer piece has 11 distinct incisions or notches, several indistinct scratches along one margin, and five incisions on the opposite margin. These incisions are each about 2 mm long and are evenly spaced. The smaller fragment has two incisions. These incisions follow the rounded contour of the margin and are half-round in cross section. The incisions were carved with either a rounded abrader, such as a string saw, or fine-grained abrasive stone.

Similar notched pieces of bone were recovered at the Lindenmeier site (Wilmsen and Roberts 1978:Figure 128j-m), but the notches were placed on split-bone shaft sections from small animals. The Buhl specimen is made on a whole piece of bone.


A number of important Paleoindian sites have been discovered on the Snake River plain in south- ern Idaho. These include Wilson Butte Cave (Gruhn 1961, 1965), the Simon cache (Butler 1963; Woods and Titmus 1985), the Wasden site (Miller 1982, 1983, 1989), and, more recently, Kelvin's Cave (Titmus et al. 1988). In addition, numerous Paleoindian points have been found across the Snake River plain (Butler 1986; Titmus and Woods 1991). These sites have contributed significant information on Paleoindian use of the area and on late Pleistocene and early Holocene environments. Summaries of this information are available in Butler (1986), Meatte (1990), Pavesic and Studebaker (l993), and Plew (1994). The Buhl woman contributes direct information about diet and dietary stress, burial patterns, and the physical characteristics of one of these early peoples.

Diet and Stress

Isotopic analysis of the collagen suggests a heavy reliance on meat and the use of some marine resources, presumably anadromous fish. Meat resources in the Snake River Plain at this time period included bison, elk, deer, and many small animals. The use of anadromous fish is not sur- prising in that the burial site is less than a kilome- ter from Kanaka Rapids, one of the major anadromous fishing sites on the Snake River in southern Idaho. In the interior Northwest, anadro- mous fish remains have been recovered from pre- Mazama ash levels at a number of different localities (see Carlson 1997 for discussion). In Idaho, anadromous fish have been recovered from pre-Mazama ash levels in the Bernard Creek Rockshelter on the Snake River in Hells Canyon (Randolph and Dahlstrom 1977), and from many middle- to late-period prehistoric occupations in southern Idaho (Meatte 1990:66-67; Plew 1988). Isotopic analysis of the Buhl skeleton indicates occasional use of anadromous fish, but not inten- sive use. This is consistent with other evidence for anadromous fish use by early people in the north- western interior (Carlson 1997).

The isotopic analysis clearly supports Kelly and Todd's (1988) argument that Paleoindians were heavily dependent on animal resources. It also shows they used highly seasonal resources such as anadromous fish when available. The degree and type of dental wear suggest the use of well-processed foods containing large quantities of giit. Such dental wear is not normally associated with intensive meat consumption and may indicate that meat and fish were regularly processed into some type of pemmican product using stone grinding or pounding tools.

Clearly, the Harris lines and the LEH indicate regular occurrences of dietary- or disease-related stress severe enough to periodically inhibit growth throughout the Buhl woman's childhood. The gen- eral healthy appearance of the Buhl woman indi- cates dietary stress as the most likely cause.

Burial Patterns

There is considerable variation in Paleoindian bur- ial techniques across North America. For example, cremations were found at the Marmes (Fryxell et al. 1968) and Renier (Mason and Irwin 1960) sites. Flexed burials were uncovered at Gordon Creek (Breternitz et al. 1971), Sulfur Springs (Waters 1986), and the Horn Shelter (Young et al. 1987). There is also evidence for extended burials at ca. 10,000 B.P. Dalton sites in the Midwest (Morse 1997; Price and Krakker 1975:32). Red ochre was liberally used in the graves at Anzick (Lahren and Bonnichsen 1974) and Gordon Creek.

