Thomas J. Connolly

Research Director
UO Museum of Natural & Cultural History
& State Museum of Anthropology
1224 University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 97403-1224
541-346-3031/cell: 541-954-7967/fax: 541-346-5122


Presentation Time

Friday, September 8, 2006: 2:00 PM


Kalapuya Archaeology:  The Cultural Record of the Willamette Valley before 1450


Many summaries of the lifeways of the Willamette Valley Natives identify the Kalapuya as mobile hunter-gatherers. This may have been true at some times and places in the valley, but not all times and places. An important reason for oversimplification of Kalapuya lifeways and history is the fact that the most important historic and ethnographic records post-date the catastrophic epidemics that dramatically altered the valley's cultural landscape--well before significant face-to-face contact between Natives and Euroamerican immigrants could occur. Archaeology provides an important means of exploring the Willamette Valley's more ancient human history. This presentation will focus primarily on what has been learned from two of the Valley's most informative archaeological projects; one focused on the 10,000 year record documented on the upper Long Tom River area above Fern Ridge Reservoir, and the other on the 6000 year record documented along Mill Creek, a Willamette River tributary near Salem.

Select Bibliography

Connolly, Thomas J. 1991. The Standley Site (35DO182): Investigations into the Prehistory of Camas Valley, Southwest Oregon. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers No. 43, Department of Anthropology and Oregon State Museum of Anthropology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon: 243 pp.

Connolly, Thomas J. 2000. Anthropological and Archaeological Perspectives on Native Fire Management of the Willamette Valley [PDF]. Paper presented at 81st Annual Meeting of American Association for the Advancement of Science, Pacific Division (Symposium: Fire History in the Pacific Northwest: Human and Climatic Influences), June 11-14, 2000, Ashland, Oregon: 12 pp..

Friedel, Dorothy E., Lynn Peterson, Patricia R. McDowell and Thomas L. Connolly 1989. Alluvial Stratigraphy and Human Prehistory of the Veneta Area, Long Tom River Valley, Oregon: The Final Report of the Country Fair/Veneta Archaeological Project. Report to the National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, and Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. Oregon State Museum of Anthropology and Department of Geology, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon: 105 pp.

O'Neill, Brian L., Thomas J. Connolly, and Dorothy Freidel 2004. A Holocene Geoarchaeological Record for the Upper Willamette Valley, Oregon: The Long Tom and Chalker Sites. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers, No. 61. University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.