Mick Qualls details the ancient people of Washington

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Rachal Pinkerton/Columbia Basin Herald Mick Qualls gives a talk about the ancient people of Washington.

MOSES LAKE — The ancient people of Washington was the topic of the latest Salon Series talk at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center on Wednesday, Nov. 6. Mick Qualls, of Ephrata, took audience members on a whirlwind tour of various archaeological sites and discoveries around eastern Washington.

Experts believe that the first people to come to North America came via a walkway that was created when ice melted between Russia and Alaska. Others may have crossed the Atlantic in boats, arriving in Virginia, before going on to Clovis and Folsom, New Mexico.

“Families learned to hunt in groups,” Qualls said. “They learned how to eat these big animals.”

Early people to North America used Atlatl spears to kill their food and lived in caves.

“They didn’t live out here in this desert,” Qualls said. “They would come out here for 30 to 40 days.”

The original population of eastern Washington dug roots in the desert during the spring.

“There is a certain type of flower, when it comes up, you can dig the roots,” Qualls said.

They may have possibly had mesa top dwellings and fortresses where they lived while digging roots and where they stored their tools. Allegedly, there are 43 such locations in the area.

Evidence of these early people can be found in Eastern Washington. Clovis points, the remains of pit houses and burial sites have been found throughout the region.

Ephrata used to be known as Indian Graves. Travelers on the road from Fort Walla Walla to Camp Chelan passed by the graves. Burials were found when the current jail was built.

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached by email at rpinkerton@columbiabasinherald.com.

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