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Washington State University
Museum of Anthropology Major Archaeological Sites


The Smithsonian Institution began a program of River Basin Surveys after World War II. Systematic work under the direction of the National Park Service resulted in the excavation of many of the sites that make up the archaeological collections housed at the Washington State University Museum of Anthropology.

In 1947 Richard Daugherty and Francis Riddell located the Lind Coulee site (45GR97), which was the first site found in eastern Washington containing evidence of early precontact people. When Daugherty came to Washington State University in 1949, he conducted surveys and field schools at Lind Coulee, O’Sullivan Reservoir, Moses Lake, and Palouse Canyon. Beginning in 1957, Daugherty and Bruce Stallard directed a program of salvage archaeology stimulated by new highway construction in Washington State. Daugherty conducted archaeological research at Sun Lakes State Park beginning in 1958. We still have many of these early collections securely housed at our archaeological repository. Washington State University then focused on the Lower Snake River region. Survey and salvage excavations were conducted at the Ice Harbor, Lower Monumental, Little Goose and Lower Granite Reservoirs.

The sites described here are managed by agencies under the auspices of the Federal Columbia River Power System and the Bonneville Power Authority. The Marmes Rockshelter (45FR50), Squirt Cave (45WW25), and Wexpusnime (45GA61) are located in the Lower Monumental Reservoir, and Granite Point (45WT41) is located in the Lower Granite Reservoir. These four sites are managed by the cultural resource office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District. Lind Coulee (45GR97) is managed by the cultural resource office of the Columbia-Cascades Area of the Bureau of Reclamation, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior.