Article

Settlement, raw material, and lithic procurement in the Central Mojave Desert

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Abstract

This paper explores the prehistoric use of two quarries in the central Mojave Desert. Technological analysis and cation-ratio dating of refitted core/flake sequences indicate that patterns of raw material selection, reduction strategies, and the range of objects produced at and removed from the sites remained essentially constant over time despite major changes in human mobility and settlement organization. Changes are evident in the rates at which the sites were exploited, the degree of reduction carried out at one site over time, and the kinds of products emphasized at one of the sites during one period. These results indicate that human use of these sites was conditioned by a range of factors, in addition to mobility strategies, including regional patterns of raw material quality and abundance and quarry location.

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... Example studies Availability and location of raw material sourcesdthese influence the distance over which lithic raw material is transported (Binford, 1979(Binford, , 1980Kelly, 1988;Bamforth, 1990;Tankersley, 1991;Andrefsky, 1994Andrefsky, , 2007Andrefsky, , 2009; Barut, 1994;Merrick et al., 1994;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , b, 2002Ambrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Beck et al., 2002;Brantingham, 2003Brantingham, , 2006Jones et al., 2003;Kuhn, 2004;Minichillo, 2006;Browne and Wilson, 2013; Barton and Riel-Salvatore, 2014;Ekshtain et al., 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014;Boulanger et al., 2015) Mobility costsdthese influence distanceedecay curves or drop-off rates, at what chaîne op eratoire stage artefacts are transported, as well as rates of tool use/discard and retouch/recycling (Koerper et al., 1987;Shackley, 1987;F eblot-Augustins, 1993F eblot-Augustins, , 1997Blades, 1999;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Wallace and Shea, 2006;Amick, 2007;Blumenschine et al., 2008;Andrefsky, 2009;Brown, 2011;Clarkson and Bellas, 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014) Raw material quality and preferencedthese influence the choice of raw material transported (Gould and Saggers, 1985;Bamforth, 1990;Brantingham et al., 2000;Jones et al., 2003;Minichillo, 2006;Wilson, 2007;Wurz, 2010;Porraz et al., 2013a;Gopher and Barkai, 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014) Planning depth, risk sensitivity, and stone-tool production effortdthese influence procurement patterns and their variation (Roebroeks et al., 1988;Geneste, 1989;Beck et al., 2002;Ambrose, 2006;Brantingham, 2006) Seasonal rounds, group mobility, and foraging strategydthese influence when and who is involved in raw material procurement (Binford, 1980;Gould and Saggers, 1985;Shott, 1986;Kelly, 1988;Ambrose and Lorenz, 1990;Rensink et al., 1991;Porraz et al., 2008;Browne and Wilson, 2013) Territorialitydthis can influence raw material source availability (F eblot-Augustins, 1999;Jones et al., 2003;McCall, 2007;Fernandes et al., 2008;Bamforth, 2009;Aubry et al., 2012) Regional interaction, exchange, and social networksdthese can influence transport distance and resource acquisition through direct or indirect means (Cottrell, 1985;Meltzer, 1989;F eblot-Augustins, 1999;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , b, 2002Ambrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Baales, 2001;Marwick, 2003;Brantingham, 2006;Whallon, 2006;Wilkins, 2010;Aubry et al., 2012;Porraz et al., 2013a;Boulanger et al., 2015) Sociocultural factorsdthese can influence the use or choice of raw material sources. Examples include taboo, ancestral ties, resource ownership, colour preference, sources of power, symbolic connotations, and raw material choice as a cultural marker. ...
... Example studies Availability and location of raw material sourcesdthese influence the distance over which lithic raw material is transported (Binford, 1979(Binford, , 1980Kelly, 1988;Bamforth, 1990;Tankersley, 1991;Andrefsky, 1994Andrefsky, , 2007Andrefsky, , 2009; Barut, 1994;Merrick et al., 1994;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , b, 2002Ambrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Beck et al., 2002;Brantingham, 2003Brantingham, , 2006Jones et al., 2003;Kuhn, 2004;Minichillo, 2006;Browne and Wilson, 2013; Barton and Riel-Salvatore, 2014;Ekshtain et al., 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014;Boulanger et al., 2015) Mobility costsdthese influence distanceedecay curves or drop-off rates, at what chaîne op eratoire stage artefacts are transported, as well as rates of tool use/discard and retouch/recycling (Koerper et al., 1987;Shackley, 1987;F eblot-Augustins, 1993F eblot-Augustins, , 1997Blades, 1999;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Wallace and Shea, 2006;Amick, 2007;Blumenschine et al., 2008;Andrefsky, 2009;Brown, 2011;Clarkson and Bellas, 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014) Raw material quality and preferencedthese influence the choice of raw material transported (Gould and Saggers, 1985;Bamforth, 1990;Brantingham et al., 2000;Jones et al., 2003;Minichillo, 2006;Wilson, 2007;Wurz, 2010;Porraz et al., 2013a;Gopher and Barkai, 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014) Planning depth, risk sensitivity, and stone-tool production effortdthese influence procurement patterns and their variation (Roebroeks et al., 1988;Geneste, 1989;Beck et al., 2002;Ambrose, 2006;Brantingham, 2006) Seasonal rounds, group mobility, and foraging strategydthese influence when and who is involved in raw material procurement (Binford, 1980;Gould and Saggers, 1985;Shott, 1986;Kelly, 1988;Ambrose and Lorenz, 1990;Rensink et al., 1991;Porraz et al., 2008;Browne and Wilson, 2013) Territorialitydthis can influence raw material source availability (F eblot-Augustins, 1999;Jones et al., 2003;McCall, 2007;Fernandes et al., 2008;Bamforth, 2009;Aubry et al., 2012) Regional interaction, exchange, and social networksdthese can influence transport distance and resource acquisition through direct or indirect means (Cottrell, 1985;Meltzer, 1989;F eblot-Augustins, 1999;Ambrose, 2001aAmbrose, , b, 2002Ambrose, , 2006Ambrose, , 2012Baales, 2001;Marwick, 2003;Brantingham, 2006;Whallon, 2006;Wilkins, 2010;Aubry et al., 2012;Porraz et al., 2013a;Boulanger et al., 2015) Sociocultural factorsdthese can influence the use or choice of raw material sources. Examples include taboo, ancestral ties, resource ownership, colour preference, sources of power, symbolic connotations, and raw material choice as a cultural marker. ...
... In addition to distance from site, knapping quality is a potential discriminating factor for the selection of raw material sources (e.g., Gould and Saggers, 1985;Bamforth, 1990;Brantingham et al., 2000;Jones et al., 2003;Minichillo, 2006;Wilson, 2007;Wurz, 2010;Porraz et al., 2013a;Gopher and Barkai, 2014;Pleurdeau et al., 2014). Various lithic production strategies require (or are adapted to) diverse raw material characteristics such as grain size, fracture modes, inclusions, and block size. ...
Article
This study utilises geochemical provenancing of silcrete raw materials, in combination with chaîne opératoire analyses, to explore lithic procurement and behavioural patterns in the northern Kalahari Desert during the Middle Stone Age (MSA). New data from the sites of Rhino Cave, Corner Cave, and ≠Gi in northwest Botswana, combined with earlier results from White Paintings Shelter, reveal that the long distance transport of silcrete for stone tool manufacture was a repeated and extensively used behaviour in this region. Silcrete was imported over distances of up to 295 km to all four sites, from locations along the Boteti River and around Lake Ngami. Significantly, closer known sources of silcrete of equivalent quality were largely bypassed. Silcrete artefacts were transported at various stages of production (as partially and fully prepared cores, blanks, and finished tools) and, with the exception of ≠Gi, in large volumes. The import occurred despite the abundance of locally available raw materials, which were also used to manufacture the same tool types. On the basis of regional palaeoenvironmental data, the timing of the majority of silcrete import from the Boteti River and Lake Ngami is constrained to regionally drier periods of the MSA. The results of our investigation challenge key assumptions underlying predictive models of human mobility that use distance–decay curves and drop-off rates. Middle Stone Age peoples in the Kalahari appear to have been more mobile than anticipated, and repeatedly made costly choices with regard to both raw material selection and items to be transported. We conclude that (i) base transport cost has been overemphasised as a restrictive factor in predictive models, and (ii) factors such as source availability and preference, raw material quality, and potential sociocultural influences significantly shaped prehistoric landscape use choices.
... Comparative studies of inter-assemblage variability must take into account several constraints posed by sites representing different scales of utilization and occupation. Reflected in assemblage size, lithic variability, site stratigraphy, and the coarse temporal resolution of MSA assemblages, they have a profound effect on the research outcome and must be taken into account (Bamforth 1990;Tryon and Faith, 2013). Other constraints on variability studies of MSA sites are the ephemeral nature of many of the sites, differences in site function and environmental settings. ...
... Pattern recognition is done based on the combination of technological and typological traits of an assemblage defining "technological packages" rather than using "guide fossils" as cultural markers. This paper aims to first identify technological variability (Bamforth 1990;Tryon and Faith, 2013). Other constraints on variability studies of sites are the ephemeral nature of many of the sites, differences in site function and environmental settings. ...
... Recognizing patterns of raw material procurement, exploitation and discard helps in evaluating mobility and settlement patterns as well as outlining the social landscape (Munday, 1976b;Binford, 1979;Bamforth, 1990;Andrefsy, 1994;Ambrose, 2001Ambrose, , 2012Tryon et al., 2008;Tryon and Faith, 2013;Ekshtain et al., 2014). These patterns are expected to be reflected in the raw material composition of an assemblage, site-to-source distances, and relations between specific raw materials and the technology employed. ...
Thesis
Abstract Dispersals of anatomically modern humans out of eastern Africa, are reflected in the fossil record of western and northern Africa and the Levant. These dispersals are supported by genetic studies, but difficult to detect in the archaeological material record. The Multiple Dispersal Model (Lahr and Foley 1998), also known as the Biogeographic Model, is one of the prominent multiple dispersal models, related to the Single Origin and 'Out of Africa' Models. It hypothesizes that throughout the Middle Stone Age (MSA) there were several waves of dispersals out of eastern Africa. Periods of climatic amelioration during the late Pleistocene (End of MIS 6 to MIS 4) over the Sahara, Negev and Arabian deserts blurred geographical boundaries between sub-tropical Africa and the Levant. Thus ecological corridors were created allowing modern human range expansions across environmental gradients and dispersals into neighboring geographical regions. Archaeological research in eastern Africa, the Nile valley and the southern Levant resulted in evidence for lithic variability within the assemblages, although mismatching research methodologies hampered inter-site variability studies. The explanations for processes and causes underlying lithic variability focus on two main sets of interpretations, functional and social/cultural. The first set assumes a passive interaction between humans and their environment, meaning that they 'react' and 'adapt' to changing environmental conditions mainly (or only) by shifting and redefining subsistence strategies, toward which lithic artifacts are geared. The second set draws on behavioral and social dynamics as the agents behind variability and adaptability to the changing environment. The contribution of each of these sets of explanations to assemblage variability must be assessed through lithic analysis prior to a study of inter-assemblage variability. In this study, the past behavioral strategies of human interaction with their physical as well as social environments are inferred through the chaîne opératoire concept. Once this was done for each of the assemblage an inter-assemblage comparison was conducted and patterns of inter-group contacts were deduced. In comparative studies a common language needs to be created. In this study a common set of attributes and measurements were observed and recorded for II each assemblage. These variables were then used to analyze the lithic assemblages quantitatively and qualitatively, to infer technological processes. On the premise that technology is a social product, the chaîne opératoire concept was used to interpret behavioral processes and choices made by the knappers. These were inferred from the quantified techno-typological traits of the studied assemblages. The first article outlines interactions between the Nile valley and Ethiopia. The Khormusan industry is a discrete Nile Valley lithic tradition. The industry has two distinctive characteristics that set it apart from other MP industries within its vicinity. One is the use of a wide variety of raw materials; the second is an apparent correlation between raw material and technology used, suggesting a cultural aspect to raw material management. Other sites which reflect similar raw material variability and technological traditions are the BNS and KHS sites in the Omo Kibish Formation (Ethiopia) dated to ~100 ka and ~190 ka respectively. Based on a lithic comparative study conducted, it is suggested that Khormusan site 1017 can be seen as representing behavioral patterns which are indicative of East African Middle Stone Age (MSA) technology, adding support to the hypothesis that the Nile Valley was an important dispersal route used by modern humans prior to the long cooling and dry trend beginning with the onset of MIS 4. The second article looks at the Nubian technology as a possible indicator for modern human dispersals during the end of MIS 6 through MIS 5. If archaeological assemblages are used to infer population movements and diffusion of technological knowledge, then “technological packages” need to be identified. These packages consist of distinct technological practices and their particular combinations. The Nubian technology has been recognized in several assemblages from the Negev Highlands, which also have a different “technological package” compared to well-known Middle Paleolithic assemblages from the central Negev (the Avdat/Aqev sites). The Negev Highlands sites seem to have closer ties with the Late Nubian Complex sites from the Nile Valley and to a lesser extent to the Nubian assemblages from Arabia. Identifying the permutations of the technological packages within the III Negev Highland assemblages is a step in recognizing past human interactions and networks during MIS 5, between the Nile Valley, the Negev and Arabia. The third article presents an in-depth study of MSA lithic assemblages from Ethiopia. This has enabled the identification of regional lithic technological packages as well as the diffusion of technological traits between prehistoric groups. Incorporating the technological relations of the Khormusan industry with these MSA industries, as well as the broad geographical span of the Nubian technology has enabled the mapping of 'interaction spheres'. These spheres are thought to reflect social networks and possible movement trajectories across the landscape, and are formulated based on recognized lithic variability. Following the current study across eastern Africa, the Nile Valley, the southern Levant and Arabia several different interaction spheres are recognized, during the late Pleistocene (end of MIS6 to initial MIS4). These spheres are thought to portray complex sets of interactions that allowed for the diffusion of technological traits, both by range expansions and dispersals as well as the maintenance of social networks. It seems that the Nile Valley displays a large amplitude of variability when compared to neighboring areas, adding support to the hypothesis that this region was an important dispersal route used by modern humans prior to the long cooling and dry trend beginning with the onset of MIS 4.
... Early descriptions of "curated" gear (Binford 1973), which solved the problem of spatial incongruence between stone and food resources, and of embedded procurement (Binford 1979), which effectively liberated hunter-gatherers from purposive toolstone excursions, inspired a number of studies designed to interpret the composition of archaeological toolkits. These analyses explore economizing strategies, assessing the degree of reduction and preparation performed at stone sources, whether certain materials were used expediently or reserved for formal tools, whether stone tool users were trying to maximize the use-lives of some or all of the tools in a toolkit, and how these decisions were influenced by subsistence resource types and their timing (e.g., Andrefsky 1994;Bamforth 1986Bamforth , 1990Bleed 1986;Goodyear 1989;Jeske 1992;Kelly 1988;Kuhn 1991Kuhn , 1992Kuhn , 1994Torrence 1989). ...
... A second major area of lithic research considers the presence of particular stone types in archaeological assemblages. These studies explore variables such as raw material "richness", "evenness", and relative size, and distances from sites to sources to gauge a group's degree of mobility, estimate foraging radii and assess stone conservation (e.g . Bamforth 1990;Basgall 1989;Jones et al. 2003;McGuire 2002;cf. Brantingham 2003). ...
Chapter
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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 essays brings together several different evolutionary perspectives to demonstrate how lithic technological systems are a by-product of human behavior. The essays cover a range of topics, including human behavioral ecology, cultural transmission, phylogenetic analysis, risk management, macroevolution, dual inheritance theory, cladistics, central place foraging, costly signaling, selection, drift, and various applications of evolutionary ecology.
... The ubiquity of lithic raw materials in the northcentral Mojave Desert also partially explains this pattern. The region has numerous secondary or pavement quarries with good to excellent quality CCS (and occasionally FGV), particularly at and near Fort Irwin (e.g., Bamforth, 1990;Basgall and Hall, 1994;Byrd et al., 2009;Giambastiani, 2008b;Wilke and Schroth, 1989; and references therein), some CCS and FGV bedrock quarries, and abundant obsidian at the Coso Volcanic Field (CVF) in the northwestern corner of the China Lake study area. The regional ubiquity of lithic raw material, especially CCS, was not lost on Paleoindians since it accounts for 75.6% of all unifacial flake tools in the sample and is the most common raw material type in each study area. ...
