R. Lee Lyman

R. Lee Lyman
University of Missouri | Mizzou · Department of Anthropology

About

274
Publications
75,496
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11,309
Citations
Citations since 2016
60 Research Items
4419 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220200400600
20162017201820192020202120220200400600
Introduction
R. Lee Lyman currently works at the Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri. R. does research in Archaeology. Their most recent publication is a review of 'Climate Change and Human Responses: A Zooarchaeological Perspective . Gregory G. Monks, ed. New York: Springer, 2017, 232 pp. $129.00, cloth. ISBN 978-94-024-1105-8.'.
Additional affiliations
September 1986 - present
University of Missouri
Position
  • Professor (Full)
June 1982 - June 1986
Oregon State University
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (274)
Article
Full-text available
Evidence gleaned from 1796 pieces of zooarchaeological literature published between 1900 and 2019, from 22 zooarchaeology textbooks published between 1956 and 2019, and 16 books on taphonomy published between 1969 and 2016 is used to assess the history of graphing in zooarchaeology. Mirroring changes in archaeology in general, the use of graphs (ba...
Article
It has been suggested that a lithic resource’s candidacy for predictability of fracture when knapped, and whether or not a stone has been heat treated, can be assessed by the duration, pitch, and loudness of sound made when a stone is struck. A hammer stone machine held and struck specimens of 16 lithic types. Acoustic information was processed wit...
Article
We explore and describe the auditory landscape that emerges from stone tool making. Using two trained musicians, we identify the pitches and octaves produced from percussion knapping. We also analyze whether knapping sounds vary by raw material, knapper skill level, or by flake size. Our results show that our chosen stone material types each displa...
Article
Archaeological types have been derogatorily characterized as descriptive, but they must be descriptive in terms of pertinent attributes to be analytically useful. Classifying artifacts has long been (and still is) referred to as “pigeon holing” because some formal variation is masked by the categorization process. Recent discussions of the “tyranny...
Chapter
The earliest archaeological spindle graph was published in 1883 by natural historian and avocational archaeologist Charles C. Abbott. Evidence that he obtained the idea from paleontology, which first published spindle graphs in the 1830s and 1840s, is circumstantial at best, and differences in graph styles weigh against such borrowing. Several spin...
Chapter
North American anthropologists and archaeologists have long confused the Midas-touch-like transformational evolution of Lewis Henry Morgan, Edward B. Tylor, and Herbert Spencer with the variational evolution of Charles Darwin. Following Franz Boas, evolution as a theory of change was allegedly discarded by North American anthropologists and archaeo...
Chapter
Close examination of James A. Ford’s self-reported 1952 history of how he developed the centered and stacked bars style of spindle graph for which he is famous indicates he likely invented this kind of spindle graph with a bit of assistance from his colleagues George Quimby and Gordon Willey. In the 1930s, his diagrams of culture change were spatio...
Chapter
During the 1930s, archaeological spindle graphs in the form of seriograms (straight-sided spindle graphs) were published. Three of these represent the investigator’s suspicions about culture change rather than being strictly empirical. Stylistically, seriograms were seldom subsequently published, suggesting these graphs minimally influenced later r...
Chapter
Despite years of graphing culture change using different types and styles of diagram, there is minimal discussion of graph grammar—how to construct an effective and efficient graph, and how to decipher a graph of change. Part of the difficulty attending graph decipherment resided in (and continues to reside in) unclear distinction of transformation...
Chapter
Archaeology emerged as part of the general discipline of anthropology in North America, the overall focus of which for the first five or six decades of the twentieth century was to write the history of the culture of each group of native North American people. The goal of writing a culture’s history could only be accomplished by placing artifacts i...
Chapter
Graphs are analytical tools and communication tools, and they summarize visually what has been learned. Granting that a major purpose of archaeology is to document and explain culture change, it is odd that the hows and whys of graphing culture change have received minimal attention in the archaeology literature. Spindle graphs will likely continue...
