Paleoamerican Odyssey Posters
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We evaluated migration models to the Americas by employing the information contained in A2a and B2a native mitogenomes from North America. In brief, a minimum of three migration waves is needed to explain the native mitogenome diversity of North America. Most of the contemporary mtDNA variation (along the double-continent) stems from the first wave that from Beringia followed the Pacific coast route and was dated to 15-18 thousand years (ka) ago based on the 16 mitogenome founders identified so far. Since our B2a mtDNAs coalesce at about 12-13 ka ago, it is likely that the diagnostic mutational motif of B2a evolved in situ a few millennia after that B2 had already entered and spread along the double continent. The first pacific wave was accompanied or followed by a second (inland) migratory event, marked by haplogroups X2a and C4c, which affected the ancestral gene pools of modern Amerindian groups of Northern North America, from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts, including the Na-Dene. Much later, only ~4-7 ka ago, the ancestral A2a carriers spread from Alaska undertaking a back-migration to Asia, an eastward expansion into the circumpolar regions of Canada and eventually contributing to the formation of the Na-Dene gene
Differentiating culturally modified artifacts from geofacts modified by natural processes has long been a topic of concern in archaeology. This issue is particularly pertinent for pre-Clovis occupations in the Americas that often have questionable contexts and association that keep pushing the colonization of the New World back in time. In the context of this poster we compare fracture patterns on obsidian cores made in an experimental context that simulates natural fracture to human made cores using multiple reduction techniques in attempt to elucidate the nature of fracture patterns that result from different processes. While the forces creating these fractures in brittle solids have been explored extensively, this poster approaches the issue in an attempt to analyze their utility as a proxy for natural vs. human modification. We attempt to take the many different forms of surface fracture and sort them into types useful for this method of analysis. We hope this methodology, focusing on fracture patterning, provides a way to use cores as an additional line of evidence in answering this contentious archaeological question.
Within the Great Basin, site locations dating to the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition (PHT) are generally associated with specific geographical features. GIS is a useful tool for identifying geographical features likely to contain sites dating to the PHT period. Guided by previous Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene investigations in the Great Basin, a GIS predictive model combining topographical features likely to have been favorable for PHT period occupation was developed. Topographical features likely to have implications for PHT occupation included the pluvial lake maximum extents and associated shore features, Holocene deposited alluvial sediments, drainages, predicted marsh zones, and current lake playa extents. These features were mapped and ranked; a sample of high-, medium-, and low-probability areas were then inventoried. Sample inventories were conducted within Delamar Lake Valley, Dry Lake Valley, and Kane Springs Valley, Lincoln County, Nevada, to identify cultural resources associated with the PHT period and test the accuracy of the GIS model. Here we present: 1) the methods used to develop the GIS model and sample inventory, and 2) the results of those inventories. Results indicate that model refinement based on additional environmental, topographical, and geologic inputs enables PHT site identification. Additionally, results may provide more fine-grained in- formation regarding PHT foraging behavior and occupation strategies.
Fell’s Cave, Pali Aike, Cerro Sota, and Cañadon Leona were reported as the first known association of late Pleistocene megafauna with artifacts in the Southern Cone of South America. Since the excavation of these sites nearly 60 years ago by Junius Bird, little has been done with the excavated materials which are housed at the American Museum of Natural History. Since 2004, these collections have been under investi- gation and the analyses are yielding some surprising results. The basal levels of Fell’s Cave have been redated using charcoal left over from Bird’s original hearth samples. The new AMS dates from the lowest three hearths, associated with Fishtail projectile points, have yielded dates that are slightly younger than the original ages obtained by Bird. The zooarchaeological and taphonomic examination of materials from the basal levels are also yielding a different view than what Bird first reported. Mylodon, a ground sloth specie common to the late Pleisto- cene levels in these rockshelters was not a dietary item. Rather these caves look to have served as denning caves for sloths and the occasional large sized felids or ursids. The smaller body mass Onohippidium, a horse species, demonstrates a contrasting pattern of possible human and carnivore predation.
Artifact locational, attribute, and image data from across North America provide a unique perspective from which to examine early settlement, and a source of data open to all, researchers and the general public alike. Since the last major update in 2010, a vast amount of new information has been collected and added into the database, refining our understanding of where artifacts have been found on the landscape, sources of bias, and where more work needs to be done. PIDBA highlights an important and positive aspect of Paleoindian archaeology becoming increasingly common in the 21 st century, namely the sharing of primary data, and the examination of settlement at progressively larger geographic scales.
Ongoing excavations at the Topper site in Allendale County, South Carolina, over the past 25 years have produced vast amounts of lithic debitage from the Paleoindian and Early Archaic components. Refitting studies initiated in 2010 involving assemblages from three different. areas of the site (the terrace, hillside, and hilltop) have yielded evidence of hearth-centered activity areas with knapping clusters that have remained relatively undisturbed over time. These largely intact features present an opportunity to examine the behaviors of individual people in the archaeological record, and refit success rates are approaching 30% in some units. These findings have provided unique and otherwise inaccessible insights into spatial patterning, lithic reduction sequences, and site formation processes during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene.
The investigations conducted between 2010 and 2012 in the northeastern desert of the State of Zacatecas, Mexico, on the Tropic of Cancer (a region never studied before), revealed an intense hunter-gatherer occupation manifested in 35 new archaeological sites, mainly open campsites. The settlements are situated on paleo-beaches, alluvial fans and the heights surrounding an extinct paleo-lake contained by an endorheic basin. The majority date to the last millennium. The research focused on the evaluation of the earliest human occupation there. Preliminary test excavations were realized in four sites. Dunas site yielded interesting flaked stone assemblages on the surface, integrated by a variety of tools made of limestone and basalt, probably from the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition, while Pleistocene stratigraphy was exposed in excavations. The travertine rockshelters at San José de las Grutas revealed a new industry of limestone indented based points in an ancient ephemeral camp. Ojo de Agua is rich in extinct megafauna and yielded important chronostratigraphic markers. The Chiquihuite Cave showed potential old occupation in a still debatable context. The oldest human presence in the area goes back to at least Late Paleoamerican times. The studies also allowed an incipient paleoenvironmental model for the region.
Pleistocene megacarnivores, those mammals weighting over 100 kg, are known from several localities throughout North America. Megacarnivores are composed of ursids and felids. Ursids include brown, shortfaced, and polar bears. Felids consist of sabertooth cats, jaguar, and Pleistocene lion. Canids are among the large Pleistocene North American carnivores, generally weighing between 70 to 100 kg, with dire wolf as the primary contender in this category. Megacarnivores and large carnivores are contemporaneous for a time with people, before some of these carnivores went extinct. Analysis of mammoth localities on the Plains indicated that the timing of carcass access between people and large carnivores was different. On the Northern Plains, people were competitors in scavenging mammoth carcasses, and dire wolf was the probable main large carnivore competitor. On the Southern Plains, interaction between short-faced bears and people indicated the short-faced bear was a food item and raw material resource rather than a competitor. Nevertheless, a large carnivore scavenged mammoth carcasses after butchering activities by people. At Cedral (México), the presence of both megacarnivores and people was documented, but without any evidence of interactions between them. Competition for the same resource appears to have been structured to avoid direct conflict and minimize danger.
For the past seven years, an archaeo-paleontological research has been undertaken in Barranca del Muerto, Santiago Chazumba, Oaxaca, as part of a larger project for studying hunter-gatherers and faunal relationships in México. Four field seasons were completed for about a month each, and animal species numbers have increased with each season. Animals included both megaherbivores (gomphothere, glyptodont, giant ground sloth among others), mesoherbivores (deer, rabbit), and even small mammals (woodrat, Mexican vole). It is important to mention that there are several individuals for some of the mega- herbivores. Initial pollen assays show that at some point there was a temperate forest with coniferous trees, as well as an ancient lake with several springs draining to it in the locality; further pollen research is warranted. Associated with megafaunal remains there were some lithic materials, generally poorly-defined bits of carving activities; however, their association with the fauna and the presence of possible anthropic marks on some flat bones could signify the presence of hunter-gatherers along with the extinct fauna. At least one of the bones pertaining to the giant ground sloth show one cut mark and another as possible. Further studies with the overall bone collection are under way.
This study examines spatial distributions of Clovis and Folsom projec- tile points and performs from the Continental Divide of Colorado to the eastern Kansas border. Extensive use is made of private collections and isolated discoveries, data considered essential for understanding artifact patterning at large regional scales. Observed differences in distributions may represent diverse organizational strategies and land use patterns of Clovis and Folsom groups across different physiograph- ic regions, and correspond with reorganization of environments and resources during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Multiple factors have influenced these distinctive distributions including behavioral, technological, and organizational responses of Clovis and Folsom peo- ples to dramatic ecological changes.
This study uses the skeletal remains of the most complete early Ho- locene North American males to test models of colonization derived from molecular studies and from archaeological evidence. Osteometric measurements were taken from the entire skeleton. These data present the earliest possible assessment of human morphological variation in North America. Stature, body mass, body breadth, and body propor- tions are examined in the context of male skeletal samples representing the range of morphological variation in North America in the last two millennia of the Holocene. These are also compared with a global sam- ple. Results indicate that early Holocene males have variable postcranial morphologies, but all share the common trait of wide bodies. This trait, which is retained among all late Holocene indigenous North American groups, is associated with adaptations to cold climates. Peoples from the Americas exhibit wider bodies than other populations sampled globally. This pattern suggests the common ancestral population of all of these indigenous American groups had reduced morphological variation in this trait. Furthermore, this supports Beringia or a similar environment as the location for the genetic isolation of ancestors of the human colo- nizers of the Americas. Additionally, models of evolutionary processes are assessed against the phenotypic patterns.
Gathering data scientifically inside underwater caves is not an easy task. It poses a number of difficulties for the specialist. Training in cave diving and technical expertise is required to keep from altering the ultra-fragile and watery context. The evidence is often located far inside the caves, sometimes more than 1500 feet from entrances at depths of 150 feet, forcing divers to breath mixed gases and, during ascents, to stop and decompress for short periods of time. Apart from the physiological risks of nitrogen narcosis, decompression sickness and drowning, there are also physical dangers such as the ceiling, water, darkness and sediments of the cave (some are super fine and once suspended in the water take hours to settle down). Just by exhaling, the ceiling crumbles down with percolation causing visibility to drop. The first diver to approach evidence is the photographer, who shoots frames in crystal clear water. Next is the videographer. They are followed by the rest of the team who gets close enough to perform observations as well as recording necessary data like depth, magnetic north, flow of water, bottom composition, presence or absence of anatomical connection, charcoal and speleothems. The group is limited to four or less depend- ing on the size of the site/cave. Sometimes places are so narrow that already with one or two people it becomes a race against time before conditions deteriorate requiring evacuation. Some of the questions we ask ourselves before going inside are: how much sediment exists over and under the bones? are there any teeth? how big is the site? how big are the bones? is it at risk of vandalism and how imminent is it? We then complete a standardized form, noting site location, distance from nearest entrance, site parameters: (maximum and minimum depth of fresh or salt water, temperature, bottom composition, size of the site, height and width of the cave), cartography (distance and bearings of the guide line towards the site, measurements taken with fiberglass tape and a 2 degree increment compass), archaeological register (type of evi- dence, amount, anatomical connections, amount of sediment below and above the bone material), methodic search of area for potential find- ings, archaeological register in high definition underwater videography, and archaeological register in high resolution underwater photography.