... The regional ubiquity of lithic raw material, especially CCS, was not lost on Paleoindians since it accounts for 75.6% of all unifacial flake tools in the sample and is the most common raw material type in each study area. Groups possessing knowledge of the landscape presumably knew where to acquire this material directly or how best to embed it into other pursuits, resulting in widely available raw materials like CCS being used more liberally than less commonly available lithic materials (see Andrefsky, 1994;Bamforth, 1986;Bamforth, 1990;Smith and Harvey, 2018:832 for other examples of this pattern). The wide availability of CCS thus also underlies the strategy of designing CCS unifacial flake tools for shorter-term use than those from FGV, and then OB. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study evaluates the allometry of terminal Pleistocene-early Holocene age unifacial flake tools in the northcentral Mojave Desert of California to reveal linkages between landscape knowledge, tool design, and land use. Analyses of 438 unifacial flake tools (all types) show at the population scale that Mojave Desert Paleoindians, like other post-Clovis Paleoindians across North America, possessed good knowledge of the landscape and designed flake tools for short-term purposes. This design strategy repeats in three study areas but to varying degrees: flake tools in the Fort Irwin study area were designed for shorter-term use than those from the pluvial China Lake and Lake Mojave study areas. Chert flake tools were designed for somewhat shorter-term use than those made from fine-grained volcanic stones, with obsidian flake tools designed for longevity. The regional ubiquity of knappable lithic raw materials, especially cherts, partially explains the short-term design strategy given Paleoindians’ knowledge of the landscape, including where to find knappable stones. Given that the design strategy of unifacial flake tools varies by raw material type, it provides a reminder that Great Basin Paleoindian land use models derived solely or largely from obsidian projectile points and bifacial tools may result in biased interpretations.
... Many researchers have studied the relationship of flaked stone tool technology and types of mobility. These studies show that this relationship is complex with many influencing factors, especially the distribution, availability, and quality of raw materials (Andrefsky 1994;Bamforth 1986Bamforth , 1990Bamforth , 1991MacDonald 2008). The diversity of flaked stone tools on a site is one important measure of occupational duration (Andrefsky 1998, 204-208;Kuhn and Clark 2015;Shott 1986;Surovell 2009). ...
... In contrast, more sedentary groups focus on specialized tools. The distribution of raw material affects these patterns, though sedentary people would typically have more access to raw materials as a longer stay at a location permits the occupants to stockpile tool stone and increase its availability (Bamforth 1990;Kuhn 1991;Parry and Kelly 1987;Surovell 2009). Forager toolkits should contain stone tools that maximize utility, are flexible or multifunctional, and are maintainable, exhibiting evidence of frequent reworking and repair. ...
Article
The massive literature on hunter-gatherer intensification usually considers population increase, environmental productivity, or technological innovation as its major drivers, though researchers disagree on which initiates the process. The examination of the Late Holocene Uinta phase of the southern Wyoming Basin documents the intensification process and the relationship of technological innovation, population increase, and environmental change. The introduction and complete adoption of the bow and arrow from 1800 to 1500 cal BP coincides with the sharp increase of radiocarbon dates and population growth, as well as climatic change from Neoglacial cooling to warmer and wetter conditions. Of these factors, the introduction of a significant new technology appears to have been the initial force in the process. The intensification process resulted in the Late Holocene population reducing their foraging efficiency to include low return-rate seeds of weedy species leading to the possible privatization of some resources and the transformation of their adaptive strategy to a delayed-return system that incorporated storage, reduction of residential mobility, and a longer-term occupation of certain locations.
... Within this raw material unit, one small flake exhibits the positive of a bulbar face indicating it was detached from a core-on-flake. On a total of 31 artefacts, only eight bladelets are present (including one crested bladelet, one hinged bladelet and two fragments) while the core is missing, suggesting a short in situ knapping event and the off-site transport of the core and the desired end-products (corresponding to phantom-core, Bamforth, 1990;Porraz, 2009). Fig. 3, n°1) and the under-crested bladelet. ...
... Such practice has been noticed in several Middle Palaeolithic (e.g. Gravina and Discamps, 2015;Turq et al., 2013) and MSA sites (Porraz et al., 2018), falling into the category of "scavenging tools" (Bamforth, 1990). Scavenged artifacts are identifiable when the initial blank developed an alteration of its surface (a patina), due to for example chemical dissolution, coloring or heat exposure. ...
Article
In southern Africa, key technologies and symbolic behaviors develop as early as the later Middle Stone Age in MIS5. These innovations arise independently in various places, contexts and forms, until their full expression during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort. The Middle Stone Age sequence from Diepkloof Rock Shelter, on the West Coast of the region, preserves archaeological proxies that help unravelling the cultural processes at work. This unit yields one of the oldest abstract engraving so far discovered in Africa, in the form of a rhomboid marking on the cortical surface of an ungulate long bone shaft. The comprehensive analysis of the lithic artefacts and ochre pieces found in association with the engraved bone documents the transport of rocks over long distance (>20km), the heat treatment of silcrete, the coexistence of seven lithic reduction strategies (including the production of bladelets and the manufacture of unifacial and bifacial points), the use of adhesives and the processing of ochre. At Diepkloof, the appearance of engraving practices take place in a context that demonstrates a shift in rock procurement and a diversification in lithic reduction strategies, suggesting that these behavioral practices acted as a cultural answer to cope with new environmental and/or socioeconomic circumstances. We argue that the innovations later found during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort were already in the making during the MIS5 pre-Still Bay, though not all the benefits were yet taken advantage of by the populations.
... Within this raw material unit, one small flake exhibits the positive of a bulbar face indicating it was detached from a core-on-flake. On a total of 31 artefacts, only eight bladelets are present (including one crested bladelet, one hinged bladelet and two fragments) while the core is missing, suggesting a short in situ knapping event and the off-site transport of the core and the desired end-products (corresponding to phantom-core, Bamforth, 1990;Porraz, 2009). Fig. 3, n°1) and the under-crested bladelet. ...
... Such practice has been noticed in several Middle Palaeolithic (e.g. Gravina and Discamps, 2015;Turq et al., 2013) and MSA sites (Porraz et al., 2018), falling into the category of "scavenging tools" (Bamforth, 1990). Scavenged artifacts are identifiable when the initial blank developed an alteration of its surface (a patina), due to for example chemical dissolution, coloring or heat exposure. ...
Preprint
In South Africa, key technologies and symbolic behaviors develop as early as the later Middle Stone Age in MIS5. These innovations arise independently in various places, contexts and forms, until their full expression during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort. We elaborate here on the Middle Stone Age sequence of Diepkloof Rock Shelter (South Africa) and focus on the Stratigraphic Unit Lynn, which immediately precedes the Still Bay at the site. The pre-Still Bay Lynn documents the transport of rocks over long distance (>20 km), the heat treatment of silcrete, the coexistence of seven lithic reduction strategies (including the production of bladelets and the manufacture of unifacial and bifacial points), the use of adhesives and the processing of ochre. Beside this set of novelties, the layer yields one of the oldest abstract engravings so far discovered in Africa, taking the form of cross-hatched markings in the cortical surface of an ungulate long bone shaft. At Diepkloof, these new practices appear in a context that demonstrates a shift in rock procurement and a diversification in lithic reduction strategies, suggesting these behavioral practices acted as a cultural answer to cope with new environmental and/or socio-economical circumstances. We argue that the innovations later found during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort were then already in the making during the MIS5 pre-Still Bay, though not all the benefits were yet taken advantage of by the populations.
... Many researchers have studied the relationship of flaked stone tool technology and types of mobility. These studies show that this relationship is complex with many influencing factors, especially the distribution, availability, and quality of raw materials (Andrefsky 1994;Bamforth 1986Bamforth , 1990Bamforth , 1991MacDonald 2008). The diversity of flaked stone tools on a site is one important measure of occupational duration (Andrefsky 1998, 204-208;Kuhn and Clark 2015;Shott 1986;Surovell 2009). ...
... In contrast, more sedentary groups focus on specialized tools. The distribution of raw material affects these patterns, though sedentary people would typically have more access to raw materials as a longer stay at a location permits the occupants to stockpile tool stone and increase its availability (Bamforth 1990;Kuhn 1991;Parry and Kelly 1987;Surovell 2009). Forager toolkits should contain stone tools that maximize utility, are flexible or multifunctional, and are maintainable, exhibiting evidence of frequent reworking and repair. ...
