Saturday, January 04, 2014

Rock Circles/Paiute Architecture (SE OR)

Again from my friend Alyssa:
"Winter villages consisted of one or two families up to about five families. Winter house structures varied from area to area, but were usually constructed with circular floors, a central pole, and a conical covering of bark, brush, grass or earth. Most groups did not excavate these floors, but some semisubterranean houses have been noted (Fowler 1982: 122, 133) ... Summer structures were more temporary, often nothing more than a roofless brush enclosure or windbreak" (Oetting & Pettigrew 1985: 7)...
During a survey for a highway project along Lake Abert in 1976, Cole and Pettigrew described a series of sites with houses. 35LK478 contained thirty-four house depressions as well as cairns and a petroglyph. 35LK481 was on two terraces and fifteen housepits were counted with "a circular arrangement of basalt boulders that looks much like the remains of a stone-walled house, complete with entranceway" (Cole and Pettigrew 1976:9). Site 482 had one and perhaps two house depressions. A single house pit was called 35LK483. 35LK487 had ten houses with two rock circles, three rock semi-circles, a curved rock wall and a linear rock wall. Site 488 contained at least eleven housepits; 489 had three; 490 had three rock rings; 492 and 493 had two parallel curving rock walls with a cleared area between then about 15 by 4 meters in size; 495 had eleven house depressions and a rock circle; 496 had five houses in a single row on a terrace; 497 had thirteen houses in a row as well..."

"These structures tend to have entryways on the east or northeast side, have walls of piled boulders that were originally up to 1.5 m high, and often include in their walls a very large, naturally deposited boulder, almost always located at the south side and very frequently incised with petroglyphs. Very often there is a well-used grinding slab or mortar ground onto one of the house-wall boulders at or very near the doorway, and occasionally the stones in the doorway are smoothed, apparently by foot traffic. In at least three cases, several stone rings are joined together, possibly indicating either additional rooms to a single house or several houses with adjoining walls" (Pettigrew, Baxter & Connolly, 1985: 85)..."

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