The Arizona Paleoindian Projectile Point Survey is a long-term project to document known occurrences of Paleoindian projectile points throughout Arizona by drawing upon public outreach, voluntary disclosure, and the results of published research. Of interest are public and private artifact collections containing classic Paleoindian types such as Clovis, Folsom, Plainview, Agate Basin, Hell Gap, Scottsbluff, and Frederick-Allen, as well as Paleoarchaic point types such as Lake Mojave, Silver Lake, and San Dieguito. The survey builds upon previous statewide compilations (e.g. Agenbroad 1967; Faught and Freeman 1998; Haynes 2011; Huckell 1982; Pilles and Geib 2001) while employ- ing the methodology and GIS approach of the Paleoindian Database of the Americas (PIDBA). The survey is guided by two interrelated objectives: 1) create and maintain an accessible statewide database of known Paleoindian projectile points and 2) improve the overall resolution of Paleoindian point distributions in the western United States (in conjunction with PIDBA). Visit http://azpaleosurvey.pidba.org/
Survey and excavation in the Lake China Basin, NAWS China Lake, has revealed an astonishing concentration of ancient archaeological deposits containing fluted and stemmed projectile points, crescents, fossil bone deposits, and robust chipped stone assemblages. This poster presentation reviews these materials with respect to geomorphological associations, temporal positioning, and patterns of technological variation. Brief comparisons are made to other significant localities in the Mojave Desert.
Geoarchaeological investigations were conducted at the Villa Grove and Scott Miller Sites during the summers of 2011 and 2012. At Villa Grove, bones including mammoth, bison, horse, camel, and dire wolf are buried in an alluvial fan dipping eastward from the San Juan Mountains. A paleolandscape buried ~12m beneath the surface is represented by a buried soil that is continuous across alluvial fan sediments, a 20m-wide silty channel fill, and a 1m-wide gravelly gully fill. Radiocarbon ages on a mammoth molar and organic carbon from the channel fill place the site at ~26,000 to ~33,000 rcybp. The geologic story is especially important because flakes produced on mammoth limb bone may indicate the presence of humans at the site. The Scott Miller Site is a multicomponent site with evidence of over 10,000 years of occupation along Spring Creek and associated paleowetlands. Subsurface stratigraphic analysis and radiocarbon dating suggest that the site was first a fluvial system depositing stratified sandy silts. Thick peat deposits overlying these layers represent a localized rising of the water table sometime before ~11,530 rcybp. Woody peats representing boggy, saturated conditions alternate with organic silts representing standing water and marshy environments until sometime after ~9,120 rcybp.
The mountainous uplands of central Alaska play an important role in understanding human colonization of new landscapes. Humans occupied the Tanana lowlands of central Alaska as early as 14,000 cal BP, possibly as shrub-tundra vegetation spread into the region during the late glacial. The adjacent uplands of the central Alaska Range do not appear to have been occupied until much later, despite deglaciation as early as 16,000 cal BP. Why is there a temporal gap in colonization of the uplands? When did humans first colonize the uplands, and what was the environmental context of initial occupation? What research methods are useful for identifying dispersal patterns into the uplands of central Alaska? The laboratory for addressing these questions is the upper Susitna River basin, central Alaska, where we utilize geomorphological, paleoecological, and archaeological data to establish the paleoenvironmental history and record of human colonization of the upland Susitna basin. These data will inform on the timing and nature of human colonization of the uplands of central Alaska.
The Potter site, initially discovered in 2003, is a Paleoindian site located in Northern New Hampshire. Extensive excavation and statistical analysis suggest that the site represents multiple reoccupations during both the Early and Middle Paleoindian periods. Microwear analysis performed upon a large sample of the artifacts shows that the site was used primarily as a base camp to manufacture tools. The Potter site holds great potential for contributing to our understanding of how groups settle into the landscape after the initial colonization process.
The deeply incised stream networks of the Mexican highlands expose large volumes of late Quaternary alluvium, but their potential for the study of extinct faunas, the first human populations, and wider environmental change has barely been tapped. Two recent field projects – one in the state of Tlaxcala, the other in the Mixteca Alta region of the state of Oaxaca – have systematically surveyed cutbanks along low- to medium-order stream reaches. We now have at our disposal a chronological framework based on dozens of radiocarbon dates, and a good grasp of the extent, geometry, and appearance of alluvial deposits, paleosols, and buried land surfaces of different ages. Paradoxically, those of Paleoamerican age are more common, better preserved, and easier to recognize than those of Archaic age. Many correspond to low-energy depositional environments that paleontological or archaeological excavation should target. Seasonal wet meadows were common throughout the highlands of central and southern Mexico at several moments during deglaciation, especially during the Bolling-Allerød warm period, and the first 1500 years of the Holocene. They offered an attractive environmental niche for large herbivores and humans. Locales with the bone of megafauna are ubiquituos. Human presence before 7500 14C years BP is suggested at three locales.
In this poster I explore a regional perspective on the lithic raw material variability of endscraper assemblages from ten Folsom sites within the Northern Plains, Southern Plains, and Rocky Mountains. Folsom hunter gatherers are known to have occupied a wide range of habitats and environments extending from the Canadian prairie to Northern Mexico. Prior research traditions infer static patterns of landscape and lithis raw material use with an advanced lithic technological complex designed for high mobility bison hunting. These theories are in a constant need for reevaluation through new analysis and this research is an attempt to do so. This poster endeavors to differentiate regional behavior and infer mobility strategies through the exploration of raw material diversity of one facet of lithic technology associated with processing; endscrapers. In this examination I produce a measure of raw material diversity to test whether differential patterns of raw material composition suggest regional variations in mobility strategies and land use. These conclusions will be utilized to shed light on broad cultural patterns or regional variations of Folsom hunter gatherer behavior in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains.
The Tennessee Paleoindian Archaeological Survey, conducted from 1988 to present has produced data of 4,500 projectile points, and over 100 archaeological sites in the state.
Because of extensive outcrops of Upper Mercer flint along the Walhonding and Tuscarawas Rivers in central Coshocton County, this area was a regional focal point for Paleoindian activity. Fluted points made out of Upper Mercer flint have been found throughout Ohio, as well as in surrounding states. Over the past 50 years, three archaeologists have done extensive work on Paleoindian sites in Coshocton and Holmes Counties. In the 1960-70s, Olaf Prufer performed a survey of fluted points in the Walhonding and Tuscarawas Valleys. He also conducted excavations at the Welling, McConnell, and Mud Valley sites. In the 1980s Bradley Lepper did a study of Early Paleoindian land use patterns in Coshocton County and Nigel Brush excavated a 12,185 year-old stone-lined firehearth at the Eppley Rockshelter and also recovered a Crowfield Point and several Late Paleoindian lanceolate points from this site. In the 1990s Brush excavated the Martins Creek Mastodon in central Holmes County and recovered flint flakes containing mastodon and deer blood residues. In 2009 he and his associates recovered the base of a Crowfield Point from the Large Rockshelter. Thus, a half-century of fieldwork has revealed a rich tapestry of Paleoindian activity in these two counties.
The Calico Site (central Mojave Desert) provides the greatest time depth of evidence of man’s activity in the U.S. This poster considers the Site’s oldest component: siliceous rock tools, flakes, and angular debitage of the “Calico Lithic Industry.” Younger surface artifacts or those from a nested alluvial inset are not considered. The two foci of investigation and controversy are: (1) the authenticity of the specimens as bona fide artifacts (the “artifact/geofact” issue); and (2) the age and contexts of the host alluvial fan deposits. These are separate issues. Uranium series dating and surface 10Be cosmogenic dating indicate that the host deposits are older than 200,000 years. The alluvial stratigraphy will be discussed. Skeptics have questioned the artifactual character of the Calico artifacts. Natural processes suggested as alternatives to homonin flintknapping include rock-on-rock percussion in streams and mud- flows (i.e., alluvial processes acting as a giant “gravel crusher”), lightning strikes, animal trampling, earthquake liquefaction, and pressure retouch of buried cobbles. These hypotheses are examined and found wanting. Intentional percussion flaking (guided by cognitive evaluation of ever changing geometries, planned percussion removals that facilitate subsequent modification, and knowledge and experience of the specific lithology involved) is suggested as a more viable hypothesis.
Great Plains bison bonebeds exemplify an important portion of carrion production in North America. Given that carnivores opportunistically scavenge carrion in an effort to reduce energy costs and increase nutrients in times of reduced prey availability, carnivore utilization of bison bonebeds have the potential to illuminate how human hunters impact- ed carnivore communities in the past. This poster presents the results of data collected on the degree of carnivore-utilized bison carcasses at the Casper, Jones-Miller, and Horner II bison bonebeds. Collecting utilization data and coding the degree to which a carcass has been consumed provides an ecological framework concerning carnivore stress in the past. While most taphonomic studies on Great Plains bison bonebeds have focused on identification of site formation processes, this research shows that carnivore utilization can be implemented as an ecological proxy to create a more holistic understanding of human-carnivore interactions in the past.
Japanese prehistory began around 33,000 14C BP. For most of the Pleis- tocene, Sakhalin and Hokkaido formed a peninsula joining the Asian continent at the Russian Far East. Honshu, Kyusyu, and Shikoku were a single island last joining Korea 130,000 years ago. These two landmasses, Paleo-SHK Peninsula and Paleo-Honshu, were continuously separated throughout the Pleistocene. The earliest well-dated archaeological sites are in Kyushu and Honshu at 33-30,000 14C BP. The earliest Hokkaido sites with reliable numerical dates are Shimaki, Kashiwadai 1, and Kawanishi C at around 21,000 14C BP. Several northern sites such as Wakabonomori, Shukubaisankakuyama, and Kyoei 3, are not well dated, but could be as old as 30,000 14C BP. Rarely is Japan brought up in discussions about Paleoamericans, but the archipelago’s Paleolithic database should not be ignored. For one, there is evidence for terrestrially adapted hunter-gatherers at the gateway to western Beringia 21,000 14C BP. Also, blades, bifaces, and microblades, important components of early New World toolkits, were widespread across Japan throughout the Paleolithic. Last, obsidian sourcing implies seafaring capabilities as early as 30,000 14C BP. As such, Japan is a good reference when considering the technological and behavioral changes humans experienced as they first entered the Americas.
The results of new research conducted on GNL Quintero 1 (GNLQ1), a Late Pleistocene paleontological submerged site located in the coast of Central Chile (32o46’S) are presented. GNLQ1 is located in Quintero Bay, 650 m offshore and 13 m above underwater. During the last years, an animal bone assemblage composed by extinct continental fauna has been recovered and analyzed. By combining geological, geomorphological, bathymetrical, sedimentological and paleontological data with a digital simulation model we suggest that by c. 16,000 cal BP a significant part of Quintero Bay was exposed and GNLQ1 would have been located several kilometers inland as the paleoshoreline was farther out on the continental shelf. GNLQ1 provides the first unambiguous evidence that final-Pleistocene sites can be located through underwater investigation, thus offering insight into a submerged paleolandscape viable for human occupation and transit along the Pacific Coast of South America during the Late Pleistocene.
A predictive model to locate Early Holocene archaeological sites in southwestern Southeast Alaska was developed based on a data set of shell-bearing raised marine deposits located throughout Southeast Alaska. Fieldwork included coring of select raised marine strata, measuring their elevations, and radiocarbon dating the associated shell samples within the cores. A subset of the data was used to produce a relative sea level curve spanning the Holocene. The sea level curve and high resolution digital elevation models were utilized to generate paleoshorelines at various elevations. The hypothesized Early Holocene shoreline was then used to predict that archaeological sites between the ages of ca. 9,200 and 7,000 14C yr BP would be located between 16 and 21 m above present zero tide. Surveys to test the model found over 70 locations with archaeological material. Eleven of these sites are within the predicted elevations and date from 6,890 to 9,280 14C yr BP. Initial investigations indicate the sites are extensive and rich in microblade and pebble tool technology. The new Early Holocene sites imply greater early maritime settlement of Alaska than previously imagined and contribute to our understanding of the movement of people into North America.
