This website represents discoveries made at the Meier Site (35CO5), a Chinookan plankhouse occupied between about 1400AD and 1830AD. From 1987 to 1991, inclusive, the site was excavated by students of Portland State University, supervised by anthropology professor Kenneth M. Ames. This excavation initiated Professor Ames' Wapato Valley Archaeology Project, which addresses the archaeology of the Wapato Valley area, near metropolitan Portland, Oregon.

More than a third of the plankhouse interior was excavated; excavations also sampled the midden (trash heap) next to the plankhouse. Some excavations were also conducted outside the plankhouse, and away from the midden, to sample 'extra-plankhouse activities'.

These excavations yielded a massive corpus of data relating the plankhouse. Over 14,000 artifacts of a wide variety of types were recovered; these include stone, bone and antler tools. Seventy thousand chips of stone 'debitage' (waste produced when making stone tools) were collected, as well as several hundred bits of bone and/or antler debitage. Scores of bulk soil samples were taken, for storage in the lab and later study. Additionally, close to 100,000 (non-human) bones were collected.


At present, the enormous Meier site collection is being studied by several MA and PhD students. Most of these studies are comparing the Meier and Cathlapotle Village (45CL1) materials. Cathlapotle Village is another site excavated by Portland State University, between 1991 and 1996, inclusive. The site is just a few miles from Meier, and we believe the sites were occupied at the same time. It is interesting that the Meier site was a single, large plankhouse, while at Cathlapotle there were up to 12 or 14 plankhouses.

Current studies of the Meier and Cathlapotle sites are carried out under the aegis of Professor Kenneth M. Ames' Wapato Valley Archaeology Project. These studies include: Many people work on the Meier site collections; among them are Lancia Roselya, who has spent close to a decade mananging the artifact collection, recently completing the entry of 14,966 artifacts into the database. Current undergraduate labworkers include Lancia Roselya, Greg Baker (conducting a projectile point study). Tanya Pluth (mass analysis of Cathlapotle samples) and Nila Markheim (feature analysis and mass analysis of the Meier and Cathlapotle sites).


Previous studies of the Meier site, and references for important regional archaeological literature, may be found in the following bibliography.


This website has several functions. First, it is to be a repository of raw data for the Meier artifact catalogs. Second, the site will store data and graphics which are useful to a variety of researchers and othere interested people. Third, the site will allow the interested lay-person to examine the Meier Site, as it was excavated, level by level, to get a better understanding of how archaeology is conducted, as well as to learn about the Meier Site. Available through the Meier Site Data and Graphics Directory are both introductory and detailed materials regarding the site.

* Click here to enter the Meier Site Data and Graphics Directory *.

This website created and maintained by Cameron M. Smith.