Article
The classification of hunter-gatherer societies as immediate-return or delayed-return offers a framework to explore variation in their adaptive strategies. Immediate-return societies would have evidence of limited food storage, sharing of resources, and high residential mobility. Archaeological attributes of an immediate-return society include the absence of formal storage facilities, artifact refits among dwellings indicating the sharing of resources, circular dwellings of small diameter, closely spaced dwellings, low density of artifacts without middens, low diversity of tools, generalized tools, and bifacial tools. The Elk Head site in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming provides an excellent opportunity to test the hypothesis that the site represents an immediate-return system. The results indicate that households at the site followed a variation of an immediate return adaptive strategy. The site inhabitants constructed basin dwellings in anticipation of later reuse and probably baked geophytes, mostly for immediate consumption as an adaptation to the dry mid-Holocene climate.
... Extensive preparation is also thought to be a means of reducing transport costs in preparation for longer-distance treks (Ericson 1981). A single group exploiting a lithic source is expected to be relatively consistent in the size, shape, and quality of the nodules they select (Bamforth 1990). If they are knowingly supplying an exchange network, a group controlling the source would also work to prepare cores of a consistent morphology and design and would not reduce them significantly (Ericson and Baugh 1994;Ericson and Goldstein 1980;Torrence 1984; see also Dillian 2002). ...
... This does not reflect a standard quarry scenario. One possibility is that this more Bcuratedp attern of core use may be related to the high occurrence of internal flaws and heterogeneities in the nodules people were selecting (see Bamforth 1990;Binford 1979). It is at least clear that cores were being prepared fairly intensively, suggesting efforts to reduce transport costs for longer distance return trips (after Ericson 1984;Torrence 1984). ...
Article
Full-text available
Early pastoralists in southern Kenya exploited obsidian sources to supply large regional exchange networks that persisted from c. 3200 to 1400 years ago. Obsidian exchange networks have been a source for speculation on the social and political nature of early pastoralism in eastern Africa. Herders who produced a discrete set of material culture called “Elmenteitan” mainly relied on a particular obsidian quarry site on the upper slopes of Ol Doinyo Opuru (Mt. Eburru), in the Central Rift Valley. These implications of the Elmenteitan pattern for herder social organization have not been systematically investigated. This paper reports on recent surveys and initial excavations at the Elmenteitan Obsidian Quarry (GsJj50) on Mt. Eburru as the central node of a prehistoric herder exchange network. Research revealed a series of stratified extraction and workshopping loci concentrated across a roughly 200-m2 extent. Spatial, faunal, ceramic, and lithic datasets support communal resource access by small groups, rather than centralized control. This research has implications for interpreting the role of centralized quarries and resource nodes in the formation of mobile herder exchange and alliance. Networks were an important risk-reduction strategy in unpredictable environments and helped facilitate the spread of African pastoralism.
... This being said, some influences of raw material size on assemblage formation have certainly been recognised. This is mostly that nodule size can constrain subsequent flake/core sizes and influence flake frequency (Straus, 1980;Fish, 1981:377;Toth, 1985Toth, , 1987Bamforth, 1990;Kuhn, 1995;Morrow, 1996:583;Braun, 2005;Clarkson, 2007). For example, in the Solutrean period of Vasco-Cantabrian Spain, Straus (1980) recognised that quartzite, by virtue of its natural nodule size, generally produced larger flakes and heavier assemblages than the flint. ...
... That is, raw material variables cannot be presumptively advocated as sufficient explanations for assemblage variation without active investigation and/or determination. As such, given previous observations on the potential importance of raw material attributes in assemblage formation (Straus, 1980;Fish, 1981:377;Toth, 1985Toth, , 1987Draper, 1987;Bamforth, 1990;Doelman et al., 2001;Braun, 2005;Braun et al., 2005;Stout et al., 2005;Harmand, 2009;Phillipps, 2012;Thompson et al., 2014;Lin et al., 2015) the potential role of one raw material attribute, size, was actively investigated in the context of stone artefact assemblage formation using an experimental assemblage as well as the quartzite and chert assemblages from Bone Cave in south-western Tasmania. ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper specifically examines the influence of raw material size on stone artefact assemblage formation in conjunction with two behavioural assemblage formation processes: reduction intensity and artefact transport. The aim is to establish whether raw material size can influence the way in which reduction intensity and artefact transport form a stone artefact assemblage and, should a significant influence be established, whether this has any bearing on human behavioural reconstructions. This is first investigated in an experimental setting followed by an archaeological setting using a quartzite and chert assemblage from Bone Cave in south-western Tasmania. Reduction intensity and artefact transport are respectively measured using the scar density index, flake to core ratio, non-cortical to cortical flake ratio and cortex ratio while tool blank sizes are also reconstructed. The combined experimental and archaeological analyses find that raw material size variation is capable of exerting a substantial influence on stone artefact assemblage formation. This particularly with reference to the nature of change in stone artefact assemblages: both reduction intensity and artefact transport will alter assemblage composition at faster rates when nodule sizes are smaller. This can have significant implications for intra- and inter-site reconstructions of past human behaviour.
... Why would early Beringian hunters have varied their projectile technology? Elston and Brantingham (2002), based on their research in north China and the earlier work of Ellis (1997), Bamforth andBleed (1997), andFlenniken (1987), have called attention to the design aspects of bifacial points and composite-microblade points, pointing out that microblade technology may represent a riskminimizing strategy employed by late Paleolithic hunters in the north (see also Guthrie 1983). They argue that microblade technology and inset weaponry "are in part a solution to problems of provisioning through long, harsh winters when resources are less abundant and more difficult to access, and when failure to procure suffi cient resources has fatal consequences" (Elston and Brantingham 2002:112). ...
... In our ongoing study of Beringian variability, organizational questions well worth considering include these: How was tool form infl uenced by tool function (Meltzer 1981), style (Sackett 1982), and availability/ quality of raw material (Andrefsky 1994)? How did residential mobility condition technological strategies and provisioning strategies (Bamforth 1990;Kelly 1988;Kuhn 1995;Shott 1986)? How did artifact design facilitate problem solving among hunter-gatherers (Cheshier and Kelly 2006;Osborn 1999;Rasic and Andrefsky 2001)? ...
... Notwithstanding, a classificatory approach is not enough to define structural social patterns or ranges of behavioral variability, especially between highly analogous assemblages of stone tools. The identification of regional settlement and mobility dynamics, the definition of site functions, or the establishment of land-use patterns represents the inferred results from approaches such as raw material procurement, knapping strategies or tool mainte-nance and discard (e:g:; Bamforth, 1990;Andrefsky, 1994;Bicho, 2002;Aubry et al., 2012). ...
... This analysis of reduction patterns highlights the importance of distribution studies in the inference of prehistoric dynamics and regional patterns of settlement. The ratio of raw material availability and mobility dynamics determine the economic aspect of stone tool use, exploitation and discard (Bamforth, 1990). It seems obvious then that the formation of the lithic archaeological record is highly influenced by the way in which humans interact with landscape and resources. ...
... The artefact condition is based on the level of weathering, as classified by Bustos-P erez et al. the local MSA technology and how this relates to other regional industries, we further targeted for refitting the reduction sequences where most stages of the chaîne op eratoire were present. With the exception of rare, documented examples of scavenging, the archaeological reshaping of tools from earlier periods (Bamforth, 1990;Kelly, 1988;Schiffer, 1983;Vaquero et al., 2017), refitted artefacts are part of the same technological action sequence and therefore contemporaneous (Cahen and Moeyersons, 1977:813). This is one reason refitting is commonly used to investigate disturbance and potential admixture between layers at stratified sites (to name but a few, Bergman, et al., 1990;Cahen, 1987;Close, 2000;Hofman, 1981;Roebroeks et al., 1997;Villa, 1982). ...
Article
The influence of natural factors such as bioturbation or sediment movement caused by wind and water is a perennial concern for Stone Age site selection and subsequent interpretation. This paper discusses the spatial artefact distribution of five recently excavated, open-air exposed Middle Stone Age (MSA) sites in Ntwetwe Pan, Botswana. The finds comprise lithic assemblages dominated by MSA points, manufactured in a variety of silcretes. The sites were examined following the assumption that archaeological sites are the product of a combination of natural and cultural factors, occurring both during and after artefacts are deposited. The results indicate that some of these exposed pan floor sites do preserve cultural artefact distribution patterns, and that the level of post-depositional disturbance varies locally. Refitting was an important tool of analysis, especially on the largest site, MAK33, where it was possible to identify working areas that focussed on different modes of lithic manufacture. In combination with a chaîne opératoire analysis of lithic production stages, it was then possible to map movement of artefacts across the site. We argue that the spatial organization of open-air sites may preserve behavioural records that are not present at caves and rock shelters, and provide a view into the short-term, single-use locations that likely formed the basis of MSA occupation patterns.