Book
Documentation, analysis, and explanation of culture change have long been goals of archaeology. The earliest archaeological spindle graphs appeared in the 1880s and 1890s, but had no influence on subsequent archaeologists. Line graphs showing change in frequencies of specimens in each of several artifact types were used in the 1910s and 1920s. Seri...
Chapter
The earliest paleontological spindle graphs appear in the 1830s and 1840s, and are of a different style and diagram different kinds of data (absolute frequencies of taxa or kinds) than the earliest archaeological spindle graphs. Palynologists regularly produce so-called pollen diagrams, left-justified spindle graphs, that display temporally varying...
Chapter
Given explicit recognition between ~1915 and the 1930s that certain artifact types display unimodal frequency distributions over time, archaeologists initially presented tables of those frequencies but by the 1930s were experimenting with different types of graphs to present visual images of culture change. The lack of familiarity with graph theory...
Chapter
To determine the origin of archaeological spindle graphs, and to track the frequency of use of each of several types of graph used to diagram culture change, a sample of North American archaeological literature was examined. Numerous series of monographs and volumes of journals in both the archaeological and the paleontological literature were insp...
Article
Zooarchaeologists have developed and used several techniques for estimating the body mass of individual prey animals. Many of these are based on skeletal variables such as minimum number of individuals, weight of remains, or linear dimensions of long bone articular ends. All of these techniques fail to account for individual variability in body mas...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological types have been derogatorily characterized as descriptive, which they must, in some sense, be, but this does not render them analytically useless. The influence of the mechanics of classification (how it is accomplished structurally and choice of kinds and frequencies of attributes) on results is underappreciated. Types may be constr...
Article
Taxonomic identification of archaeofauna relies on techniques and anatomical traits that should be valid, reliable, and usable, but which are rarely tested. Identification protocols (techniques and anatomical traits), particularly those used to distinguish taxa of similar size and morphology, should be rigorously tested to ensure a solid interpreti...
Article
Full-text available
Identification of the species of animal represented by ancient bones, teeth, and shells based on the size and shape of those materials is one of the most fundamental and foundational steps in paleozoology, yet only scattered comments in the literature regarding this matter have been published. The history of taxonomic identification of faunal remai...
Article
Graph perception involves the accurate decipherment of (often quantitative) data displayed in visual form. Because graph style may reflect discipline-specific tradition, similar graph styles in distinct disciplines can be subject to misinterpretation. Both archaeologist James A. Ford and paleobiologist Stephen Jay Gould confused spindle diagrams re...
Article
Remains of the North American water vole ( Microtus richardsoni ) have previously been recovered from late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits in southwestern Alberta, western Montana, and north-central Wyoming. All are within the historically documented modern range of the metapopulation occupying the Rocky Mountains; no ancient remains of this larg...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluation of zooarchaeology’s quantitative units known as NISP (number of identified specimens) and MNI (minimum number of individuals) during the last three decades of the twentieth century suggested neither provided ratio scale measures of taxonomic abundances. Many researchers at that time began to use NISP as often as MNI to measure taxonomic...
Book
Paleozoology and Paleoenvironments outlines the reconstruction of ancient climates, floras, and habitats on the basis of animal fossil remains recovered from archaeological and paleontological sites. In addition to outlining the ecological fundamentals and analytical assumptions attending such analyzes, J. Tyler Faith and R. Lee Lyman describe and...
Article
The Archaeology of Large-Scale Manipulation of Prey: The Economic and Social Dynamics of Mass Hunting. KRISTEN CARLSON and LELAND C. BEMENT, editors. 2018. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. vi + 291 pp. $73.00 (hardcover), ISBN 978-1-60732-681-6. - R. Lee Lyman
Article
Paleozoologists have long used graphs of diverse styles to describe, analyze, and summarize their data. Some of these graphs provide excellent visual representations of complex data and are readily deciphered. Other graph styles require close study to be interpreted. Ease of visual decoding of information contained in a graph – graph perception – v...
Article
Dental enamel hypoplasias have been documented in extant and fossil mammal species and attributed to several kinds of physiological stress. They have not previously been reported among bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis Shaw, 1804). Forty-six (36.8%) of 125 mandibular molars (m1, m2, m3) of bighorn recovered from disturbed Holocene archaeological depos...
