Data recovery excavations and analyses showed that the stratified, multi-component Canadarago Lake I site was used intermittently for millennia starting as early as 2000 BC.
During the Late Archaic occupation at Canadarago Lake I people were using the site as a small resource-processing camp. The core of their activities was a relatively small area in the northern portion of the site south of the creek. Most of the material culture is highly concentrated around a core area measuring 67 m2, which includes a small thermal feature. This period of site use is dated by radiometric dates (AMS dating) and projectile points. A hearth (Feature 13) returned an AMS date range of 2280-2245, 2230-2130, and 2085-2045 BC (calibrated two sigma). The single Late Archaic feature (Feature 13) was a small hearth that contained numerous pieces of lithic debitage as well as a variety of botanical (plant) remains, including nutshell and seeds. The presence of a hearth indicates the need for heat, possibly for food processing, and/or light. The presence of only one small hearth suggests that people were using the area during this time for only a short-term period.
People during the Transitional period of site use at Canadarago Lake I were using the site as a small resource-processing locale. The core of the Transitional period of site use encompasses a moderately large area (93 m2) in the southern portion of the site, south of the creek. No cultural features dating to this period of site use were identified.
The Early Woodland period at the Canadarago Lake I site is a time when groups were using the area as a specialized single-task camp, primarily centered on the production of stone tools (bifaces). Archaeologists identified two clusters of activity. The smaller cluster (26 m2) is the one further north and contains the only feature associated with this period of site use. The cluster to the south, measuring 38 m2, lacks features. The feature (Feature 17, a hearth) returned a calibrated two sigma AMS date of 1010-890 BC and 875 to 845 BC. The hearth feature contained a high density of lithics, two fragments of nutshell, and a small number of faunal remains. The fact that only one feature was associated with this period indicates that people were occupying the area for only a short period.
The Late Woodland component at the Canadarago Lake I site was likely created by people as a multi-task seasonal camp. Site use during this time represented the most extensive and variable period of landuse. Evidence for Late Woodland use covers the entire site limits within the A1 soil horizon but was concentrated within a large (84 m2) cluster in the center of the southern portion of the site. Within this cluster, many of the classes of material culture and five of the six Late Woodland features (four hearths and one basin-shaped pit) were identified. As with earlier periods of site use, consumption of fleshy fruits and nuts was an important part of the diet during the Late Woodland. Site use was, as with the Late Archaic, most likely during the late summer or fall. The Late Woodland component contained the most features of any period of site use and the greatest feature diversity with four hearths and two small, basin-shaped pits. This density and diversity of features indicates that site occupants were engaged in more site activities and possibly for more or longer periods of time than during previous periods. Hearth features associated with the Late Woodland component represent 66.7% of the component’s feature assemblage. Four features (Features 1, 13, 14, and 17) associated with the A1 horizon returned dates falling within the early Late Woodland. Of these, three dates, those from Features 1, 11, and 15, are statistically the same and, when averaged, have a two-sigma range of AD 1039-1168. In addition, numerous Levanna points, a Madison point, and pottery fragments were recovered from the A1 horizon, supporting the Late Woodland period of site use.