On July 21, eleven intrepid ASCO members traveled to Connley Cave located south of Fort Rock. Masks were worn to keep in compliance with the UO requirements at the time for COVID. Dr Dennis Jenkins, the primary Archaeologist for the site had been called away, but Dr. Katelyn McDonough, new UO Archaeologist and Richie Rosencrance Field Director and Doctoral candidate in Great Basin Paleoindian Research filled in. There were 12 University of Oregon students in the UO summer Field School and 9 others assisting as volunteers, technicians and archaeologists. ASCO brought ice cream sandwiches and popsicles for all to enjoy, kept cold on dry ice. Katelyn and Richie were gracious with their time, spending 2 hours talking about the site as well as during their lunch hour. They covered their recent digs in caves 5 and 6, plus the current dig in cave 4 as well as new electronic mapping techniques. Caves 5 & 6 offered them an opportunity to dig through past excavations and gather smaller items than the dig before because of the smaller mesh screens used. This aided them to find small fine needles used in making clothing. They also had dug below the previously excavated layers, uncovering more artifacts as well as needles, helping them get a picture of the cave's use over time as a summer lake camp. An additional dig at Cave 6 had provided Katelyn with new material for her research on coprolites. The Cave 4 dig was deep into new levels and a student was uncovering an artifact, just in time for the Field School dig to end the following week.
Submitted by Tom Machala, Field Trip Coordinator. Photos by Tom Machala.
Connley Cave Rock Shelter
with Dr. Dennis Jenkins & Dr. Katelyn McDonough
Date: July 21, 2022
Registration opens at 8:00 AM, July 7th
ASCO Covid-19 precautions for the Connley Caves Field Trip
Due to recent increase in covid-19 transmissions leading to the CDC designation of Deschutes County in the High Category, ASCO is implementing the following precautions in order to have a safe and enjoyable experience for ASCO members and the University of Oregon Field School students and staff:
Vaccinations: The University of Oregon requires up to date vaccinations for everyone onsite at Field School. Fully vaccinated means that you are boosted or have completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna within the last five months or completed the primary dose of Johnson and Johnson/Janssen within the last two months.
ASCO member participants must meet, or exceed, these vaccination standards
ASCO member participants must show proof of the vaccination status at the check-in on the day of the field trip
ASCO member participants will wear masks during the field visit. The University of Oregon students and staff will also wear masks during the visit.
ASCO member participants should not participate of they experience covid symptoms, have tested positive for covid, or have had contact with someone who has covid symptoms and/or has tested positive for covid in the preceding week.
ASCO will not coordinate carpooling; any decision to do so will be between participants
Connley Cave is located south of Fort Rock; about a 1 1/2-hour drive from Bend. We will meet Dr Dennis Jenkins and Dr Katelyn McDonough and their University of Oregon students where they will be working. This is an exciting opportunity to learn about this important site and get an update on the current work. This will be an all-day trip. It is bound to be hot with plenty of sun, some walking over uneven ground, and a slim possibility of rattlers. You will want adequate water and a sack lunch. The trip is limited to 14 people.
Connley Caves by Katelyn McDonough
15,000 Years of Great Basin Archaeology by Dennis Jenkins
- 7:45 AM - Gather at southwest corner of Walmart parking lot in Bend to check-in
- 8:00 AM - Depart for Fort Rock State Park (rest rooms) - 66 miles
- Depart Fort Rock State Park for Connley Cave. This portion of the trip will travel about 10 miles of well-graded, but dusty, gravel road followed by 1 1/2 miles on a dirt road to the Cave. They are usually quite passable with anything but a low- clearance car.
~10:00 AM - Connley Cave visit
- Tailgate lunch
~ 1:00 PM - Start drive back to Bend
~ 3:00 PM - return to bend
Car pooling from the gathering at Walmart, is optional; if you do, please consider contributing for gas. High clearance cars and 4x4’s are not needed but we will be traveling on gravel/dirt roads. We will get dusty.
- Water (lots), snacks, lunch
- Mask, hat, umbrella for shade, and sunscreen
Field trip coordinator: Tom Machala,