By Gary F. Fry
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Extra resources for Analysis of Prehistoric Coprolites from Utah (University of Utah Anthropological Papers : No 97)
Other Compositae were eaten by the Gosiute but were not major coprolite components. A single, late Archaic coprolite (D34) from Danger Cave was made up almost entirely of the bark of Cornus stolonifera. The plant was smoked as a narcotic and produced an effect similar to opium. The effect of eating a large amount of bark is unknown, but it is probable that the same effect could be achieved by eating the bark as by smoking it, particularly if the psychoactive ingredient is an alkaloid (Shultes 1967, 36).
The biota is limited to desert-adapted species. Due to the propensities of primitive man for long distance transport, nondesertic biota are occasionally found in dry cave deposits; some of these were components of coprolites. Forty-seven mammal species, 46 bird species, and 9 species of reptiles and amphibians are listed in Jennings (1957, 3-5) as present-day inhabitants of the Wendover area. Sixty-eight plant species were recovered from the Danger Cave deposits (Jennings 1957, 5). Indications of climatic change are present in the Hogup Cave deposits (Durrant and Harper 1969, 2-9).
The annual round at Danger Cave (see Culture History) probably extended north and south along the western edge of the Salt Desert, north into the Goose Creek Mountains and south into the Deep Creek Range. A bog lies at the edge of the salt flats just below Danger Cave, and springs are common along the east flank of the mountains adjacent to the flats. A wide range of envrionments was thus available to the inhabitants of Danger Cave, who apparently came to the cave in the fall to gather the abundant seeds of the common "pickleweed" ( Allenrolfea occidentalis ), which grows along the edge of the salt flats.
Analysis of Prehistoric Coprolites from Utah (University of Utah Anthropological Papers : No 97) by Gary F. Fry