Update W: How Do You Care for An Archaeological Site? Developing a Plan

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An overview of the Jokumsen Preserve, Washington.
An overview of the Jokumsen Preserve, Washington.

We are often asked, ‘How do you protect and care for an archaeological site?’ The Archaeological Conservancy has a general Management Plan that applies to all of its preserves.  In addition, a second management plan is also developed for each preserve that addresses specific unique issues related to that preserve.  A site visit is essential for developing the second management plan.

Just this week, TAC’s Western staff traveled to Enumclaw, Washington, to begin developing our  Management Plan for the Jokumsen Preserve.  They met with Jeanne Jokumsen, from whom TAC acquired the Preserve, and Laura Murphy, the archaeologist with the local Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, to discuss what items should be specifically addressed in the Plan.  Some of these issues of concern included stewardship, security, and general maintenance of the Preserve.

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Laura Murphy pointing our the area the excavations took place in the 1970s

The Jokumsen Preserve contains the only archaeological site on the Enumclaw plateau that has been excavated and produced cultural material below the Osceola mudflow.  Nearly 5,600 years ago, the prehistoric Osceola mudflow followed an eruption of Mount Rainier and deposits covered an expanse of over 200 square miles.  This discovery provided evidence that people were living in the area prior to 5,600 years ago.

The site was excavated several times in the 1970s under the direction of Dr. Gerald Hedlund of the Green River Community College.  The excavation and the landowner’s surface collection have recovered over 20,000 stone artifacts that include points, scrapers, lithic waste flakes, drills, beads, choppers and millingstones.  In addition to the artifacts, several features were unearthed that include hearths, earth ovens, and evidence of a possible semi-subterranean pit house and structures.  Although artifacts were discovered below the mudflow, the majority of the cultural material was uncovered above the deposited mud and debris.  It is estimated that the more extensive occupation of the site occurred roughly 1,000 years ago, as the area was possibly used as a winter village camp.

On the porch of one of the old pickle factory buildings: TAC Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins, Jeanne Jokumsen, and Laura Murphy
On the porch of one of the old pickle factory buildings: TAC Western Regional Director Cory Wilkins, Jeanne Jokumsen, and Laura Murphy

After addressing all possible concerns related to the management plan, the group took a quick tour of the property which is also the home of the old Osceola Pickle Factory, a company that was developed and run by Jeanne and her family until the 1970s.

TAC would like to thank Jeanne for her years of preservation and stewardship of the site!  Her honest interest and dedication to the local prehistory of the area led to the permanent preservation of an important archaeological site.

A group photo of all involved with the management plan:
A group photo of all involved with the management plan : Left Deanna Commons, Laura Murphy, Cory Wilkins, and Jeanne Jokumsen.

Learn more about our TAC West’s Collaborative Work with Other Tribal Communities: Biderpost Preserve Baskets and Cultural Land Use Protection Educational Summit.

Learn about another historic Factory Preserved by TAC : Pamplin Pipe Factory .

 

 

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