The cave was excavated in arbitrary 20 cm levels, and did not follow the natural stratigraphy of the cave. Endacott (1992:122-125) analyzed artifact distribution with respect to natural stratigraphy. Stratigraphy is not consistent within the cave: sediments were deepest at the front of the cave and much more compressed and indistinct near the back of the cave. All of the storage pits were dug into stratum number one, five were dug through stratum number one into stratum number two, and their contents are considered belonging to stratum one. Over 65 percent of artifacts were recovered from this uppermost stratum, and only one chipped stone flake was recovered below stratum number 3.
Artifacts Recovered from Storage Pits (Source: Endacott 1992:42, Table 2)
| Pit #|
*Two pieces of matting may have been used to line Pit #3 (Combes 1969).
Distribution of Artifact Classes by Excavation Units (Source: Endacott 1992:123, Table 11).
|Unit||Ground Stone Tools||Flaked Stone Tools||Debitage*||Incised Clay Objects||Bone Tools**||Textiles||Wooden Items||Total|
|N / %|
|1||2||2||0||0||1||3||0||8 / 3.3|
|2||0||2||2||0||0||1||0||5 / 2.1|
|3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0 / 0.0|
|4||2||8||4||0||2||0||0||16 / 6.6|
|5||0||6||6||0||4||3||0||19 / 7.8|
|6||0||6||6||0||2||3||0||17 / 7.0|
|7||0||14||11||2||2||1||1||31 / 12.8|
|8||0||6||5||0||4||8||1||24 / 9.9|
|9||0||7||5||1||1||2||2||18 / 7.4|
|10||1||1||2||2||2||1||0||9 / 3.7|
|11||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||3 / 1.2|
|12||1||6||2||0||2||4||0||15 / 6.2|
|13||1||4||1||0||4||0||0||10 / 4.1|
|14||0||3||2||0||1||0||0||6 / 2.5|
|15||0||1||2||0||1||0||0||4 / 1.6|
|16||0||0||0||0||3||0||0||3 / 1.2|
|17||0||2||4||0||2||0||0||8 / 3.3|
|18||0||1||0||0||1||0||0||2 / 0.8|
|19||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||1 / 0.4|
|20||0||3||0||0||0||0||1||4 / 1.6|
|21||0||11||1||0||2||2||0||16 / 6.6|
|Unknown||2||8||1||9||2||2||0||24 / 9.9|
|Total||9||92||54||14||39||30||5||243 / 100|
* represents a sample; ** includes shell and antler
Endacott (1992:129) submitted five radiocarbon samples from four pits for dating. All five samples were from plant remains: four came from storage pit lining; one came from near or below storage pit number 2.
Radiocarbon Samples from Squirt Cave (Source: Endacott 1992:130)
|Laboratory Number||Provenience||Material Dated||14C Age B.P.|
|WSU-4206||Storage Pit 5||Graminae||405±80|
|WSU-4207||Storeage Pit 1A||Elymus sp.||410±80|
|WSU-4259||Near, below, or in Storage Pit 2||Artemisia sp.||570±80|
|WSU-4203||Storage Pit 1D||Equisetum sp.||1070±200|
|WSU-4205||Storage Pit 7||Graminae||1750±150|
Endacott also submitted an sample of volcanic ash from 4 cm below ground surface near pit number 5. Glass chemistry identifies this sample as Mt. Mazama ash, dated to 6845±50. This tephra was probably displaced when the storage pit was dug through stratum number 3, which contains mixed tephra and loess.
Glass Chemistry of Squirt Cave Tephra (Source: Endacott 1992:130)
The artifact evidence for dating is inconclusive, with some similarity to Harder or Piqunin Phases (Leonhardy and Rice 1970). Artifacts below stratum number 1 suggest possible use during the Tucannon Phase. However, there is also a great deal of evidence for bioturbation or mixing.