... In archaeology, the study of materials used for making stone tools (commonly called stone knapping or tool knapping) provides important insights into the organisation and behaviours of ancient peoples (e.g. [1][2][3]). It is commonly accepted that different raw materials (i.e. ...
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We propose a quantitative framework for understanding the knapping force requirements imposed by different raw materials in their unheated and heat-treated states. Our model interprets stone tool knapping as being the result of cracks formed during the first impact with a hammer stone, followed by continued stressing of these cracks that eventually leads to flake detachment. We combine bending strength, indentation fracture resistance and “Griffith” crack lengths of flint and silcrete to obtain functions identifying critical forces for flaking without or after heat treatment. We argue that these forces are a key factor for understanding the “knappability” of different raw materials, because only forces with 100N or less can be used for very precise strike control. Our model explains for the first time why experimental knappers frequently observe that flint (a stronger material, which, in our case, has a strength above 100 MPa) is easier to knap than silcretes (which is relatively weaker with strength values at or below 60 MPa). Our findings allow for understanding the differences between heat-treated and untreated flint and silcrete in terms of knapping quality, and they allow to compare the qualities of different raw materials.
... In addition, the quantity and types of lithic materials conveyanced, the distances traveled and the degree of tool transformation make it possible to define a technical behavior linked to the lithic supply patterns and the objective of productions (Féblot-Augustins 1997: 21-25). These factors allow determining the cases that should be considered as direct access to resources, which allude to the size of the territory or foraging range that a human group habitually occupied, and which are associated to social interaction among hunter-gatherer societies (Bamforth 1986(Bamforth , 1990Hughes 2011: 7-9;Kuhn 1995: 18-37;Mangado 2006;Pallo & Borrero 2015;Seeman et al. 2020). ...
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The distribution of certain rocks in the landscape allows us to reconstruct diverse aspects of past hunter-gatherer behavior. In this work, we evaluate the mobility patterns employed by these groups and the presence or absence of boundaries in the Aeolian system of the center of Argentina. To accomplish this objective, we consider two types of evidence: 1) raw material frequencies and distributions in three areas of this Aeolian System and 2) presence and frequency of knapping stones from Tandilia sources. We construct a fall-off curve that is based on the relationship between the frequency of an item and the distance to the source of supply. The characteristics of each area yielded the human groups that inhabited delineate different modes of exploitation of the rocks. The fall-off curve documents a steep drop-off between 300 and 350 km from the Tandilia source and the spatial analysis indicates that within this distance the source probably represents the threshold of direct access to the quarries. Tandilia stone-tools seem to systematically supply a relatively wide area of the Central Pampean Dunefields of the Pampa grasslands, through varied processes, but they arrive at very low frequencies over great distances. The presence of Tandilia rocks in the Western Pampean Dunefields and Western Pampas Sand Mantles and Dunefields indicates social interaction between human groups that shared some common technological knowledge. The presence of stones in the Central Pampean Dunefields coming from the xerophytic woodland of the Dry Pampas can be related with contacts and exchanges among the hunter-gatherer group that occupied different territories.
... The distribution, abundance and quality of raw material sources for stone tool manufacture conditions how these resources can be exploited [77][78][79][80]. An examination of the geology of Cyprus shows an abundance of chert sources across the island [81,82]; the Lapithos chalks with cherts border the northern Kyrenian range, while the larger Lefkara formation lies within the sedimentary succession that encircles the Troodos Mountains (see also [83] for a detailed description of the formations). ...
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Predictive models have become an integral part of archaeological research, particularly in the discovery of new archaeological sites. In this paper, we apply predictive modeling to map high potential Pleistocene archaeological locales on the island of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. The model delineates landscape characteristics that denote areas with high potential to unearth Pleistocene archaeology while at the same time highlighting localities that should be excluded. The predictive model was employed in surface surveys to systematically access high probability locales on Cyprus. A number of newly identified localities suggests that the true density of mobile hunter-gatherer sites on Cyprus is seriously underestimated in current narratives. By adding new data to this modest corpus of early insular sites, we are able to contribute to debates regarding island colonisation and the role of coastal environments in human dispersals to new territories.
... Mid-Holocene occupations in the eastern Tandilia range were characterized by the use of diverse strategies in the management of raw materials. In this case, as was signalled by several authors, we observe that geological (rock quality, abundance in the source area, and size of the rocks), geographical (distance to the source area and its accessibility), and human factors (travel directions, social restrictions, or mobility range to other natural resources) could determine the utilization degree and regulate their technological management (Gould and Saggers, 1985;Bamforth, 1990;Ataman et al., 1992;Elston and Raven, 1992;Kuhn, 1995;Brantingham, 2003;Wilson, 2007;among others). In the first place, the immediately available OFB variety suggests a higher average volume in nodules (Fig. 4). ...
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This work analyze the technological management of raw materials and the mobility strategy of the human groups that occupied during the mid-Holocene (ca. 8000-3000 BP) the eastern Tandilia mountain range, and discuss them inside of settlement systems context for the southeastern Pampean region. The lithic study results of 13 occupations excavated in caves and rockshelters shows that mobility strategies in Tandilia mountain ranges were closer to collector models, where logistical groups moved into mountain range valleys in search of natural resources. We can recognize different strategies for raw material procurement: the immediately available rocks were obtained through direct access on daily foraging trips; the regional rocks were obtained through logistical displacements, residential movements and embedded strategies; and the access to the long distance rocks was through exchange between neighboring populations. Besides, during ca. 7000 to 5000 cal BP an increased use of immediately available raw materials and a high archaeological signal was detected. This scenario can be linked with an increased environmental aridity episode where human groups occupied with most intensity the Tandilia mountain valleys due to the greater availability of the water resources. Finally, this work provides new data suggesting that during this period in the southeastern Pampean region context, the hunter-gatherer groups combined forager and collector strategies to take advantage of the natural resources of the landscape with diverse environments (coastline, grassland plains, dunes field and mountain ranges).
... Procurement has been most explicitly discussed in the acquisition and movement of stone from quarries (Andrefsky 1994(Andrefsky , 2009Bamforth 1990;Binford 1980;Blomster and Glascock 2011;Burger et al. 2000Burger et al. , 2016Cobb 2000;Feinman et al. 2013;Garvey 2015;Golitko and Feinman 2015;Golitko et al. 2012;Gould and Saggers 1985;Hirth 2008;Peterson, et al. 1997;Tykot 1996;Vaughn 2006;Vining 2015;Wolff et al. 2014). Wendt and Lu (2006) have described procurement patterns in the extraction and distribution of bitumen used for decoration, as sealant, and as adhesive by the Olmec of Mexico's southern Gulf coast lowlands. ...
Thesis
This dissertation examines the development of regional polities with institutionalized inequality in Bronze Age Transylvania, Romania (2700-1320 BC). During the Bronze Age, southwest Transylvania became one of the most important mining regions in Europe, providing the copper, tin, and gold that funded the establishment of permanent social hierarchies across the continent. Through a holistic approach across social, economic, and ideological institutions, I document how communities living in these metal-rich mountains participated in, and were effected by, these social, political, economic, and ideological transformations. Specifically, I focus on two interrelated research questions: (1) How were communities in the mining districts of southwest Transylvania organized during the Bronze Age, and (2) How did community organization in southwest Transylvania change throughout the Bronze Age? This study makes two important contribution to the culture history of the Transylvanian Bronze Age. First, I develop an absolute chronology for the Transylvanian Bronze Age based on the largest corpus of dates yet published. Second, I present a regional survey and spatial analyses conducted in Transylvania to document changes in community organization at multiple scales. This study develops the first historical trajectory of the organization of economic, political, social, and ideological institutions in Bronze Age Transylvania. More broadly, this dissertation builds on existing frameworks for studying community organization in middle-range societies in two key ways. First, it moves beyond political economic approaches to incorporate alternative pathways towards hierarchical complexity. In addition to economic and political realms, ideologies, identities, and how they are materialized are important factors in the institutionalization of inequality. Different institutions, however, will not always be organized the same way. I argue that the coherence and dissonance in the presence of inequalities across institutions is a critical attribute of social organization. Second, it further problematizes the study of change in community organization in middle-range societies. The proposed framework distinguishes qualitative and quantitative changes in how institutions are organized, how they articulate, and social forms that emerge out of human action and institutional conditions. Through examination of settlement, mortuary, chronological, and artifactual evidence, I argue that inequality became institutionalized only during the Late Bronze Age, centuries later than previously assumed. Throughout the Early and Middle Bronze Ages, there was dissonance across multiple institutions in how inequality was made, marked, and masked. Many institutional changes that occurred throughout the Early and Middle Bronze Age set the stage for Late Bronze Age social transformations. In particular, the expansion of long-distance trade, a diversification in burial rites that emphasized intra-community difference, and an increase in the venues for signaling identities and inequalities provided opportunities for Late Bronze Age communities to reorganize hierarchically. These institutional changes were incremental, and unintentionally created the context in which historically specific events and processes ultimately led to the emergence of complex regional polities. The social history of communities in southwest Transylvania challenges how archaeologists conceptualize mining districts in Bronze Age Europe. In regions with rich ore sources, more than just metal procurement mattered. In southwest Transylvania, changes in social organization throughout the Bronze Age involved ideological, political, social, and economic institutions beyond metal procurement. The archaeology of pre-state societies in mining districts is uniquely positioned to contribute a deep historical perspective to the origin and evolution of the dynamics of resource extraction.
... Raw material procurement strategies influenced the planning of mobility systems (Bamforth 1990;Kuhn 1991;Brantingham 2003;Andrefsky 2009). And mobility plays a large part in determining the organization of hunter-gatherer lithic technology (Shott 1986;Parry and Kelly 1987;Kelly 1988) for the simple reason that stone may not be present where it is needed, but rocks are too heavy to carry more than necessary. ...
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Microblade technology occupies an important position for understanding the process of peopling of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; however, the region’s specific technological behaviour has been unclear due to a lack of research. Here, we introduce the newly excavated site of Tshem gzhung kha thog (TGKT, in Chinese is Canxionggashuo), located at 4016 m above sea level on the northeast Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with a focus on its lithic assemblage. Following the approach of chaîne opératoire, we reconstruct the reduction sequence, and, from the perspective of the organization of technology, we explore the technology’s implications for hunter-gatherer mobility in this area. Combining the lithic assemblage and the chronological sequence, we hypothesize that TGKT was a workshop occupied by logistically organized hunter-gatherers who used high-quality siliceous rocks found near the site to produce microblades, primarily, to adapt to a limited stay in this high-elevation area. The gradual climatic warming during the Holocene provided better conditions for peopling the high-elevation area; however, considering the distance between the higher and lower elevation areas, we hypothesize that TGKT was not used logistically by lower-elevation foragers but by foragers whose residential base was located elsewhere in the region near the TGKT.
... Raw material procurement strategies influenced the planning of mobility systems (Bamforth 1990;Kuhn 1991;Brantingham 2003;Andrefsky 2009). And mobility plays a large part in determining the organization of hunter-gatherer lithic technology (Shott 1986;Parry and Kelly 1987;Kelly 1988) for the simple reason that stone may not be present where it is needed, but rocks are too heavy to carry more than necessary. ...
Article
Full-text available
Microblade technology occupies an important position for understanding the process of peopling of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau; however, the region’s specific technological behaviour has been unclear due to a lack of research. Here, we introduce the newly excavated site of Tshem gzhung kha thog (TGKT, in Chinese is Canxionggashuo), located at 4016 m above sea level on the northeast Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, with a focus on its lithic assemblage. Following the approach of chaîne opératoire, we reconstruct the reduction sequence, and, from the perspective of the organization of technology, we explore the technology’s implications for hunter-gatherer mobility in this area. Combining the lithic assemblage and the chronological sequence, we hypothesize that TGKT was a workshop occupied by logistically organized hunter-gatherers who used high-quality siliceous rocks found near the site to produce microblades, primarily, to adapt to a limited stay in this high-elevation area. The gradual climatic warming during the Holocene provided better conditions for peopling the high-elevation area; however, considering the distance between the higher and lower elevation areas, we hypothesize that TGKT was not used logistically by lower-elevation foragers but by foragers whose residential base was located elsewhere in the region near the TGKT.
... Cache , , , , , [ 48] 。 " " " " , 。 , [ 20] , [ 41] 。 , , 。 , Nelson " 、 、 、 。 、 " [ 44] 。 , " " 。 [ 52] , 、 [ 53 -54] , 。Odell 20 , 、 、 , [ 55] 。 , , : , 、 , 、 , 、 。 , , [56][57][58][59][60][61][62][63][64][65][66][67][68][69][70] 。Kelly [ 52] , Clark [ 71] Andrefsky 、 、 [ 72] , 。 、 [ 61 , 73] , [ 74] , [ 28] , " " , 。 ...
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作为旧石器研究中十分重要的研究概念之一, 本文对“ 操作链” 的发展史、理论内涵、实践方法等方面进行讨论, 认为“ 操作链” 概念是一种动态的、综合的理论视角和研究体系, 强调了石器技术系统的两个行为过程(技术表现与思维运作)和一个互动关系(操作序列)。实践应用和术语对比, 为更好地运用“ 操作链” 研究石器并复原史前技术体系提供了参考。文章还提出了“ 操作链” 概念本身存在的问题, 希望能在今后的工作中得到完善。
... Established reference collections serve as a means to compare equivalent data obtained from stone tools to determine resource availability, distribution, and potentially, stone tool provenance. Such studies allow inferences to be made concerning hominin stone transport, procurement strategies, resource management, and land-use models (Bamforth, 1990;Binford, 1980;Brantingham, 2003;Braun et al., 2008a;Freeman, 1994;Hermes et al., 2001;Hovers, 2009; Jones ...
Article
The African Early Stone Age record, including that of Oldupai Gorge, reveals widespread evidence for hominin exploitation of quartzose lithic raw materials such as quartzite. However, few studies have sought to characterize these rock types grounded on the assumption that they are not amenable for provenance studies. Through the use of macroscopic, petrographic, and EDXRF analysis, we characterize source material from five quartzitic outcrops belonging to the Mozambique Belt adjacent to Oldupai Gorge. Our results show that certain macroscopic varieties strictly occur at some outcrops while petrographic analyses – which will be strengthened by a greater sample size – reveal that accessory minerals may be outcrop-specific. Statistical analyses of the geochemical data through linear correlations, Kruskal-Wallis tests, PCA, and DFA show that there are inter- and intra-outcrop differences, and elemental concentrations specific of certain outcrops. This multi-scalar approach provides a reproducible classificatory framework for additional characterization studies and archaeological testing at Oldupai to shed light on hominin palaeoenvironmental exploitation and palaeoecological behavior.
... Established reference collections serve as a means to compare equivalent data obtained from stone tools to determine resource availability, distribution, and potentially, stone tool provenance. Such studies allow inferences to be made concerning hominin stone transport, procurement strategies, resource management, and land-use models (Bamforth, 1990;Binford, 1980;Brantingham, 2003;Braun et al., 2008a;Freeman, 1994;Hermes et al., 2001;Hovers, 2009; Jones ...
... Raw materials diversity can provide interesting data regarding mobility strategies and natural resource management. Numerous authors have pointed out that raw material procurement strategies influenced the planning of mobility systems and human group subsistence strategies (Andrefsky, 2009;Ataman et al., 1992;Bamforth, 1990;Brantingham, 2003;Kuhn, 1991). For the southeastern Pampean mid-Holocene period, it is proposed that the subsistence strategies were governed by a specialized regional economy, where guanaco and deer hunting predominated in the continental area (Interserrana plain and mountain range) (Martínez & Gutiérrez, 2004) and marine fauna hunting (shellfish, fish, and sea mammals) in the coastal area (Bayón & Politis, 2014;Bayón et al., 2012;Blasi et al., 2013;Bonomo, 2011;Bonomo & León, 2010). ...
