The Cart Creek Basket is a Fremont Tradition coiled burden/carrying basket that was found by a firefighter in a small rockshelter within the Ashley National Forest in 1977. It was discovered in an inverted position encircling a clay base, with clay also packed around the exterior. This aboriginal container is made mostly of willow rods and Indian hemp fiber bundles, with the darker, original portion constructed of the one split rod and bundle technique, whereas the lighter, later addition/repair to the base was built using the two whole rod technique. Part of a wood rod from the original section was radiocarbon dated at 970 +/- 40 BP (AD 1000-1170) and a wood rod sample from the later addition dates to 920 +/- 40 BP ( AD 1020-1210). A faint black diagonal “stair step” design occurs at six inch intervals along the basket mid section. The function of this hand-woven textile changed over the course of its use life from a container to the cover of a storage cist. A thin rock slab was placed on top of the inverted base in order to prevent rodents from accessing the (plant?) food that probably was stored inside.
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