The Shoop site is the largest Paleoindian site in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the Middle Atlantic region. Unlike most Paleoindian sites in the region, it is situated on a ridge top, several kilometers from any high order streams. It covers approximately 15 ha and contains several, although poorly defined, artifact concentrations. The artifact assemblage is characterized by a high ratio of tools to debitage, tool maintenance activities, over 500 endscrapers, and at least 77 projectile points. In 1952, John Witthoft identified 98% of the lithic material as originating from the Diver’s Lake Onondaga chert quarries in western New York. This suggests a settlement pattern covering over 350 km. However, this hypothesis has been criticized. Recent testing using x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis has also identified the Diver’s Lake source. Although the Shoop site is very different from most sites in the Middle Atlantic region, it is similar to sites in the New England–Maritimes and Eastern Great Lakes regions. The implications of the XRF analysis will be explored.
The concentration of Clovis projectile points in north Alabama has received considerable attention in some models of Clovis migration and settlement. Clovis materials collected from the surface of sites in Lauderdale and Colbert Counties, Alabama in 1986 are examined from an organization of technology perspective. While these collections are limited by a lack of accompanying flake debris, and the multi-component nature of the assemblages, such problems are often faced with surface collected Clovis assemblages. Detailed technological analysis from a uselife perspective in conjunction with a consideration of tool design will be used to make inferences regarding technological strategies. Coupled with a consideration of the environment, additional inferences of mobility and settlement pattern will be offered. These detailed site-specific data will be placed in the broader context of artifact and site distribution in the region. Clovis migration models and settlement will be evaluated in light of these new findings.
Sea-level rise during the last deglaciation was influenced by isostatic, gravitational, and rotational effects that led to significant regional departures from eustasy. Sea-level rise across the Oregon-Washington and Bering Sea continental shelf would have been particularly variable spatially in response to the near-field effects of the collapsing Cordilleran and Laurentide Ice Sheets as well as far-field effects related to melting of the other global ice sheets. Such regional variability is important when investigating paleo-coastal occupation sites and migration pathways used by early Native Americans. An improved understanding of region- al sea-level rise may also be used for predictive modeling of the location of potential archaeological sites that are now submerged. Here we predict relative sea-level (RSL) change across the Oregon-Washington and Bering Sea continental shelves using a state-of-the-art theory that incorporates viscoelastic deformation of the Earth, time-varying shoreline geometries and the feedback of perturbations in Earth rotation into sea level (Kendall et al., 2005). The calculations are performed using a pseudo-spectral algorithm with a truncation at spherical harmonic de- gree and order 256. The predictions are based on the ICE-5G ice model. Our results clearly demonstrate that deglacial sea-level rise across the Oregon-Washington and Bering Sea continental shelves was highly non-uniform spatially.
Lithic provenance analyses are an untapped resource in Beringia. Fine grained volcanic rocks are often common in lithic assemblages in interior Alaska, and are quite amenable to geochemical characterization using a variety of sourcing techniques. This study focused on rhyolite with the intent of identifying and delineating “source” clusters, while constructing a database. Portable X-ray Fluorescence (PXRF) technology was used to analyze 500 rhyolite artifacts from 56 sites in interior Alaska. These sites range in age from the late Pleistocene through the late Holocene. Preliminary results indicate three distinct geochemical groups (likely sources). While these sources have not yet been identified on the landscape, it is believed that two of the three “sources” are located in the Alaska Range, likely around the Nenana River Valley, and the third in the Talkeetna Mountains. These data provide another means to address raw material procurement and understand landuse strategies among early and late foragers in eastern Beringia.
Paleoindian research has focused on lithic technologies. Though representing a small portion of material culture, lithics are most likely to survive in the archaeological record. Over the past fifteen years the Great Basin Textile Dating Project (a cooperative venture among several institutions, agencies, and individuals) has directly dated a great variety of fiber artifacts from the northern and western Great Basin, including sandals, bags, mats, baskets, and cordage. These dates include over 60 perishable artifacts that date as older than 8,000 years (calibrated). We focus on fiber artifacts from Paisley Caves in southeast Oregon, as well as additional early sites in the northwestern Great Basin, where associated cultural assemblages are best documented, and consider these materials in the context of dated fiber artifacts from throughout the region to examine distributions in space and time.
Healy Lake Village: New data and analysis John P. Cook and T.E. Gillispie The last two decades have seen the formulation of numerous competing models for the peopling of the Americas out of Northeast Asia, for which the archaeological record of Beringia provides temporal constraints. Several variants hypothesize multiple migration events, including dispersal via the Ice Free Corridor. The terminal Pleistocene archaeology of eastern Beringia remains vital to evaluation of these models. Here we present new data and analyses from the Village, a multicomponent human occupation with basal radiocarbon ages circa 13.5 ka, located in the Tanana River Valley, Alaska. This information is drawn from the original excavation records and collections made between 1967 – 1970, the majority previously unpublished. New contextual data includes improved stratigraphic and spatial reconstructions, and new radiocarbon dates. Within this framework, we are building improved models of association among Chindadn–era lithic technologies, features, and occupation intervals. These may in turn improve constraints on migration models, and subsequent in-place ethno-genisis of northern Athapaska.
For over 50 years projectile points have been found and collected along McFaddin Beach in Jefferson County, Texas. These archeological artifacts range in age from the Late Pleistocene to the mid to late Holocene. While most of the points have been picked up by collectors, these individuals have recorded provenience data for a significant number of the artifacts. In addition to the provenience, sediment models, historical analysis and point collection dates, geographic and bathymetric information, and forces such as wave action and longshore drift allow for the prediction of potential artifact origins. This study uses GIS analyses to recognize spatial pattern of projectile point distribution. These analyses will in turn enable the creation of a GIS model to identify the most likely offshore locations from which the artifacts are originating. The results of this research will allow archaeologists to target these areas for future survey and/or excavation. This poster presents research methodology, data sources, maps, and results. Based on the success of future site identifications this methodology should prove valuable for later site location modeling and identification.
The high-resolution sedimentary sequence in Hall’s Cave, Kerr County, Texas, has been the subject of several paleoclimatic reconstructions based on faunal remains, strontium isotopes, and magnetic susceptibility extracted from its sediments. The cave’s sediments have attracted many paleoecological specialists because the sedimentation rate has been uniform. Human presence in the cave is not evident until the middle Holocene. Therefore, the sedimentary record for the Terminal Pleistocene and Pleistocene-Holocene transition has little disturbance. We have produced a record of pollen, spores (e.g., Sporormiella), phytoliths, microscopic charcoal, and ?13C values from the cave’s sediments encompassing the period 17,550 – 2000 cal BP. These proxies of paleovegetation indicate that between 17,555 and 15,500 cal BP the cave area was dominated by a steppe environment of sedges and Stipeae grasses. After ca. 15,500 cal BP the arboreal component increased, although with marked fluctuations, and attained a peak around 13,000 cal BP. The Younger Dryas is marked by a decrease in the frequencies of most tree and grass pollen and an increase in frequencies of some riparian and aquatic pollen taxa.
Although there have been many publications concerning small portions of the Blackwater Draw artifact assemblage, there has not been an over-arching, synthetic look at the assemblage in it’s entirety. Archaeologists and students are often wildly misinformed and surprised at the nature of the collection, and what this tells us of the early human occupants on the Plains. In the last five years, we have begun to remedy this through analyzing the major unquantified segment of the collection. This endeavor is not an attempt to answer all the possible questions there may be concerning Paleoindians at this site, but a springboard to publicize the collections and inspire further, better-guided research.
This poster addresses the issues and problems of inheriting site research of radically disparate natures. Work at the Clovis site, one of the largest, and potentially most informative Paleoindian sites on the North America Plains, is largely unpublished. Although much has been returned, collections are still scattered across the nation, field notes are of various quality, missing, or even withheld, and we have recovered tens of thousands of uncataloged photos. Despite the overwhelming deluge of hindrances, we continue to learn and move forward.
Bonneville Estates Rockshelter is situated on the western edge of the Bonneville Basin and provides one of the longest and best-preserved stratigraphic sequences of human occupation in the Great Basin (13 ka to present). Preservation in the terminal Pleistocene-early Holocene deposits is excellent with hearth features, lithic reduction areas, faunal remains, and perishables such as bone needles, beads, and textiles found in numerous cultural occupations. In this poster, we present the stratigraphy, radiocarbon dates, and results of sedimentological analyses of deposits dating to 13-6 ka. We consider how these results inform on past environmental change during the first 7000 years of human occupation of the region.
This paper presents a synthesis of studies concerning the lithic technology of the first settlements in the Central Plateau of Santa Cruz, Patagonia, Argentina. We studied archaeological sites Casa del Minero 1, Cueva Tunel, Cerro Tres Tetas 1 and Los Toldos 3, all of them chronologically calibrated to the late Pleistocene. These sites belong to a landscape where lithic resources are highly available between others. The aim of this research is to evaluate artifact production processes and ancient ways of work to which those artifacts were destined, in relation to human group mobility, natural resource exploitation, functionality of sites and ways of structuring the intra and intersite. The study combines a technological and morphological approach, with use-wear analysis. It is a comparative approach that provides information about technological strategies in terms of manufacturing, use of artifacts and initial ways of work developed by the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the region during a period of great changes in respect to the availability and kind of resources. Various lithic artifact production and consumption strategies may be seen, involving different labor investment levels related to tasks fulfilled, availability of raw material and the particular role of each site.
The Lagoa Santa skeletal series from Central Brazil contains 195 human skeletal individuals dating to the early Holocene (ca. 10,000-7,000 yBP), allowing a rare opportunity to document Paleoamerican health and lifestyle. Paleoamericans are traditionally depicted as small and highly mobile bands having protein-rich diets based on exploitation of large game animals. Recently, new evidence coming from archaeological data show instead a diversity of strategies used for these first populations, ranging from marine economies to broad-based subsistence. In this study, we test the null hypothesis that prevalence of osteological markers of health and lifestyle in Lagoa Santa are similar to general patterns identified in foragers from the Western Hemisphere Project (WHP) database (n=6,733) obtained from 36 populations across the Americas. The results point to a significant reliance on a high-carbohydrate diet in Lagoa Santa, based on caries and abscess prevalence. In addition, Lagoa Santa skeletons show relatively high levels of physical activity with few accidental injuries, high exposition to infections, low mobility and stature, and substantial evidence of violent traumas in the head. These results are inconsistent with the traditional model of Paleoamerican lifestyle. Instead, Lagoa Santa skeletons reveal a population expressing an early adaptation to a tropical setting.
For the past six years, archaeologists and geologists have collaborated to develop a protocol for “fingerprinting” quartzite sources in the quartzite-rich Gunnison Basin, Colorado, where most chipped stone assemblages consist of 95 percent or more quartzite. Two techniques used in tandem offer the most robust results: geochemical characterization via LA-ICP-MS and petrographic (microscopic) analysis. This poster focus- es on the petrographic results that separate quartzite sources identified in the Gunnison Basin, Colorado into consistent discrete groupings. We illustrate how petrographic analysis of samples can refine the results of geochemical trace-element analysis to yield the best discriminatory results. Our ultimate goal in developing a quartzite-sourcing protocol for the Gunnison Basin is to enable “matching” cultural chipped stone assemblages to the likeliest sources of the raw materials. This will permit researchers to reconstruct land-use strategies of prehistoric foragers including but not exclusively Paleoindians of the Gunnison Basin with more precision than has been possible in the past.