Article
Full-text available
Early Paleo-Indians in North America are historically hypothesized to have been large-game specialists. Despite decades of research, Early Paleo-Indian diets are alternately portrayed as of either specialist or generalist. Though some suggest that these terms are not useful, debate over the nature of these diets continues. Authors who have studied...
Article
Suggestions regarding the history of use of zooarchaeological quantitative units known as the number of identified specimens (NISP) and minimum number of individuals (MNI) have previously had little empirical substantiation. Analysis of the North American zooarchaeological literature that appeared between 1900 and 1999 indicates there was (i) an in...
Chapter
North American zooarchaeologists’ use of the minimum number of individuals (MNI) quantitative unit began early in the twentieth century, prior to the discipline’s received wisdom that Theodore White introduced it. Frequencies of publications indicate that MNI’s popularity grew in the 1960s as a result of White’s innovative technique for estimating...
Article
Full-text available
Paleozoologists have long used taxa represented by ancient faunal remains to reconstruct paleoenvironments. Those ancient environments were the selective contexts in which hominin biological and cultural evolution took place. Knowing about those particularistic selective environments and how organisms responded to them is increasingly seen as criti...
Article
Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) remains are often found in western North American archaeological sites. Determination of ontogenetic age of zooarchaeological individuals would allow assessment of season of procurement, herd demography at the time of procurement, and perhaps differential processing. The known dental eruption schedule for bighorn is...
Article
Predictions of changes in the Holocene mammalian fauna of the central Columbia Basin in eastern Washington (USA) based on environmental changes are largely met. Taxonomic richness is greatest during periods of cool-moist climate. Rates of input of faunal remains to the paleozoological record may suggest greater mammalian biomass during periods of g...
Article
A key issue raised by Boivin et al. is that increased use of environmental archaeological data holds significant benefits for conservation planning (1). The benefits of the application of paleozoological records to conserving biodiversity have been emphasized by many (2), but there are also numerous possible weaknesses in such datasets that Boivin...
Article
Sex ratios of rodents in samples of owl pellets have been interpreted to reflect predator selectivity, availability of prey on the landscape, and variable susceptibility of the sexes to predation. Metric distinction of male from female innominates of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) and voles (Microtus spp.) extracted from ∼120 pellets cast by ba...
Article
Quantitative analysis of zooarchaeological taxonomic abundances and skeletal part frequencies often relies on parametric techniques to test hypotheses. Data upon which such analyses are based are considered by some to be ‘ordinal scale at best,’ meaning that non-parametric approaches may be better suited for addressing hypotheses. An important cons...
Article
Names applied to particular analytical techniques must be explicit and distinctive. The potential that two distinct techniques of paleoenvironmental reconstruction that use ancient faunal remains, each with a particular name, might be confused in the future has recently become a reality. The name "mutual climatic range" (MCR), coined and developed...
Chapter
Osseous (bone and ivory) rods dating to the Early Paleoindian period (ca. 13,300–11,900 calendar years before present) have been found over much of North America. Previous researchers have attributed several possible functions to these artifacts, including use as projectile points, as foreshafts, as pressure-flaker handles, as sled shoes, and as le...
Book
Theodore E. White and the Development of Zooarchaeology in North America illuminates the researcher and his lasting contribution to a field that has largely ignored him in its history. The few brief histories of North American zooarchaeology suggest that Paul W. Parmalee, John E. Guilday, Elizabeth S. Wing, and Stanley J. Olsen laid the foundation...
Article
The proveniences (locations) of artifacts have long been critically important to archaeological interpretation. Although of major importance to site formation studies, positional attributes of artifacts (e.g., orientation, dip, which side is up) are seldom mentioned. When discovered in 1927, the in situ association of a Folsom projectile point with...
Article
Full-text available
Tool design is a cultural trait—a term long used in anthropology as a unit of transmittable information that encodes particular behavioral characteristics of individuals or groups. After they are transmitted, cultural traits serve as units of replication in that they can be modified as part of a cultural repertoire through processes such as recombi...