... Also, there are more multi-function tools and a higher FUs in CL2 which (combined with the observations made above) would be consistent with a more pronounced tool curation; and perhaps a higher logistical mobility (Binford, 1979(Binford, , 1980. Considering the role of raw material on the assemblage composition (Bamforth, 1990;Andrefsky, 1994), the two cultural layers are mostly composed of tool stones from local origins, but we note that a few of artifacts from CL2 are manufactured on nonlocal chert varieties (N = 9). It could indicate a shift toward a more logistical foraging behavior in CL2. ...
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In North China, the archaeology of the Late Pleistocene is characterized by the persistence of flake-based lithic assemblages. Little is known about the use of stone tools and the reasons behind the success of a relatively simple core and flake technology are unclear. Most lithic studies in the region are traditionally based on a typological categorization of assemblages with the frequencies of cores and tool-types playing a significant role in the characterization of the site (e.g. residential vs. more logistical occupation). Hence, to discriminate stone tool from byproduct is essential to better understand variables such as site function or mobility but it remains particularly challenging in poorly standardized lithic assemblages. Here we present preliminary results of a study on the newly excavated material from cultural layer 2 and 3 at Shuidonggou Locality 2 (32.6–29.9 ka cal BP). We analyze use-wears on a sample of retouched and unretouched blanks using the low magnification technique and we compared our observations with several experimental referential. Our results can be summarized in two main points. First, we observe a similar frequency of use-wear on retouched tools and unretouched blanks. Second, differences in tool types do not match our basic identification of the working motions. Our results suggest that in Shuidonggou Locality 2, using retouch as a predictor for tool use is problematic (especially with regards to tool functions). Given that tool frequencies and tool diversity are data used to model site function, tool curation and hunter-gatherer mobility, we suggest that this issue should be further investigated in the context of ‘core and flakes’ assemblage.
... This attention is due in part to the interpretive power of the concept. From an understanding of the extent of a core or tool's curation, archaeologists can infer features of human behaviour, such as technological organisation, raw material consumption, mobility patterns and subsistence practices (Andrefsky, 1994, Andrefsky, 2009, Bamforth, 1990, Bamforth, 1991, Binford, 1973, Binford, 1977, Binford, 1979, Blades, 2003, Bleed, 1986, Braun, et al., 2008, Close, 1996, Dibble, 1995, Hiscock and Attenbrow, 2003, Odell, 1996, Shott, 2005, Shott and Ballenger, 2007, Shott and Sillitoe, 2004, Shott and Sillitoe, 2005, Shott and Weedman, 2007. ...
... Patterns of core preparation thus reflect the social distance between those preparing cores, and those who will ultimately be receiving them across the landscape (Ericson 1981). In this framework, the intensity and variability of core preparation and reduction can be used to reconstruct exchange and interaction (Ericson 1984;Shott 2015;Topping and Lynott 2005), underlying socio-political systems (Bettinger 1982: 11;Bloxom 2011), and regional lithic technological organization (Andrefsky 2010;Bamforth 1990;Wallace and Shea 2006). ...
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Use of particular lithic quarries by different cultural groups is a prominent feature of the Pastoral Neolithic period in southern Kenya (ca. 3200–1400 b.p.), when lifeways based on herding domesticated livestock spread through eastern Africa. Here, I present lithic attributes from the recently excavated Elmenteitan Obsidian Quarry assemblage to examine the site’s role in an obsidian distribution network spanning southwestern Kenya. Evidence from the quarry reflects intensive preparation of blade cores and blade reduction. Changes in platform size, flake scar orientation, curvature, and cortical rates through the reduction sequence permit a preliminary reconstruction of Elmenteitan core production strategies that can serve as a basis for regional comparative studies. Uniformity in blade core design and reduction strategy suggests highly organized use of the quarry and supports its role as a production center for regional exchange. Results inform regional debates and contribute to a growing literature on the potential of quarry archaeology.
... The provenance of the stone tools found in archaeological assemblages constitutes the main source of information for studying the territorial dynamics among prehistoric hunters-gatherers (Bamforth 1990;Garvey 2015). ...
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Raw material provenance and procurement studies are an essential research line to infer landscape exploitation, mobility dynamics and territorial management among prehistoric hunter-gatherer groups. This paper proposes an original and intuitive method, the chert abundance ratio, aimed at quantifying lithic resource occurrence in the landscape while considering the geological natural factors of an area (chert-bearing formation extent, thickness, occurrence index, size and chert content). The resource availability can be statistically compared to any archaeological assemblage distribution to define the procurement strategies, whether generalist or selective, and the mobility patterns. The study area, the north-east of the Iberian Peninsula, focused in the Prades Mountains, represents a regional scenario with high chert disposal shared by several Late Upper Palaeolithic occupations. The discrimination of the procurement areas is used as a parameter for outlining the foraging radius and the territorial range, contributing to an understanding of several aspects of the settlement, such as site functions, occupation length or intensity and group size.
... In particular, much attention has been given to the relationship between platform variables and flake size as a means of estimating reduction intensity. For decades, estimating the extent of reduction or curation of lithic artefacts has been a key concern in archaeology as these features can be used to model technological organisation, land-use patterns, mobility, occupational intensity, raw-material availability and subsistence (Andrefsky, 1994(Andrefsky, , 2009Bamforth, 1986Bamforth, , 1990Bamforth, , 1991Binford, 1973Binford, , 1979Bleed, 1986;Close, 1996;Hiscock and Attenbrow, 2003;Odell, 1996;Shott, 1995Shott, , 1996Shott, , 2005 The relationship between platform variables and original flake size was originally exploited by Dibble and Whittaker (1981), and much subsequent attention has been directed at confirming and refining our understanding of this relationship (Braun et al., 2008;Clarkson and Hiscock, 2011;Davis and Shea, 1998;Dibble, 1995Dibble, , 1997Dibble, , 1998Dibble and Pelcin, 1995;Dibble and Rezek, 2009;Dogandžić et al., 2015;Lin et al., 2013;Magnani et al., 2014;Muller and Clarkson, 2014;Pelcin, 1997aPelcin, , 1997bPelcin, , 1997cPelcin, , 1998Rezek et al., 2011;Shott et al., 2000). By creating a linear regression between platform measurements and original flake mass, predictive equations can be developed to estimate the original mass of flakes. ...
... Thus far, much of the attention for studying the economic structure of lithic technology has been on retouched implements. Several discussions (e.g., Andrefsky, 1994;Bamforth, 1986Bamforth, , 1990Bleed, 1986;Kelly & Todd, 1988;Kelly, 1988;Parry & Kelly, 1987;Shott, 1986) have focused on the design properties of mobile toolkits that facilitate different aspects of technological organization. These criteria include reliability, maintainability, transportability, risk management, time-stress, utility, and use life. ...
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Since the beginning of prehistoric archaeology, various methods and approaches have been developed to describe and explain stone artifact variability. However, noticeably less attention has been paid to the ontological nature of stone artifacts and the adequateness of the inferential reasoning for drawing archaeological interpretations from these artifacts. This dissertation takes a scientific perspective to rethink critically the ways that current lithic approaches generate knowledge about past hominin behavior from stone artifacts through experimentation (Chapter 2), and further, to explore the use of controlled experiments and uniformitarian principles for deriving inferences. The latter is presented as two case studies about Late Pleistocene Neanderthal behavior in southwestern France (Chapter 3 & 4). Archaeological reasoning is inescapably analogical, and archaeological knowledge is bound to be established on the basis on modern observations. However, simplistic treatments of archaeological analogs often result in inferences of questionable validity. In this dissertation, it is argued that greater attention is required to consider the implication of experimental design, variable control, and analogic reasoning in the construction of archaeological inference from stone artifacts. It is argued that the ability to move beyond the constraint of modern analogs in archaeological knowledge production lies in the use of uniformitarian principles that operate independently from the research questions archaeologists wish to evaluate. By examining the uniformitarian connection between platform attributes and flake morphology, the first case study explores how the production of unretouched flakes can be altered in ways that increase their relative utility, as reflected in the ratio of edge length to mass. Application of this relationship to Middle Paleolithic assemblages shows two modes of flake production pattern, possibly related to different ways Neanderthal groups managed the utility of transported tool-kits. The second case study applies a geometric model to assess the lithic cortex proportion in the Middle Paleolithic study assemblages. An excess or deficit of cortex relative to artifact volume provides an indication of possible artifact transport to or from the assemblage locality. Results show correlation between assemblage cortex proportions and paleoenvironmental conditions, suggesting possible shifts in Neanderthal artifact transport pattern and land use during the late Pleistocene.