The recognition of Clovis in the Carolinas has largely come from statewide fluted point surveys. Studies have focused on style, raw materials, and geographic distributions. Raw material patterns suggest a single macroband centered on the fine-grained metavolcanic stone of the Uwharrie Mountains in the Piedmont. To the south, raw material distributions suggest another macroband centered on the Allendale cherts along the Central Savannah River. Presumably, metavolcanic Clovis points observed in South Carolina represent the southern extent of movement away from the Uwharries. Evidence for two probable Clovis macrobands is presented with the Saluda-Congree-Santee being something of a major physiographic boundary.
The nearly complete skeleton of a mature bull Columbian mammoth was recovered in an upland north of the Yellowstone River, in eastern Montana. Found embedded in silts and below a buried soil A-horizon, radiocarbon measurements indicate the mammoth is older than 12,000 RCYBP and possibly closer to 12,500 RCYBP, demonstrating it is older than Clovis. Cutmarks on rib and calcaneous bones are inferred to be the result of a lance-based projectile or other lithic cutting tool, although it was not discarded in the bonebed. It is also possible that the mammoth remains reflect scavenging. In the silts and associated with the mammoth are seven quartzite fragments. These underlie the mandible, tusk, vertebral column, and humerus, or are between the humerus and a tusk. Human use of the carcass is reflected by green bone damage of a humerus, possibly to enable marrow extraction. Stacking of one femur atop the other, overlying thoracic vertebrae, and rearrangement of other skeletal parts (mandible pointing 80 degrees away from face of skull) may also represent human activity. The radiocarbon age, marks on bones, green bone damage, stacking, and patterned quartzite rock distribution provide evidence in support of pre-Clovis human activity associated with the mammoth.
Despite the interest in the Pacific coast as a potential migratory route of initial human entry into the Americas, we lack high resolution digital models that reconstruct past coastal landscapes as a means of exploring issues of potential site preservation and the paleoenvironmental context of early coastal foragers. As part of research conducted for the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, we present a geographic information systems model of coastal paleolandscapes, changing shorelines, and offer a predictive model of potential site locations on the sub- merged Pacific Outer Continental Shelf bordering Washington, Oregon and California. We describe issues of paleolandscape form, rates and patterns of coastal landscape change, and their ecological implications for early coastal peoples.
Over the past decade a variety of previously unknown Paleoindian sites have been documented in the eastern Great Basin. These discoveries are changing our understanding of Paleoindian land use patterns, subsistence, lithic procurement and projectile point chronology. In October of 2009 an upland fluted site was found in the Cedar Mountains, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. This paper summarizes the results of the recordation and several levels of analysis on site 42To3974; a possible Paleoindian bison intercept kill site in the Cedar Mountains of western Utah.
Black mat, paleoclimatic, paleoenvironmental, terminal Pleistocene, early Holocene, Bison antiquus, Late Paleoindian, Clovis Since 2008, interdisciplinary research at the Water Canyon Paleoindian site in west-central New Mexico has generated not only archaeological materials from Clovis, Late Paleoindian, and possibly late Folsom uses of the site, but identifiable activity areas. Excavations have recovered butchered Bison antiquus bones and tooth enamel, well over 30 radiocarbon and OSL dates, a robust pollen record and other proxy paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic data that are not found – as a package – elsewhere in this region of the Southwest. The site occurs at the location of a fossil wet meadow which is represented by a spatially extensive black mat deposit. The data archive at this site provides critical research potential for understanding how wetlands may have conditioned regional Paleoindian settlement and mobility during the terminal Pleistocene – early Holocene.
What role, if any, did humans play in shaping Arctic vegetation and megafaunal populations during the Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene transition? A variety of factors shaped Arctic environments during this period, including changing climate, vegetation shifts, and human impacts on megafaunal populations. Existing environmental records depict shifting vegetation communities around the time of archaeologically-dated human arrival into North American Arctic, ca. 13,500 cal. yr BP. In Northern Alaska, lake sediment record increased Betula pollen with simultaneous decreases in Cyperaceae, Poaceae, and Salix pollen between ca. 12,500-13,500 cal BP, indicating a distinct shift from herb-dominated to shrub-dominated tundra. Increased charcoal in lake sediments over this same time period highlights a shift in fire regimes, also coincident with human arrival and a decline in native megafauna. Our research pairs multiple lines of paleoecological evidence, including pollen, charcoal, and Sporormiella spores from lake sediments with over 600 radiocarbon dates from archaeological and faunal contexts to clarify the spatio-temporal pattern of human arrival in Alaska and coincident ecological changes. Overall, this research contributes to the larger discussion of initial human arrival in uninhabited ecosystems and highlights the utility of using multi-proxy records in addressing this subject.
The late Pleistocene/early Holocene deposits at Oregon’s Paisley Caves (35LK3400) contain key information on the peopling of North America due to the rich record of human occupations dated as early as 14,290 cal BP. The antiquity of cultural deposits and the fine resolution of the micro-stratigraphy at the Paisley Caves provide a unique opportunity to reconstruct a record of anthropogenic plant use in the northern Great Basin during the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene (cf. 14,000- 7,600 cal BP). Macrobotanical plant data from LP/EH cultural deposits in Cave 2 document the overall contribution of plant resources in diet breadth and the quantification of botanical remains demonstrate the relative importance of various plants in cultural practices. In this study, I use morphological seed characteristics and statistical analyses to distinguish seeds and charcoal deposited by humans from those deposited by nonhuman predators and scavengers. Results are analyzed within a framework of known global climate oscillations, along with a local pollen record, in order to better understand human-environmental interactions during this time.
The Dry Creek archaeological site has been considered one of the most important Upper Paleolithic sites in central Alaska. A type locality for the Nenana complex, the site factors heavily into debates regarding the origin of lithic assemblage variability in the region. Four archaeological components have been identified at the site, two of which date to the Late Pleistocene. Component I, dated to ~13.1 ka, is characterized by the presence of teardrop shaped points and absence of microblades and has been assigned to the Nenana complex. Component II, separated from component I by a thin, discontinuous sand and dated to 12.5 ka, is marked by the presence of microblades and microblade cores and has been assigned to the Denali Complex. Alternative interpretations of the archaeological record at the site have been proposed, however, and call into question the depositional model and stratigraphic integrity of Dry Creek. This study employs soil micromorphology, particle size analysis, and bulk geochemistry and mineralogy to better understand the depositional and pedological history of the sediments at Dry Creek, particularly loess units 2 and 3 and the origin of the sand layer separating the two, as well as to assess the stratigraphic integrity of the site.
This work presents an efficient model for directing offshore survey. Submerged Paleoindian and Archaic site locations are predicted based on the location of relict river channels and known terrestrial site distribution data from Florida. This poster depicts the results of GIS analysis, including the predicted location of inundated channel features. Because Florida’s sea levels have risen almost 100 meters in the past 15,000 years, much of the landscape available to Florida’s Paleoindian and Early Archaic populations is currently underwater and therefore potentially contains a large number of unidentified prehistoric sites.
Recent finds on the Old River Bed delta are providing new evidence about the nature and distribution of Haskett technology. The Haskett type is arguably the oldest representative of the Western Stemmed Tradition series of projectile points, with a group of dates on black mat organics at the locality indicating ages greater than 10,200 14C BP. In this poster, we present images and technological attributes for the collection, including one 22.7-cm showpiece that may be the largest complete Haskett specimen yet documented archaeologically. The technological evidence supports the interpretation of Haskett points as sophisticated throwing/thrusting spear tips.
Lanceolate points were being manufactured in Florida and the adjacent Southeast by Paleoindians who lived among the greatest diversity and populations of Pleistocene fauna and flora available for human exploitation in North America. Until recently, assembling a typology for these early stone tools was stymied by inadequate sample size, a problem solved by a number of recent datasets. This analysis considers morphology, finishing and post-production maintenance, structural considerations, and the identification of a type or subtype’s mental template of manufacture. Together these aspects of analysis are used to revise the Florida Paleoindian point typology.
The Horn Shelter is a 150 foot long rock shelter overlooking the Brazos River in the southeastern corner of Bosque County, eleven nautical miles below the Whitney Dam. Evidence of man living in the shelter can be found as far back as twelve thousand years ago. Eleven thou- sand years ago the shelter served as home for a small band of Paleoamericans. The skeletal remains of two of these early Americans were discovered in 1970, along with an array of burial good, by avocational archeologists Albert Redder and Frank Watt. Archeologists consider this important find to be extremely rare. While there are a number of Paleoamerican sites in America, there are only a few with skeletal remains or burial goods. The burial goods found at the Horn Shelter are considered to be most unique. Research on the skeletal remains in ongoing and is being conducted at the Smithsonian Institution. Valuable information such as the probable cause of death and the sex of the juvenile has only recently been determined. With the advancement of DNA testing it is hoped that we will learn more about this unique discovery.
The Little John site contains evidence of human occupation from the most recent past back to the late Pleistocene and holds compo- nents representing every major archaeological culture in the region from the Chindadn complex to the Historic period. Located north of Beaver Creek Yukon on the upper Tanana River watershed, ten years of excavation has exposed over 200 square meters of this large site and recovered thousands of artifacts and well preserved Pleistocene fauna, including bison, wapiti, caribou, small mammals and birds, and fish. Calibrated Pleistocene AMS dates on fauna and charcoal indicate heavy occupation of the site 10-12 ka, with less dense occupations at 13 and 14 ka. These dates are congruent with occupations documented further downstream the valley at Gerstle River, Upward Sun River, Healy Lake, Broken Mammoth, Mead, and Swan Point. Several analytical projects are being pursued to develop further our understanding of the site, including exploring its geomorphology (Grooms), XRF analysis of a variety of lithic materials (Handley and Reimer), identification and microscopic examination of faunal remains (Hutchinson and Yesner), and distributional analysis of faunal and lithic components (Easton). This poster will present some of the methods and results of these efforts.
This study focuses on the skeletal collection from the Eva site (40BN12), a stratified Archaic shell midden from the western Tennessee River Valley. A total of 177 human burials were recovered from the site, representing three major occupational components, Eva I-III. Based on stylistic similarities of lithic assemblages and recent AMS radiocarbon dates reported by Bissett (2011) for Eva II (Three Mile phase), the site represents an earlier occupation than previously thought, covering significant temporal span from the early Middle Archaic to the Late Archaic period. Combining genetic information obtained through a non-destructive ancient DNA extraction method (Bolnick et al. 2012) and craniometrics, this study addresses questions regarding population continuity both at the local scale (within the three occupational periods at the Eva Site), and at a larger regional scale, when compared crainiometrically to other Early and Middle Holocene samples and to mitochondrial haplotype frequencies of North American samples. Thus, this study combines identification of morphological changes in the cranium as well as mitochondrial haplotype frequencies over time to determine population history at the Eva site and relatedness to other North American Early and Middle Holocene samples.
The “North Atlantic Ice-Edge Corridor” hypothesis proposes that some- time during the Last Glacial Maximum, roughly 26,500–19,000 years ago, human populations from southern France and the Iberian Peninsula made their way across the North Atlantic and colonized North America. The hypothesis, which finds little or no support in archaeological and non-archaeological data, is based primarily on the apparent similarity between stone-tool-production techniques of Solutrean peoples of Western Europe and Clovis and purportedly pre-Clovis peoples of eastern North America. The common element is the supposed intentional use of “controlled overshot flaking,” a technique for thinning a bifacial stone tool during manufacture. Overshot flakes, struck from prepared edges of the tool, travel across the face and remove part of the opposite margin. Experimental and archaeological data demonstrate, however, that the most parsimonious explanation for the production of overshot flakes is that they are accidental products created incidentally and inconsistently as knappers attempt to thin bifaces. Thus, instead of representing historical divergence, overshot flakes in Clovis and Solutrean assemblages mark convergence in the use of the same simple solution for thinning bifaces that happened to produce analogous detritus.
The cause/s of the onset of the Younger Dryas (YD) climactic event at 12.9 ka and the corresponding extinction of Pleistocene megafauna and changes in human subsistence patterns in the Americas remain a geologic mystery. Firestone et al. (2007) proposed a bolide impact on the Laurentide ice sheet to explain these dramatic environmental changes, citing an increase in the concentration of magnetic spherules and magnetic grains, among several other parameters. Here, we present complete rock magnetic analyses across the YD at two well-dated archaeological sites (Friedkin Site, TX and Topper Site, SC). These measurements were conducted on bulk, unprocessed soil samples collected continuously across the YD boundary. Rock magnetic techniques are one of the most sensitive means for detecting subtle changes in sediment source, grain size variation, and pedogenic development. Our goal was to test whether there are any changes in sedimentation or pedogenesis at these sites consistent with a large bolide impact or airburst. There is no evidence at either site of any magnetic change coincident with the YD boundary. Magnetic extracts were also prepared following the methods of previous investigators, allowing us to demonstrate that certain magnetic minerals were preferentially sampled in these earlier studies.
In 1961, during the construction of the Mex-30 highway between the towns of Cuatro Ciénegas and Torreon, two well preserved human footprints preserved in tufa deposits were discovered in the Cuatrociénegas Basin (CCB), NE Mexico. The approximate location of these footprints was described by locals and this information led to a search of the region for additional prints, culminating in the discovery in 2006 of a 10 m in situ human footprint trackway preserved in tufa. Gonzalez et al. (2007, 2009) described the footprints in detail, proposing that the Tierra Blanca quarry footprint site was the same location as the 1961 Highway finds. Here we present their U-series dates of 10.55 ± 0.06 ka BP and 7.24 ± 0.13 ka BP, showing that the two localities must represent two different stratigraphic horizons in the CCB. The former are the oldest known footprints in Mexico. Oxygen and carbon isotope data from the sediments suggests the in situ footprints were formed during a transition to a wetter (less arid) period, while pollen evidence indicates the presence of Carya and Salix sp., both indicators of wetter (humid) conditions. These footprints confirm the presence of nomadic hunter-gatherer groups, which persisted until the eighteenth century.
Geoarchaeological investigations in general and geophysical investigations in particular were employed to characterize the Cenozoic geologic context, but especially the Pleistocene and Holocene natural site formation processes at the Topper site (38AL23), South Carolina. To characterize the subsurface terrace geology, geophysical profiles were collected using seismic refraction and ground penetrating radar (GPR) in 2000 and 2001. These investigations were subsequently compared to excavated archaeological units and shallow trenches to correlate the geologic stratigraphy with geophysical property models. The geophysical investigations identified the underlying Eocene “bedrock” and a series of overlying alluvial, and colluvial deposits. The seismic method mapped older geologic units too deep to be seen in the GPR data below the excavations. Combined geophysical and geologic mapping resolved areas of ambiguity and delineated the continuity of unconformable stratigraphic contacts, multiple stream channels and the site’s buried chert deposit. This study has demonstrated the utility of shallow seismic refraction employed in conjunction with GPR to define the geological context of late Quaternary archaeological sites. Geophysical investigations like those employed in this study require experienced interpretation and careful calibration, but their potential to non-invasively discover and map buried sites should not be underestimated.
Human response to climatic and environmental change can result in technological, subsistence, and landscape-use re-organization. The onset of the Younger Dryas in Alaska, during the terminal Pleistocene, dates to around 12,800 cal BP. This climatic reversal would have resulted in conditions similar to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). Recent paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental research indicates that the Younger Dryas had a much more localized regional effect, rather than that previous thought of on a global or near global scale. Beringia is no exception and the evidence from Alaska is variable on a South to North gradation. Evidence indicates a colder wetter Younger Dryas in Southern Alaska while temperatures from the interior and Northern Alaska were equivalent or warmer than present. This data can be used to compare both spatial and temporal archaeological data bracketing the start of the Younger Dryas to specifically look for changes in lithic technological organization that might be the result of environmental change related to the onset of the Younger Dryas. This poster explores technological relationships between Denali, Nenana, Mesa, and Sluiceway complexes with specific emphasis placed upon microblade technology as an adaptive strategy to environmental perturbations.
La Gruta and Viuda Quenzana, in the southern part of the Deseado Massif, have different environmental characteristics. The area of La Gruta is dominated by lagoons whose level depends on rainfall, while Viuda Quenzana is largely a fluvial environment with seasonal streams and springs. The areas also differ in the availability of rock shelters and siliceous raw materials of high quality with abundant shelters at Viuda Quenzana and few in the area near La Gruta. Climate fluctuations in the past impacted the availability of water in these two areas resulting in changes in lagoon levels and vegetation that we have documented by studying lagoon sediments and pollen evidence. Here we present information related to early human peopling of the southern part of the Deseado Masif, dated to ca. 12,600 cal BP. We also discuss evidence suggesting discontinuous occupation of some areas and similarities and differences between the two areas under study in terms of both occupation and environmental change.
In the Intermountain West named stemmed point complexes now known to span the Pleistocene-Holocene Boundary have assumed new significance in the expanding dialog on the peopling of the Western Hemisphere. Two stylistic groupings of stemmed points, referenced as “Western Stemmed” or “Windust” forms, predominate across this region. Points associated with both complexes exhibit a surprising range of diversity in stylistic attributes, proposed functions, and even technology of manufacture. Indeed, the degree of diversity represented in the combined collections reveals no connections to Clovis/fluted point complexes. But equally important, this degree of diversity rep- resented in these samples can be interpreted as the likely signature of a mosaic of Intermountain West cultural adaptations that pre-date the Clovis expansion and persist well into the Early Holocene. This paper re-examines the variability present in these complexes, their temporal distributions, and possible relationships to paleoenvironmental changes that mark the Pleistocene-Holocene transition across the region.
Recent hypotheses regarding the origins and timing of Pleistocene migrations into the Americas have radically altered archaeological perceptions of the “First Americans.” Although the search for Clovis’ cultural forebears’ have largely failed in East Asia, perhaps investigators have been looking for the wrong cultural markers, i.e. lithic technology. This research explores the cultural origins and pathways of Pleistocene migrations from a bio-physical geographic perspective at continental scales-of-analysis for the Northern Hemisphere and South America. The high degree of cultural diversity in late Pleistocene East Asia set the stage for migration to the Americas. Pottery, beginning around 16,000 BP, suggests a shift toward relatively sedentary foragers throughout the area. This likely led to regional territoriality that pressured the lifeway of traditional, highly mobile fisher-hunter-gatherers, i.e. an incentive to migrate northeast along the coast toward the Americas. Bio-physical geographic models highlight the most likely origins of these migratory populations. In addition, geographic analyses indicate that Mesoamerica also played a significant, yet largely unrecognized, role in the peopling of the Americas. Previously recognized as a passage for the peopling of South America from the north, the Isthmus of Tehuantepec was more likely an early pathway for the peopling of eastern North and South America from the Pacific Coast. The significance of this region to the initial peopling of the Americas is highlighted further as Paleoamerican studies lend growing support for an early coastal migration from East Asia.
The peopling of the New World is the result of various migratory waves, one of which is represented by microblade-bearing sites (Dyuktai Complex in Siberia, Denali Complex in Alaska and Moresby Tradition in Haida Gwaii). To our knowledge, there are few indications on the migratory routes of these prehistoric groups which used pressure microblades. In Northeast Asia, we can simply observe the eastward advancement of this technology, from the Far East to Siberia and up to their arrival in Alaska. But many gaps remain, especially in Chukotka and in Kamchatka where data are scarce. In northern North America however, there are some hints which allow us to propose a more specific migration route going from Alaska to British Columbia. Our hypothesis is that the Yukon River was a major communication axis for micro- blade-bearing populations. This assumption is based on the location of microblade sites and on the technological analysis of the lithic industry of these occupations, but also on topography, hydrography, extension of glaciers during Prehistory, access to raw material sources, etc. This hypothesis suggests a migration along the Yukon River which would explain the early coastal settlements of southeast Alaska and British Columbia.
Four well-defined oval artifact concentrations representing house floors from a Paleoindian occupation radiocarbon dated to 12,500 B.P. were excavated at the Tenant Swamp site in Keene, New Hampshire. Artifact distributions reveal the size and internal organization of these houses, where work areas were clustered around a central hearth, with sleeping areas along the perimeter. Use-wear analysis indicated hide-working was the predominant activity during what was likely a wintertime occupation. Lithic assemblages were dominated by processing tools, including scrapers, gravers, and pieces esquilles, with very few bifacial tools and little evidence for stone tool manufacture. The Tenant Swamp loci are strongly similar to loci from the Bull Brook site associated with women’s activities, an observation with important implications for understanding of social organization and gender in Paleoindian society.
The Owl Ridge site is a multicomponent site located in the Teklanika River valley in central Alaska. Humans occupied the site from the late Pleistocene to the middle Holocene, evidenced by three stratigraphically separated cultural components dating to 13, 12, and 4.5 ka. Recently, analysis of artifacts from all cultural components was conducted to determine the technological variability present in each occupation at Owl Ridge. This poster provides results of the lithic analysis, and examines technological activities and organization to consider site use and mobility. Results indicate that technological activities and the ways in which people were using the landscape changed through time.
Many investigations into the presence of Late Paleoamerican activity on the southern Plains have been undertaken. The Late Paleoamerican period is highlighted by the proliferation of lithic projectile point styles. This poster synthesizes evidence from studies in Oklahoma and the surrounding region. Sites that have yielded radiocarbon dates with projectile points, as well as studies conducted on private lithic collections, demonstrate increased regionalization in contrast to the relative uniformity seen during the Clovis period. I use this data to conclude that the area now known as Oklahoma continues to be a great source of information that provides insight into Late Paleoamerican activities on the Southern Plains.
The study combines a technological and morphological approach, with use-wear analysis. It is a comparative approach that provides information about technological strategies in terms of manufacturing, use of artifacts and initial ways of work developed by the hunter-gatherers who inhabited the region during a great changes period respect to the availability and kind of resources. Various lithic artifact production and consumption strategies may be seen, involving different labor investment levels related to the needs of the tasks to fulfill, to the availability of raw material and to each site particular role.
The extinction of the Pleistocene megafauna (mammals more than 45 kg [100 Ibn in North America is still under dispute. There are many theories to explain this extinction event. The debate mostly boils down to overhunting by humans and climate change from the B0l1ing-Allered (a time of severe drought) to the Younger Dryas (a time of severe cold and high water tables).Mammoths and other proboscideans are among the most common megafauna at Pleistocene North American sites and are thus the most Widely studied. This poster focuses on environmental factors of the extinction.It is proposed that climate change had the greater contribution, with overkill finishing the remaining populations. This poster discusses several megafauna fossil sites and Clovis kill sites in the Desert Southwest (Le., Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts), a region with abundant sites and megafauna diversity. This study will compare different taxa and their relative abundance at pre-Clovis-age fossil sites and Clovis kill sites to show which taxa survived to the terminal Pleistocene. It is expected that the megafauna were already declining in the Desert Southwest before Clovis people arrived.