Unfortunately, due to the circumstances of dis- covely, little can be said about the burial ceremony for the Buhl woman. No evidence of a burial pit was observed in the soil profiles, and the manner of interment could not be determined because of the disturbance to the grave by the gravel quarrying. A purposeful interment is suggested by the location of the biface found directly under the right side of the cranium. It seems unlikely that this placement was an accident, although the mandible, and possi- bly the cranium, had been displaced. Also, the biface and needle appear to have been made specif- ically for the burial ceremony as they exhibit no evidence of use. Red ochre was not used.

There is nothing particularly unusual about the associated artifacts. The biface is similar to other stemmed bifaces found in the western United States, most notably Windust points. The needle is also typical of needles found at other Paleoindian sites. The badger baculum is an intriguing addi- tion, but there is no clue as to what it might have meant to this woman or to the people who placed it in her grave.

Ackr~ocvlerlgrneilts. Ellis and Loretta Burkart, Buhl, Idaho, deserve special thanks for reporting the discovery to the Herrett Center. Harold Miller, Buhl Highway District, permit- ted excavatiolls and geomorphological research in the gravel quarry. Richard Holmer, Sharon Holmer, and Terri Hall, Idaho State Museum of Natural History and Department of Anthropology, Idaho State University, provided storage, space for analysis, and general advice for the project. John Gornez, Kanaka Rapids Ranch, and Phyllis Oppenheim, Herrett Center, helped with the excavations. Walter Birkby, C. Vance Haynes, Jerry Rose, and Robert Yohe provided valuable com- ments 011 various drafts of the manuscript. The authors greatly appreciate the cooperation and tolerance of the Shoshone- Bannock tribes of Fort Hall. Idaho.

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1.The 1984 Idaho law protecting unmarked graves and regu- lating the archaeological excavation of Indian skeletons requires written consent from the appropriate Indian tribe for the excavation of Indian graves. The appropriate tribe is des- ignated by the director of the Idaho State Historical Society. The law does allow the emergency excavation of Indian graves if such action is necessary to protect the site from foreseeable destruction. The Buhl burial was clearly in dan- ger of total destruction from the collapse of the profile and from looterv and was an emergency excavation. Re~nterment of Indian skeletons iv expected under Idaho law. At the request of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes at Fort Hall, in whove aboriginal territory the Buhl skeleton wav found, the skeleton and associated artifacts were turned over to tribal authorities and reburied on December 20, 1991. Prior to reburial, all elements of the skeleton were photographed and radiographs were taken of the cranium, maxilla, mandible, and long bones. Casts of the lower and upper dental arcades and epoxy resin replicas of individual teeth suitable for use in light and scanning electron microscopy were made from the Buhl dentition. The photographs, radiographs, and dental casts are or will be curated at the Idaho Museum of Natural History, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho. The associ- ated artifacts, with the exception of the badger baculum, were cast by Pete Bostrom of Troy, Illinois, and casts can be obtained from him.

  1. The radiocarbon dating procedures developed by Tom Stafford (1994) were not used to radiocarbon date the bone. Stafford states that accurate dates can be obtained from bone if the sample contains > .I percent -.2 percent nitrogen and a collagenous amino acid composition. Beta Analytic extracted what they considered "good quality" collagen, but they did not measure the nitrogen content. The C:N ratio of the remaining collagen supplied by Beta Analytic after AMS dat- ing suggests the sample was not pure collagen (see chemical analysis above).


  2. Craniometric analyses by Todd Fenton and Russell Nelson (University of Michigan) are underway using the extensive


University of Michigan craniofacial database. Preliminary findings suggest that the Buhl cranium shows its closest affinities with Archaic American Indian and East Asian pop- ulations.

  1. The isotopic analysis was initiated in 1992 after the skele- ton was buried. Beta analytic still possessed a sample of col- lagen from original bone samples submitted for AMS dating. Beta Analytic performed the ci3analysis and returned a small sample of collagen that was used in the stable isotopic analysis.


  2. The cast of this needle, available from Pete Bostrom, has a reconstructed tip on it. The actual needle was broken and the tip was not found.


Received December 26, 1996; nCce[lfed Decernber 17, 1997; revised January 21, 1998.

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