Article
Full-text available
Northeastern North America has produced an incredible number of late Pleistocene faunal remains; however, many of these were discovered and excavated prior to the development of radiocarbon dating. Moreover, many of the 14C dates that do exist for such specimens were assayed prior to the development of purified collagen extraction methods, were per...
Chapter
Full-text available
Stone tool analysis relies on a strong background in analytical and methodological techniques. However, lithic technological analysis has not been well integrated with a theoretically informed approach to understanding how humans procured, made, and used stone tools. Evolutionary theory has great potential to fill this gap. This collection of essay...
Chapter
Stone tool analysis relies on a strong background in analytical and methodological techniques. However, lithic technological analysis has not been well integrated with a theoretically informed approach to understanding how humans procured, made, and used stone tools. Evolutionary theory has great potential to fill this gap. This collection of essay...
Chapter
Full-text available
North American fluted stone projectile points occur over a relatively short time span, ca. 13,300–11,900 calBP, referred to as the Early Paleoindian period. One long-standing topic in Paleoindian archaeology is whether variation in the points is the result of drift or adaptation to regional environments. Studies have returned apparently conflicting...
Article
Eyed bone needles have been recovered from Paleoindian sites over the last 70 years. Specimens 13,100–10,000 calendar years old average 1.81 ± .58 mm in diameter, similar to 2500–1000 year-old specimens in the Aleutians which average 1.67 mm in diameter. Use of industrial steel needles and experiments with replicated bone needles indicate the broke...
Article
Full-text available
Archaeological reconnaissance in the Blue Mountains in 2013 resulted in the discovery of five artificial circular arrangements of local stones. Subsequent examination of satellite photographs of the area revealed two more rings. Ethnographic and archaeological records provide few clues as to the origins and functions of these rings. Local informant...
Article
Local pollen data, diminution of body size of three ungulate species, and decreased mammalian richness and evenness all indicate grass decreased in abundance during the Pleistocene–Holocene transition (PHT) in eastern Washington state, USA. This paleoenvironmental history suggests that the abundance of remains of Microtus sp. should decrease as rem...
Article
It has long been argued that specialized big-game-hunting Paleoindians were responsible for the extinction of three dozen large-bodied mammalian genera in North America. In northeastern North America, the overkill hypothesis cannot be tested on the basis of associations of Paleoindian artifacts and remains of extinct mammals because no unequivocal...
Article
Mean adult body mass of mammal taxa is a fundamental ecological variable. Variability in the distributions of body masses of a mammal fauna suggest variability in habitat structure. Mammal remains from the Marmes archaeological site in southeastern Washington State date between 13,200 and 10,400 en, during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition (PHI)....
Article
Review time is the duration between submission of a manuscript for possible publication and the author’s receipt of notification of the editor’s decision. There are two key questions about the peer-review process: (1) Has average review time changed over the past several decades? and (2) Has the adoption of online submission reduced average review...
Article
Eleven mammalian archaeofaunas associated with the Western Stemmed Point Tradition (WSPT) in the Columbia Basin of intermontane northwestern North America and recovered from eastern Washington State suggest that local Paleoindians were variable in subsistence pursuits. The 11 faunas are strongly if imperfectly nested taxonomically, suggesting that...
Article
Small mammal communities in western North America experienced declines in taxonomic richness across the late Pleistocene to Holocene transition (PHT), a recent natural global warming event. One community also experienced a decline in evenness and others replaced one species with a congener. Variability in response of small mammal communities to PHT...
Article
Full-text available
After a 20-year hiatus (1955–1975) during which few archaeologists discussed fluoride dating, the method again received attention in the 1980s and 1990s when some argued for its validity. As a dating method, fluoride dating depends on the rate at which fluorine ions replace hydroxyl ions in osseous tissue. The rate of replacement is influenced by t...