Since the end of the Pleistocene, bifacial points became widespread in the northern Pacific region. The same time in Japan is characterized by assemblages with various bifacial points, including large and wide, narrow, and stemmed points. Although bifacial point typology, production technology, and chronology have been investigated, only a few studies have been conducted on their usage, maintenance, and reshaping in Japan. Macrofracture analysis is the most practical and effective method for studying human hunting behavior. This study analyzes breakage, particularly impact breakage (impact fracture), reshaping, and morphological variation of bifacial points in artifacts from Eastern Honshu Island, Japan. The results revealed fractures, including impact fractures, and evidence of reshaping on several objects with bifacial points. Breakage patterns suggest the usage of bifacial point tips for darts and arrow heads. Furthermore, morphological variations and evidence of reshaping indicate frequent maintenance of the bifacial points. These suggest that bifacial points were frequently used as hunting weapons in terminal Pleistocene Japan.
Genetic and craniometric data have previously been shown to be in concordance with one another using world-wide data sets (Relethford 2004). In studies relating to peopling of the New World, however, a difference of opinion is often expressed about whether these differing data types demonstrate the same patterning of migration and influence of evolutionary forces. The purpose of this study is to utilize cranial and dental metrics and nonmetrics, as well as y-chromosome DNA and mtDNA, to determine the degree of similarity or differences seen in microevolutionary patterns across various data types. The cranial and dental data were collected by the third author (TH) and the molecular data was obtained through previously published research. To maximize comparability, the skeletal and molecular data were taken from populations with a shared history or similar geographic region. The populations included are Inuits from Alaska, Asia, Canada, and Greenland, as well as Aleutians. Kinship and R matrices were found, and Mantel tests and Procrustes analyses were performed. These analyses show significant correlations, with some being 90% or higher. A distinct patterning of correlations was seen, with the strongest correlations being between cranial nonmetric data and y-chromosome DNA, and cranial metric data and mtDNA. This suggests either a possible male or female inheritance, or similar evolutionary forces influencing the correlated data types. With regard to peopling of the New World, reconciling evidence from multiple data types should be the focus of new research, rather than diminishing their ability to model population affinities.
Human migration scenarios applied to the Americas can gain insights from the sapient settlement of the Old World. For example, compare the apparent dissemination of early Aurignacian technologies into Chatelperronian/Neandertals with the diffusion of Upper/Late Paleolithic Industries into pre-existing pre-Clovis Amerindian cultures already inhabiting the Americas. Before-Clovis theories could focus on the shared characteristics of earlier and newly discovered pre-Clovis sites, including, for example, Monte Verde levels I and II. Reevaluating Monte Verde II’s peat preserved cultural contexts as more than just an initial New World “settlement pattern,” can be supplemented when we accept, even theoretically, the significance of the 20,000 years separating it with its older relative, Monte Verde I (dated at 33,000 BP). The significance of Monte Verde II is not as much in its pre-Clovis date as it is in its unique typological profile and should be used as diagnostic to other less-preserved pre-Clovis habitations. It attests to a different system of adaptation that is hard to detect using traditional archaeological methods honed by excavating European Upper Paleolithic sites. An ongoing pattern of habitation distinctly conforming to a prolonged occupation of the area, and the Americas in general will be discussed.
Excavated from primary context in 1968, the Carlisle Cache represents one of only several contextually intact Clovis components in the Midcontinent. The cache is a collection of utilitarian gear, including 25 bifaces and 12 large flake-blanks made on Burlington chert, that was stockpiled to back future bison hunting, butchering, and hide processing activities in the central Des Moines River Valley. Though it was designed to satisfy the anticipated, task-specific needs of both men and women, the raison d’être for the cache’s contents was not executed. In preparing for extended forays away from prime tool stone sources, greater emphasis was placed on gearing up weaponry components than on butchery and hide-processing tools, in anticipation of a relatively higher rate of point turn-over due to damage or loss in hunting. While the bifaces could have served as a source of small flakes for expedient tools, they are far too small to have served efficiently as bifacial cores. Instead, bifaces and large flake-blanks were made from tabular cores at the tool stone source, with intentions of future conversion into weapon tips and unifacial tools, respectively. This two-fold system of biface and flake production enabled Clovis foragers to prosper off-quarry no matter whether spoor steered them into mapped or unmapped areas. Technological and subsistence confidence was managed by performing early interval biface work at quarry sources, thereby decreasing the chances of off-quarry, late interval (point) manufacturing failures, and by regularly carrying substantial numbers of point and unifacial tool preforms. Such items were occasionally cached in areas where tool kits were prone to rapid depletion based on a history there of kill-butchery events, as well as at previously unvisited locations judged to have good potential for similar activities during anticipated future movements.
This poster demonstrates the use of a measurement system to com- pare notches on limb bones from three camel and three proboscidean samples. Previous research has employed this method to differentiate dynamic from static loading on small to medium animal bones. The camel bone samples were ca. 15,000, ca. 350,000 and ca. 750,000 years old respectively. One proboscidean sample was created experimentally on modern elephant limb bone, while the others were from two Pleistocene mammoth assemblages. Camel limb bone notch shape in the 15,000 year old sample was measurably different from the two older ones and suggests that dynamic loading likely created the notches in that sample. Notches from all three proboscidean samples were similar in shape indicating that they were all created by dynamic loading. Bone modification evidence that includes notch shape measurement can contribute to the identification of human technology at LGM North American assemblages of large prey animals.
The East Beringian tradition at Swan Point is divided into two broad phases: Swan Point Diuktai, CZ-4 (14,200-13,800 cal BP) and Chindadn/Nenana, CZ-3 (12,450-11,550 cal BP). CZ-4 has a strong signature and is dominated by microblade and burin technology and the use of ivory, bone, and antler. Extinct fauna, e.g., horse, elk, and mammoth along with smaller mammals and birds are present in the CZ-4 assemblage. The CZ-3 occupation is defined primarily by a distinct bifacial point/knife technology. Waterfowl, small mammals, and fish are associated with CZ-3 campfires. Reevaluation of the evidence now supports the probability of another component present between CZ-4 and CZ-3 that dates between 13,520 and 13,110 cal BP, just prior to the Younger Dryas. The new component is delineated by radiocarbon dates, stratigraphy, areal pattern, and spatial separation of artifacts from those in CZ-4 and CZ-3. However, this component is difficult to characterize because of the small number of artifacts recovered. Nevertheless, diminutive lanceolate biface forms recovered in this component are dissimilar to the CZ-3 bifaces and may be diagnostic for this geographic region and temporal range.
The San Marcos Springs, which form the headwaters of the San Marcos River, present a seemingly complete record of prehistoric human habitation beginning at least in Clovis times in the Late Pleistocene and spanning the entire Holocene. Recently, geoarchaeological research established a preliminary depositional sequence of alluvial deposits spanning this same period. However, the earliest artifacts recovered in controlled excavations date to only ~8380 cal BP. Unfortunately, the extent of the Paleoindian and early Archaic occurrences are poorly understood as the correlating strata are below water table, and the only underwater excavation did not include a geoarchaeological assessment nor was it fully published. Recent survey has yielded preserved wood in a stratigraphic context dated to ~13,000 cal BP. Although non-cultural, this find suggests that sediments within the lake likely hold a large assortment of organic materials preserved by the rare environment created by the long-continuously flowing springs. The goal of this project is to achieve a more thorough understanding of the stratigraphic contexts of inundated alluvial deposits in a chronologically controlled framework through geoarchaeological survey and analysis of inundated sediments.
We investigated lacustrine and fluviolacustrine basins from Central Mexico (Cuitzeo, Chapala, Acambay Valley), and Southern Mexico (Chiapas). At these, Paleoindian sites with Pleistocene vertebrates assemblages (mammoths, megatheriums) are found associated with a suite of special chemical and mineralogical signatures that are evidence of an extraterrestrial impactor. These signatures include carbon and magnetic microspherules, the latter mainly constituted of Fe and C and the former, glass-like carbon, tektites (silica droplets), charcoal and often nanodiamonds. The exotic materials were deposited 12,900 years ago at the onset of the Younger Dryas cool interval. All sites show the same suite of particles, suggesting that the extent of the impact event was of such magnitude that it covered a wide swath across Mexico including different types of paleoenvironments. We postulate that the spherules are evidence of an impactor with low-nickel composition, such as a comet. Ternary geochemical plots show that the spherules are not anthropogenic, cosmic or volcanic, but produced by the melting of terrestrial materials. We present the environmental effects of an extra- terrestrial airbust event on Paleoindian and megafaunal populations at the time. This assemblage of geochemical markers is consistent with evidence found at other sites in the world.
Archaeologists show little hesitation in developing sophisticated quantitative models to generate hypotheses concerning the Paleoindian era. As a consequence, however, Paleoindian colonization is often simplistically modeled as biological population fissioning or with unwarranted assumptions about social organization and demographic parameters. Correspondingly—and despite the centrality of kin concepts in the development of much anthropological theory—any notion of “Paleoindian kinship” with specific semantic content would be widely regarded as unknowable. Yet, Paleoindian peoples were undoubtedly aware of critical options for managing the sociogeographic boundary at which marriages could occur where small group sizes and extremely low population densities prevailed. We develop thought models for a common category of kin structures that could quite plausibly have entered the New World. By adopting this perspective, we find that meaningful inferences can be made about Paleoindian kinship, with profound implications for the earliest stages of New World prehistory. Such thought models can serve to stimulate alternative explanations with test implications for enigmatic aspects of the Paleoindian record, including differential demographic success for colonization episodes, shifting modes of colonization, the kin-structuring of economic options, and social dimensions signaled by the spread of fluted point technology.
Microblade assemblages with wedge-shaped microblade cores spread mainly to the northeastern Japanese Archipelago during the terminal Pleistocene. These assemblages share technological similarities with Siberia, Northeast Asia, and Northwest America. Based on the results of use-wear studies, this paper examines the functions of chipped stone tools (e.g., endscraper, sidescraper, burin, perforater) of micro- blade assemblages with wedge-shaped microblade cores recovered from the northeastern Japanese Archipelago. Functional analysis of the microblade assemblage will contribute not only to reconstructing the technological adaptation to the cold and arid environments of the higher latitude of Asia, but also to understanding the peopling of the New World.
Stacked tills in buried valleys along the Rocky Mountain foothills in south-west Alberta can be related to belts of moraine and glacial limits dated to the LGM by cosmogenic 36CI exposure dating of erratics on these moraines. They document that the south-west margin of Laurentide Ice Sheets (LIS) was an all-time maximum for late Cenozoic ice sheets as well as the coalescence of glaciers from the Rocky Mountains with the LIS was unique to the LGM. This precludes a LGM ice-free corridor. This brief and unique coalescence event has also been documented in northern, central, and south-central Alberta by radiocarbon dating of organic material in preglacial gravels underlying a single till deposited by the LGM Laurentide Ice Sheet. However, there is ample and robust stratigraphic evidence of a single pre-LGM ice sheet that reached as far west as Taber, in southern Alberta, and at least two pre- LGM ice sheets in the Cold Lake area in east-central Alberta. Multiple glaciations are recorded in the Pleistocene stratigraphy of Saskatchewan. Only one till in Saskatchewan predates the last geomagnetic polarity reversal. This evidence is consonant with multiple ice-free corridors throughout Middle Pleistocene glaciations and should be considered in interpreting Pleistocene biogeography.
