RUE Episode 82: Cougar Mt. Cave

Cougar Mountain Cave! The name alone carries a certain intrigue about it, but it’s what was found inside that blows the human mind. Cougar Mauntain Cave is the focus of this episode of Ramping Up your English. Do your own exploring on this web page, and let your own imagination go wild!

Cougar Mountain Cave
Hunting tools as displayed at the Favell Museum in Klamath Falls Oregon. The dry climate and paleo lake-side caves preserved objects up to 13,500 years-old. This hunter’s weapon bag dates back thousands of years. Photo by Zack Brown, used by permission.

Watching Episode 82: Cougar Mountain Cave

This episode of Ramping Up your English is available on Archive.org as seen on RVTV Voices. Click here to go right to Episode 82 for an ad-free viewing experience. Watch as many times as you like, and you can even download the episode there. All episodes of Ramping Up your English are licensed under Creative Commons. Any non-commercial use of this work is permitted, as long as you give credit and share alike with those who want to use your work that’s derived from the one I share with you.

Watching in Segments

Ramping Up your English episodes are about 30 minutes in Length. Those who prefer to watch in shorter installments can view by segments of about 10 minutes each.

Click here to watch Segment One of Episode 82.

Watch Segment 2

Segment 3

Episode Summary

In Episode 82, we jump right into the intriguing finds in Cougar Mountain Cave – a site in South Central Oregon on the edge of a paleo lake (now dry).

Curator Pat McMillan of the Favell museum explains the importance of this discovery to understanding the population in the Pacific Northwest over 13,500 years ago. The objects found in this cave are on display at the Favell Museum of Western Art in Klamath Falls, and are featured in the video that’s shared early in the episode. The Favell museum houses treasures from other cave discoveries. Viewers of Ramping Up your English get to see footwear that’s made of local reeds – shoes that still have mud on them from when the lake still contained water.

Western Stemmed Points that likely predate the famed Clovis Points were found there, as well a clothing remnants and various tools that served the people who left them there thousands of years ago. Other caves in Oregon and Nevada also held ancient objects for researchers to date and explore. Those include an in-tack atlatl, complete with the sinew that held the hunting point on, and the boat stone that gave this hunting implement its balance.

We also share more of the Cherokee Creation story that we featured in the previous episode. It’s important to our understanding to respect the stories that are told, whether by archeologist or by traditional stories retold over generations of time. In this episode, we introduce a book of stories written by Jaime de Angulo – a researcher who lived among the Pit River Indians of Northern California for 40 years. His Indian Tales endeavors to reflect the true values and approaches to live that he observed during his time with these indigenous people. The beginning chapter is shared in this episode.

Language Objectives

This Episode is mostly about building the content, nonetheless, there are some language objectives, since viewers will strengthen their listening comprehension skills through watching the videos contained in this episode. Hence, the following learning objectives:

Name and Describe some of the objects found in Cougar Mountain Cave.

Explain why these object are important in the timeline of human occupation of the North American continent.

Explain the purpose of an atlatl.

Describe the geography of the area where these caves were found, and explain why Native Americans frequented these areas.

Academic Content Objectives

Since Listening Comprehension is the main focus for language skills, there is some overlap between them and the Content Objectives.

Geography: Locate on a map the location of the region where Cougar Mountain Cave is found. Describe the geology of South Central Oregon. Explain how this geology provided conditions for shelter. Explain how the climate in this region results in the preservation of very old human objects.

Climatology: Describe the climate on this region in the past, and how changes in climate produced areas for early Americans to find and harvest sustainence. Explain how changes in climate produced large bodies of water in this region and how other changes resulted in the drying-out of those lakes. Explain how climate conditions determined where early Americans settled.

Archeology: List and describe some of the objects found in Cougar Mountain Cave and explain what those objects tell us about how the people lived at that time. Explain how modern dating methods can change the timeline of human occupation of an area. Explain how the Western-stemmed hunting points were different from the Clovis Points, and what their discovery in Oregon tells us about the timeline of human presence in America. Explain how the Western-stemmed Points indicate the type of game consumed by early Americans in Central Oregon.

History: Describe an atlatl, and explain how it was used to hunt. Explain how climate change altered the food supply and the hunting practices of early Americans.

Books used in this Episode

It was my great pleasure to introduce Indian Tales by Jaime De Angulo to viewers. I highly recommend the book, as I can only supply brief reviews. Here are the ISBNs:

ISBN-13 9-7808-654-75236

ISBN-10 086-547-5237

Video clips used in this Episode

Click here to watch the Cougar Mountain Cave video that we featured in the first segment of this episode.

We also featured the first part of the book review of Indian Tales. Click here to see the video.

Next Episode

It’s back to our focus on language in the next episode, along with more about early Americans. Click here to visit the Episode 83 page.