Paisley 5 Mile Point Caves, Oregon, U.S.A. offer a unique perspective on Native Americans living in the Great Basin during the Younger Dryas. The cave sediments are mixed with abundant, disaggregated, packrat coprolites. We developed a technique for processing these packrat coprolites. Using this technique, this study analyses fifteen packrat coprolite samples separated from sediments collected from the sidewall of a test unit within Paisley Caves #2. The results were then used to create a paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the region. This reconstruction was then compared to a previous reconstruction based on the fossil pollen in the sediment from the same site. The reconstructions were similar. However, we found that the packrat coprolites were prone to dietary biases that could mask the true paleovegetation of the area. By studying the differences and similarities of these two sample sets, we obtained a better understanding of how each set reflects the local environment.

You do not currently have access to this article.