The objective of this project is to present a multiple human burial that was discovered in the Cueva de Texcal (Texcal Cave), which is located in municipality of Texcal in the state of Puebla. This archaeological investigation took place over four seasons, from 1963 to 1966. In the 1964 season, eight human skeletons, forming a multiple burial, were found, and in the 1965 season, the burial of a single individual, in a lateral flexed position with a north-south orientation, was excavated. According to the archaeological report, these burials were located in Layer IV, which has been radiocarbon dated to 7200 BP (García Moll 1977). One potential hypothesis is that by this date, the burial of human bodies in specific locations had been established, as well as perhaps a funerary system for groups in this region. Another possible hypothesis is that this group already inhabited small villages. To verify their antiquity, two of the skeletons were radiocarbon dated and found to date to 7233 ± 36 BP and 7196 ± 36 BP, a difference of only 37 years between burials. These data suggest that this group already inhabited villages in the region and that possibly they had begun to domesticate plants and animals.
Human beings are living symphonies of mind, body and spirit as expressed in most aspects of life from birth to burial and beyond. Among traditional indigenous peoples world-wide, plant, animal, mineral, celestial, and ancestral realms are understood to be differentially permeated with sentience and power. These spiritual energies are respected and also feared. People honor, supplicate, negotiate, and otherwise deepen their interactions with these creative, spiritual forces by means of prayer and ceremony, including material offerings, song, dance, music, painting, tattooing, and healing. The archeology of Blombos Cave, South Africa provides evidence of deep antiquity of human symbolic behavior in the manufacture of red pigment and the incised marking of red ochre 100,000 years ago. This poster explores spiritual and ceremonial aspects of hunting and healing among Paleoamericans and identifies tools and archeological features related to these activities from Folsom, Hell Gap, Cody, and San Patrice contexts.
Between 1994 and 2008, an interdisciplinary team conducted six field investigations at the Arlington Springs Site (CA-SRI-173). This research has clarified the chronostratigraphy at Arlington Springs in order to understand the geological and paleoenvironmental context for the earliest evidence of humans on the large Late Pleistocene island of Santarosae off the California coast. Excavations in 1994, 2000, and 2001 at the west side wall of Arlington Canyon exposed a section of sediments from the current ground surface to a depth of about twelve meters adjacent to the location where deeply buried human bones (“Arlington Springs Man”) had been discovered by Phil C. Orr in 1959. Following an experiment with ground penetrating radar in 2005, a Giddings rig was transported to the site in 2006 in order to recover ten deep sediment cores. The last period of fieldwork took place in 2008 in order to investigate the stratum where the Late Pleistocene human bones and tiny chert flakes had been discovered. At present, forty radiocarbon dates have been obtained to date the stratigraphy at Arlington Springs, documenting 16,000 years of sediment accumulation. Sediment layers have been traced through three dimensional space using the data gathered from the cores obtained in 2006.
A proposed upper level undergraduate seminar on the peopling of the Americas will use the wide variety of proposed times and routes for this process as springboards to examine various theories and what they say about the attitudes of the Americans who promulgated and promulgate them. Did people first come to the Americas from Asia or Europe? By foot or by boat or by spaceship? According to current scientific thought, the Americas are the land mass most recently populated by humans, while many Native American groups firmly believe they have always lived here; Caleb Atwater thought Mississippian sites were founded by one of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel, others think sailors from across the Pacific brought civilization to the Americas. These, as well as the current most cogent theories will be illustrated and analyzed and their place in American popular and scientific thought at the time they were proposed will be presented.
Cactus Hill set the stage for focused forays beyond McAvoy (1992), into predicting Clovis and Pre-Clovis age settlement systems in the Nottoway River Valley of Virginia and in the Middle Atlantic Region. The poster will detail two predictive models developed out of Cactus Hill. First, it will detail how one definite Clovis age site (Rubis-Pearsall) and one probable pre-Clovis age site (Blueberry Hill) were predicted and discovered, based on soil and landform data from Cactus Hill. Second, it is evident from the above three sites that the early components at them were not isolated. A macro-band interaction model is proposed for predicting similar age sites in prominent water gaps east of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia and elsewhere. Preliminary data from Smith Mountain Gap, recovered by William A. Childress provides the basis for the model. The premise is that macro-bands must have been in contact for Cactus Hill and Clovis age technologies to have persisted over time and space. The water gaps may have served as transportation funnels connecting macro-bands and/or macro-band meeting areas.
The DEDIC Paleoindian Site in South Deerfield, Massachusetts has been known to collectors since the 1930s, but it was first professionally evaluated in 1978. At that time, the discovery of eighteen Paleoindian tools and nearly two thousand associated chert flakes from a number of loci resulted in its listing on the National Register of Historic Places and subsequent burial to deter further looting. Recently, thirty-five artifacts likely associated with the site were identified in a local collection. It is believed that these artifacts have never been previously documented and represent a significant addition to the limited assemblage associated with this important site.
Paleoindian habitation of the upper Snake River Plain of southern Idaho is predominantly represented by sites containing large, stemmed, Haskett-style spear points. Recent studies in southern Idaho have suggested that these stemmed-point users, while highly mobile, may have been primarily tethered to wetland and riverine environments. To explore this association, surface survey and collection was performed by a 2012 Texas A&M field school at the Adams Gravel Source site located on the Idaho National Laboratory. This site is an extensive surface lithic scatter containing multiple Haskett-style spear points and other tools and debitage in association with the nearby Big Lost River and adjacent floodplain that potentially supported wetland habitats during the terminal Pleistocene. Spatial analysis of the site combined with lithic analysis of bifacial tool, material preference, reduction stage, intensity of reworking, and fracture pattern are used to determine the intensity and diversity of lithic reduction at the site. Furthermore, we address questions of site function, intensity of occupation, and potential for a logistically mobile wetland adaptation during the terminal Pleistocene/ early Holocene.
Despite nearly a century of research, many questions remain about how early Paleoindian groups moved into, and acquired knowledge about the environments and landscapes they came to inhabit. It is also unclear whether the acquisition of this knowledge is archaeologically visible. In this study the presence or absence of various raw materials in early and middle fluted point sites from northeastern North America is used to investigate changes in toolstone use between earlier and later Paleoindian populations. These differences help inform our understanding of the landscape learning process and other phenomenon associated with the colonization of uninhabited landscapes. This study evaluates different models of colonization and how quickly stone quarries and tool stone sources became places of lasting importance throughout prehistory.
The Schaefer and Hebior Mammoth localities in southeastern Wisconsin, show evidence of putative cut marks on bone, bone piles and non-diagnostic stone tools indicating the butchering of mammoths in the Western great Lakes ca 12,300 – 12,500 14C yrs B.P. At all sites purporting a pre-Clovis age, the Late Pleistocene landscape history and site formation processes must be rigorously investigated. The sites occur in a north-south trending intermorainal valley. Twenty-one Geoprobe cores were taken across the valley and organic material dated. These studies indicate that radiocarbon ages, stratigraphic and geomorphic contexts at the Hebior-Schaefer locality contain in situ evidence for human interaction with mammoths very near the active glacial ice mar- gin in the mid-continent by 12,500 14C yrs B.P. and perhaps as early as 13,500 14C yrs B.P.
The evidence for late Pleistocene hunting and butchering of horses and a camel at the Wally’s Beach site in southwestern Canada is very important for understanding the early peopling of the Americas and human adaptations at that time. We undertook a rigorous AMS 14C dating experiment to determine the site’s age. In additional to dating several individual horses, we dated different chemical fractions from each bone to obtain the most accurate geological age for each skeleton and the site overall. These data are used to understand the accuracy of previous age measurements and demonstrate methods needed to understand the archaeology, paleontology, and taphonomy of these rare, late Pleistocene localities.
Two artifact caches from the Central Rocky Mountains exhibit numerous morphological and technological features suggesting Clovis or early Paleoindian affiliation. Neither cache was found in a datable context or a context even remotely suggestive of its cultural affiliation. In this poster we examine both the morphological character of the cached specimens and their technological characteristics. We conclude that one of the caches is likely Clovis based on its morphology and technology in comparison with demonstrated Clovis caches. The other cache, while showing certain Clovis characteristics, is likely from the Late Prehistoric Period. More interestingly, however, are the similarities between the Late Prehistoric and certain early Paleoindian technological manufacturing strategies. We argue that technical requirements of production of morphologically similar objects are solved by the use of similar techniques of production. Our analysis is further enhanced by the availability of debitage representing all production stages, something rarely if ever encountered at most Early Paleoindian sites.
Numerous processes may break and modify bone, such as rock fall, trampling, carnivore gnawing, sediment compaction, weathering, and cultural activities. A thorough understanding of the ways in which bone responds to natural and cultural modification processes is necessary to establish valid evidence of human modification. This poster describes neotaphonomic research with African elephant and woolly mammoth skeletal remains to identify patterns in cortical bone modifications in Late Pleistocene America. Dynamic impact loading with hammerstones, flaking by percussion, and static loading from carnivore gnawing were examined. Multivariate statistical analyses underscore how multiple variables interact, such as breakage type, depositional history, bone density, and size, and influence the resulting breakage attributes. They also emphasize that single attributes, such as a bulb of percussion or spiral fracture, are insufficient to differentiate the actors that produced bone modifications observed in Late Pleistocene sites.
While some of the Terminal Pleistocene lithic assemblages in Eastern Beringia (Alaska/Yukon) are obviously derived from Western Beringian (Siberian) antecedents, others are patently North American. Are the latter the result of indigenous development in Eastern Beringia or do they represent “backwash” from the Great Plains via an ice-free corridor along the eastern flank of the Rocky Mountains? First proposed in the early 1930s, the ice-free corridor was once the default route for getting the earliest Eastern Beringian people into temperate North America. However, over the last few decades the corridor’s primacy has been challenged by a route along the continent’s west coast. In fact, initial human movement through the corridor may actually have been south- to-north, introducing Paleoindian lithic assemblage influences into Eastern Beringia rather than a north-to-south movement of Eastern Beringian immigrants into temperate North America. I evaluate the feasibility of this “backwash” hypothesis by examining when the ice-free corridor was ecologically able to support human occupancy and by identifying a chronological marker that can be traced along the length of the corridor that helps to clarify the time and direction of its initial use. By establishing those parameters, a pedigree and chronology for Eastern Beringian lithic assemblages can be described.
Although the origin of the first Americans has been resolved through genetic research, the routes that early humans traveled from Asia into North and South America are still the subject of intense scholarly debate. Recent genetic and archaeological data suggest that an early migration may have occurred along the Pacific Coast of North and South America. Based on these lines of evidence, it is hypothesized that Paleoamericans may show morphological affinities to prehistoric skeletons from coastal sites if an early Pacific migration occurred. For this study, Paleoamerican crania (>9000 years BP) are compared to a large sample of crania from coastal and interior sites in North and South America dating between 7,500 and 2,000 years BP. Data on craniofacial variation was obtained from high-resolution digital models created with a 3D laser scanner. Standard cranial landmarks were recorded for each specimen and subjected to 3D geometric morphometric analyses to assess similarities among the coastal and interior groups. The results of this work provide valuable information about the demographic history of the North and South America’s inhabitants from the early to middle Holocene. Moreover, this study demonstrates the advantages of using 3D imaging and morphometric methods to analyze Paleoameri can crania.
Benedict’s Rock (5BL232) is a small, single component Scottsbluff site discovered in 1975 and excavated by Colorado State University during the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2013. The site represents a short term occupation by several knappers, at most, who sharpened and discarded a few tools along a high terrace of the St. Vrain River in western Boulder County. Raw materials suggest ties to Middle Park, across the Continental Divide and the mountains to the west. Small sites such as this dominate the archaeological record, but they are rarely excavated given their small assemblage size. This site represents one of the best snapshots we might hope for, in terms of recognizing the day to day operations of a small Paleoindian task group, or perhaps larger group, seasonally moving through the mountain parks, alpine zone, and foothills of the Colorado Front Range. We need more examples of these small sites to better understand larger sites, which are often palimpsests of many complex occupations.