Article
Full-text available
The archaeological concepts of association, context, and provenience have been known by archaeologists since the early nineteenth century, but the terms have not been used. Provenience is empirical and absolute; an association and a context are inferential and relative. These fundamental concepts have seldom been the subject of thoughtful discussio...
Article
It is suggested with increasing frequency that rather than the industry standard of 1/4 inch mesh, zooarchaeologists use 1/8 inch or even 1/16 inch mesh to insure more complete recovery. These suggestions are based on the implicit assumption that the body size of a taxon and the probability that the remains of that taxon will be recovered are posit...
Article
Examination of terminal Pleistocene-age fox remains from the Marmes archaeological site in southeastern Washington State (USA) reveals that a previous identification of one specimen as arctic fox (Vulpes lagopus) was incorrect. Of nearly four-dozen associated specimens, eleven, including the one originally identified as arctic fox, represent red fo...
Chapter
Full-text available
A major concern in modern conservation biology is the loss of biodiversity. Such loss has, however, been common throughout the history of life. The source of the modern concern is that biodiversity loss is thought to be exacerbated by anthropogenic (human) causes in general, a top-down ecological process. But contrary to the ecologically noble sava...
Article
Full-text available
Zooarchaeology asked the same research questions and answered them the same ways between 1950 and 1980. Change occurred when actualistic research revealed that the taphonomy of a collection of faunal remains could significantly skew interpretations. Lewis Binford's ethnoarchaeological work among Alaskan Inuit peoples focused on how human behaviors...
Chapter
Full-text available
Applied zooarchaeology is the study of zooarchaeological data sets to provide temporal information on biological and cultural changes and conditions relevant to conservation science (Frazier 2007a; Hadly and Barnosky 2009; Lyman 1996, 2006a; Lyman and Cannon 2004a). Typically, zooarchaeological collections are conceived as sets of ancient animal re...
Article
Rodent prey contained in two temporally distinct collections of Barn Owl (Tyto alba) pellets from the same roost in southeastern Washington state (USA) differ in terms of taxonomic abundances. Deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) dominate the fauna in the pellet sample deposited while much of the landscape was productive wheat field, and voles (Micro...
Article
Zooarchaeology has been around at least since remains of Pleistocene taxa now extinct were identified and used in 1858-1859 to determine that there was a human history that predated the biblical chronology (Grayson 1983; Van Riper 1993). Morlot's (1861) synopsis of European archaeology published by the Smithsonian includes several references to the...
Book
Until now, the research of applied zooarchaeologists has not had a significant impact on the work of conservation scientists. This book is designed to show how zooarchaeology can productively inform conservation science. Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology offers a set of case studies that use animal remains from archaeological and pale...
Article
It has been argued by some neozoologists (those who study living animals) that the palaeozoological record is biased and incomplete (relative to an existing biological community) and therefore should not be consulted for purposes of conservation biology. An article published in a biology journal in 2011 lists numerous reasons why natural history co...
Article
Full-text available
The hypothesis that Euroamerican settlement displaced some populations of large mammal taxa from lowland plains habitats to previously unoccupied highland mountain habitats was commonly believed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. By the middle twentieth century biologists had come to favor the hypothesis that Euroamerican coloniz...
Article
Full-text available
It is not easy to find an article on the zooarchaeology of marine mammals, or on some prehistoric aspect of marine mammals based on zooarchaeological remains in a natural history journal such as Marine Mammal Science. Has the history of zooarchaeological research on North Pacific pinnipeds and sea otters been unique, or has it been but a portion of...
Article
A mandible identified as noble marten (Martes americana nobilis) recovered from sediments dating to 11,800 cal yr BP and a humerus identified as M. a. cf. nobilis recovered from sediments dating from 13,100 to 12,500 cal yr BP at the Marmes Rockshelter archaeological site in southeastern Washington represent the first record of this taxon in the st...
Article
Full-text available
In the 1930s Paul Radin argued that Franz Boas refrained from generalizing, claimed that the time was not ripe because all the data were not yet available, and believed that once all the data were available they would speak for themselves. This characterization was applied in the 1940s by Clyde Kluckhohn and his student Walter Taylor to the work of...

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