The Lindenmeier site (5LR13), a National Historic Landmark, is strategically (and purposefully) located along the boundary separating not only the High Plains and the Colorado Piedmont but also the Great Plains and the Southern Rocky Mountains. While prior analyses focused on the site’s rich Folsom lithic industry, our present study examines one of the most salient features of the site: its geographic placement. We argue that the site was occupied (and reoccupied) at a very important place on the landscape – at an ecotone supporting diverse floral and faunal communities, but also as importantly, one with a striking visual landscape. Here we present an analysis of the Lindenmeier site from two spatial scales, that of the local foraging party and the larger regional system. Using field observations and GIS applications, we identify geographic features which may have been important places for Folsom peoples, in terms of foraging, travel, and group aggregation.
A broad chronological study has been undertaken in order to under- stand better the timing and the dynamics of the Pleistocene human settlements in South America. Three new archaeological sites have been investigated in particular. They lie in the Serra da Capivara National Park in Piauí, Brazil, and have been investigated since 2009 by a multidisciplinary Franco-Brazilian archaeological team. The luminescence and radiocarbon dating results gave us a good overview of the first occupations in the region. OSL dating allowed us to date the deposition of the quartz grains which constitute the sediments, the radiocarbon let us know the time elapsed since the death of the vegetals that gave the charcoals, and TL dating helped us to date the last heating of some artifacts, that is to say, potentially to date the anthropic activity directly. The Toca da Tira Peia, the Valé da Pedra Furada and the Boqueirão da Pedra Furada have been studied or re-examined from a chronological point of view and they will be presented during the conference.
Technological and typological variability during the Folsom period has been explored on regional scales, but thus far no research has systematically analyzed projectile point variability across the full geographic extent of Folsom’s occurrence. This research examines Folsom projectile point technology for the following types: Folsom (bifacially fluted), unifacially fluted, Midland, pseudo-fluted, and the miniature forms thereof. The analysis shows significant morphological variation between Folsom and Midland points and suggests they may have been hafted differently. However, analysis of intermediate “hybrid” forms between Folsom and Midland appears to span this gap, complicating this interpretation. Miniaturized versions of these points do not share this morphological distinction. Examining variables related to flintknapping skill reveals significant differences indicating that Folsom points are the most skillfully made, followed by unifacially fluted, Midland, and pseduo-fluted points, respectively. Analysis of raw material variability for each type is currently underway to test whether the non-Folsom types are made increasingly often as raw material supplies decrease.
In this research we develop a site location model for the Paleo-Indian period based on data available for the Northern Great Lakes. We have adapted a model that has proven highly successful with Archaic Period settlement within the Lake Superior basin. This research applies a site prediction modeling process using locations of previously known Paleo-Indian sites, located on a DEM corrected for glacial processes that date to the close of the Pleistocene and the beginning of the Holocene.
Scholars have hypothesized that the poorly understood and rarely encountered archaeological sites from the terminal Paleoindian and Archaic periods in the Great Lakes Region (10,000 –7,500 BP) are lost beneath the modern Great Lakes. Underwater investigations on the Alpena-Amberley ridge (AAR), a feature that would have been a dry land corridor crossing the Lake Huron basin during this time period, reveals the presence of a series of stone features that match, in form and location, structures used for arctic caribou hunting in both prehistoric and ethnographic times. While caribou hunting structures are well known in the circumpolar region, equivalent features are difficult to investigate further south due to significant changes in sea level and subsequent human activity, and the discovery of these hunting structures beneath modern Lake Huron provides a new window into ancient caribou hunting in the mid-latitudes. Our research combines underwater survey, SCUBA and ROV investigations with paleoenvironemental reconstruction and computer simulation to consider both the strategies for hunting caribou and the necessary organizational implications for such activities on the Alpena-Amberley Ridge.
The Petronila Creek site in South Texas (41NU246) is an open-air human occupation site dated at 18,000 radiocarbon years before present. The principal site component is a bone bed of primarily small bones which are remains of animals that the people ate while occupying the site, although Pleistocene mega mammals are also well represented. The occupation was beside a river, and fish, turtles, and alligators were also eaten. Raw material for stone tools is scarce on this coastal plain, and lithic material at the site is limited and undiagnostic. There are some tools made from mammoth bone, but the characteristic tool at the site is a kind of pounder/abrador made from fist-sized chunks of mammoth molar. These molar tools are abundant enough, and similar enough, to suggest that they represent an established tool-making tradition. Investigators at other Pleistocene sites should be on the alert for more examples of these tools.
Due to their distinctive and diagnostic nature, fluted points have received the lion’s share of attention from researchers over the past century. As a result of this near obsession with projectile points, relatively little attention has been historically paid to other equally informative components of Paleoindian assemblages such as debitage and unifacial tools. At almost every early Paleoindian site (particularly in the eastern woodlands) the most common tool class is that of the endscraper, which are often recovered in vastly greater numbers than fluted points. Long assumed to be either wood, bone, or hide working tools, I evaluate these untested assumptions through the first large-scale functional analysis (using high-powered microwear) of over 200 endscrapers recovered from a number of fluted point sites that span a large swath of the Eastern Woodlands across the Midwest and Lower Great Lakes. Microwear studies, when coupled with an examination of assemblage composition and patterns of lithic raw material use, adds greatly to our understanding of the organization of early Paleoindian activities across time, space, and gender.
Several possible pre-Clovis-age artifacts have been recovered from the Big Eddy site located along the Sac River in southwest Missouri. Three items are highlighted. These consist of a possible anvilstone, a bone fragment, and a large spall of modified chert found between 3.84 m and 3.87 m below surface. The possible anvilstone was broken and manipulated in such a way that makes a natural explanation dubious. These include a percussion spall that fits between two larger anvil fragments. The bone fragment is a long bone shaft fragment split longitudinally. The fragment appears to be cortical bone from a large mammal, possibly bison. The large chert spall exhibits multiple small flake scars along one side of one edge, and a small segment is lightly rounded and polished from apparent use. The bone and chert spall were found less than 3 m apart and approximately 2-5 cm vertically. Both items were separated from the possible anvilstone by 28 m horizontally and 3-6 cm vertically. Multiple radiocarbon ages obtained from charcoal samples between 3.55 m and 3.86 m in depth yielded a pre-Clovis age range between 12,590 and 11,930 14C BP.
For historically documented foragers in northern latitudes, caching of tools and supplies was a common strategic practice. Dating to the late Pleistocene, early Paleoindian stone tool caches have been widely documented across western North America, and their recent study has led to insights on Clovis colonization, land-use and technology. East of the Mississippi, by contrast, only a handful of early Paleoindian (fluted point-affiliated) artifact caches have been recorded, and all are located in the glaciated Northeast. This poster describes two probable early Paleoindian lithic caches, discovered on a late Pleistocene terrace over- looking the Susquehanna River in eastern New York. The Green-Pauler caches include bifaces, unifaces, and tool blanks. Toolstone is dominat- ed by jasper, perhaps from Reading Prong sources in eastern Pennsylvania. We conclude that these two caches were likely utilitarian in nature, and that Paleoindians may have imported these artifacts during travels north from Pennsylvania into eastern New York. Comparison to late Pleistocene lithic caches elsewhere offers new perspectives on early Paleoindian land-use and technology in New York and the broader glacial Northeast.
Across the Beringian Arctic, Paleoindian populations utilized composite osseous technologies from the late Pleistocene through the Holocene. The use of osseous material to produce points implies a technological organization strategy separate from, though often co-occurring with, an organizational strategy focused on lithic bifacial points (Elston and Brantingham 2002; Graf 2010; Rasic and Andrefsky 2001). Composite points produced on slotted antler/bone and inset with micro- blades are theorized to represent a beneficial and economic hybridization of osseous and lithic materials (Graf 2010; Graf and Goebel 2009; Guthrie 1983); however, these models are often created from inference and are largely without empirical data (i.e., Guthrie 1983) The project is a pilot study designed to experimentally produce quantitative and qualitative data to demonstrate the functionality of composite points, and create novel data sets documenting use-wear patterns on microblades and slotted osseous projectile points utilized in a variety of actualistic scenarios. These artifact types are instrumental in interpretations of inter-site variability in interior Alaska, but these interpretations have never been subjected to rigorous and systematic testing. In addition, the use-wear baselines established in this project have the potential to inform on similar artifacts recovered in late Pleistocene contexts in Siberia and western Europe.
Fishtail and Early Paiján projectile points represent the two most recognizable Late Pleistocene artifact forms from northern Perú. These points are often encountered on the same sites, which has led to suggestions of direct technological (i.e., descendant) relationships between the two forms. Based on the analysis of raw material use and settlement patterns in the lower Jequetepeque Valley, this poster argues that these two point forms represent distinct technological complexes produced by contemporary regional populations between 13,000-11,300 cal BP. The recognition of distinct, contemporary early complexes has implications for our understanding of the timing and process of colonization in western South America.
The Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve (LSAP) in Douglas County, Colorado is an internationally significant archaeological site containing the bones of extinct Ice Age animals and artifacts from later human occupation. Extinct Ice Age animals found at the site include over 30 Columbian mammoths. In addition to the faunal remains, the site contains evidence of a Cody-age bison kill that occurred between 9,000 and 8,400-years-ago. Artifacts left by humans indicate hunting and camping activities at the spring for at least the past 9,000 years and possibly longer. High precision AMS 14C radiocarbon ages recently obtained by Steve Holen on humanly-modified mammoth bone from the site are consistent with an early Clovis-era occupation (11,225+20; 11,765+30; 11,350+20). In concert with the Archaeological Conservancy and Douglas County, the LSAP Board is working to improve onsite interpretation. This poster summarizes the history of the excavations and highlights the preserve’s potential as an educational center for the Rocky Mountain Region.
In 2007 a dart foreshaft made from a birch (Betula spp.) sapling trimmed of its branches was recovered at a melting ice patch in the Rocky Mountains near Yellowstone National Park. An AMS 14C radiocarbon assay dates the artifact to ca. 10,400 cal BP. Contemporaneous in age with the Cody complex, the 107cm long foreshaft is 3,000 years older than any other wooden foreshaft(s) recovered in North America. Details of the artifact have been published by Lee in various places, including the journals Antiquity (2010) and Arctic (2012). The tip of the artifact, where a stone projectile point (absent) would have been hafted, is 8.9mm in diameter. The specimen exhibits a ‘split end haft’ clothespin-like haft 2.7mm wide and 12.6mm deep. The base of the foreshaft tapers symmetrically in diameter from 12.5mm to 3.6mm, presumably to fit a corresponding socket in a fletched shaftment. In 2011 the poster’s authors began discussing reconstructions, and McConnell, an accomplished expert in the recreation and use of ancient technologies, developed and tested several replica assemblies. The recreations suggest a foreshaft of this size would have worked well with an Eden variant of Cody. This poster highlights McConnell’s process of observation, creation and use.
Geographically diverse evidence of early Holocene alluviation and paleosol formation ~10,575 cal yr BP to 8510 cal yr BP is presented. It includes paleo-Mollisols, paleo-Fluvents and alluvial deposits from the Colorado Plateaus, Great Plains, Southern Rocky Mountains, and Wyoming Basin. The ages and characteristics of the paleosols and alluvial sediments suggest correlation with the climatic events responsible for the development of the Brady and Leonard Paleosols. Their ages do not; however indicate their development began in the Bolling-Allerod or Younger Dryas. The climatically induced paleosols and alluviums do provide Paleoamerican researchers with soil and stratigraphic markers for relative age interpretations.