... There is a broad agreement about the dynamic links between lithic technologies and mobility patterns, based on principles of raw material economics which are often combined ecological models (e.g., Ambrose, 2006;Ambrose and Lorenz, 1990;Bamforth, 1986Bamforth, , 1990Bamforth, , 1991Binford, 1979Binford, , 1980Johnson and Morrow, 1987;Kelly, 1988Kelly, , 1992Kuhn, 1991Kuhn, , 1995Kuhn, , 2004McCall, 2007;Nelson, 1988;Odell, 2004;Surovell, 2009). The main points of debate revolve around the relative importance of lithic raw material availability versus strategic factors in determining the organization of technology (e.g., Andrefsky, 1994). ...
... Esse tipo de comportamento frente à matéria prima é comumente interpretado como uma estratégia economizante, que tende a uma exploração excedente da matéria prima, provocando sua exaustão. Esse tipo de estratégia tem sido correlacionada a locais e contextos nos quais há restrições para obtenção da matéria prima, seja devido à distância ou à acessibilidade das fontes (Bamforth 1986, 1990, Andrefsky 1994. No caso de Lagoa Santa parce que nenhuma das explicações de aplica, uma vez que os cristais são abundantes, visíveis e amplamente dispersos, dificultando, por exemplo, controle social de fonte de matéria prima. ...
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Neste artigo apresentamos os dados oriundos da análise de um conjunto de sítios localizados no Parque Estadual do Sumidouro, região de Lagoa Santa, centro mineiro. A partir da caracterização tecnológica dos conjuntos líticos associados a cada um desses sítios exploramos os vetores de variabilidade identifcados entre eles, principalmente no que se refere à localização diferencial e possível articulação entre os sítios na dinâmica de ocupação da paisagem regional. Entre os sítios enfocados há abrigos sob-rocha – Lapa do Santo e Lapa das Boleiras - e sítios à beira da Lagoa do Sumidouro, a céu aberto – Coqueirinho e Sumidouro. Apesar de apresentarem evidências para ocupações em diferentes momentos ao longo do Holoceno, centramos nossa análise nos conjuntos líticos associados à ocupação da região durante o Holoceno Inicial, entre 10.000 e 8.000 anos AP. Com base em dados sobre obtenção e circulação da matéria prima, cadeia operatória e composição do conjunto artefatual apresentamos uma hipótese com relação à dinâmica de ocupação e interação entre estes sítios em escalas locais e extra-locais.
... Important to these interrelated models is the fact that mobility and seasonal transhumance patterns relate to lithic technological organization. The literature on this subject is vast, but boils down to the rather intuitive idea that people make rational microeconomic decisions to obtain, reduce, transport, conserve, and use lithic raw materials (Andrefsky 2000;Hall 2004;Michaelson 1980;Odell 1996;Prentiss 1988;Surovell 2009;Torrance 1989), that the abundance, quality and distribution of raw material sources play fundamental roles in this decision making (Andrefsky 1994;Bamforth 1986Bamforth , 1990Bamforth , 1992Bamforth , 2006, and that toolstone procurement is often embedded with other pursuits, which can increase the overall efficiency of raw material acquisition, lithic or otherwise (Brown 1991;Newlander 2012;Surovell 2009). For high altitude land use, a critical hypothesis along these lines recognizes that occupying the high country may be costly and consequently that prehistoric, elevationally-transhumant hunter-gatherers would have had to gear-up with highquality, multifunctional bifacial tools (Kelly 1988) prior to moving to higher elevations (Thomas 2012). ...
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Sampling 16 of 52 house features at High Rise Village (48FR5891), a large residential locus at 3273 m (10,720 ft) elevation in Wyoming’s Wind River Range produced 25 AMS dates, 23 diagnostic projectile points, 148 obsidian artifacts (mostly retouch debris) as well as abundant chert debitage, small quantities of faunal bone, and groundstone milling equipment. Based on AMS, projectile point, and obsidian hydration data, the site’s lodges appear to have been occupied on a sporadic basis mainly between 2300 and 850 cal BP. Source provenance determination made via X-ray fluorescence spectrometry indicates that most of the obsidian at the site originated in Jackson Hole and secondarily is from Yellowstone Plateau sources, suggesting a Late Prehistoric residentially-mobile, seasonal, and elevationally transhumant settlement system focused on the Jackson Hole area. GIS-based assessments of the costs of procuring the obsidian found at High Rise Village suggests, however, that though economic considerations certainly played a principal role in determining obsidian conveyance decisions, other factors such as social or cultural dynamics may have conditioned the preference for Yellowstone sources over eastern Idaho sources, ultimately suggesting that social boundaries played a role in generating the different toolstone conveyance zones seen in the region during the Late Prehistoric.
... Within this approach, researchers often refit artefacts as a way of tracing back the reduction sequence (e.g. Bamforth 1990;Bleed 2002;Conard and Adler 1997;Shott et al. 2011;Zwyns et al. 2012:39; see also Bar-Yosef and Van Peer 2009;Sellet 1993), though depending on time and resource constraints this process can be logistically difficult (see Chapter Two). ...
Thesis
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Mobility is a useful but highly variable process with which to understand how people interacted with their environments in the past. Commonly cited archaeological proxies for mobility often reflect only the potential to move or may represent different behaviours in different contexts. This can mask the range of variability in past human behaviour. An alternative approach is to investigate independent, empirical evidence of human movement which may then be related to broader contextual variables such as environment and economy. Stone artefacts are useful as they can be shown to have moved from one point to another. This thesis focuses on the patterning in flake to core ratios as a direct proxy for human movement. Late-Holocene Rutherford’s Creek, Australia, and mid-Holocene Fayum, Egypt, are two locations with extensive surface stone artefact assemblages, where the level of mobility and the contexts in which this occurred are known. Analysing flake to core ratios from known contexts allows a detailed understanding of how the variance in values might be interpreted. A method is presented for understanding the effects of initial cobble size, reduction intensity and artefact movement on the flake to core ratio in each region. The results suggest that a large amount of the variance in values is explained by differential initial cobble size and show that similar values in different contexts can reflect different behaviours. At Rutherford’s Creek, people were highly mobile and transported flakes. In the Fayum, they were less mobile and transported cores. Overall, approaching mobility as outlined in this thesis allows a more nuanced understanding of how patterning in stone artefact assemblages relates to human mobility and provides a glimpse into the intricacies of human behaviour and the range of unique ways in which people interacted with their environments in the past.
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The lithic raw material sources in the Pampas of Argentina present a very restricted distribution. This has generated various scenarios linked with the acquisition and conveyance of stones carried out by human groups in the past. We explore the mechanisms performed in the procurement, transport and exploitation of rocks by those hunter-gatherer societies that inhabited the Central Pampean Dunefields, an area where lithic resources are absent. The results obtained from five lithic assemblages from the Middle and Late Holocene points to a preference in the exploitation of Tandilia Hills stones through both periods, with an increase in rock diversity in the Late Holocene. Our data indicate a direct procurement of orthoquartzite and chert from Tandilia Hills, although the acquisition of the rest of the raw materials could have involved both direct and indirect procurement. These results may be related to the existence of more fluent exchange networks among Pampas hunter-gatherer groups.
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 essays brings together several different evolutionary perspectives to demonstrate how lithic technological systems are a by-product of human behavior. The essays cover a range of topics, including human behavioral ecology, cultural transmission, phylogenetic analysis, risk management, macroevolution, dual inheritance theory, cladistics, central place foraging, costly signaling, selection, drift, and various applications of evolutionary ecology.
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Located on the Central Coast, within the northern portion of Estero Bay, Cayucos remains an under-investigated area, and with over 8,000 years of human occupation there, it has the potential to inform about local and regional precontact history. Though relatively few archaeological investigations have occurred in Cayucos, by synthesizing studies in the area, a baseline of information emerges to build upon. This thesis reviews every recorded archaeological site with a precontact component, in the vicinity of Cayucos. These records, along with other relevant studies and theoretical framework, provide clues about the past associated with local settlement, technology, and the environment. Sources of information have been culled from site records and studies, authored by a variety of experts and non-experts including avocationalists, rock art scholars, residents, local CRM archaeologists, and others. One source of information comes from the orphaned Cayucos Bench Collection. Produced in the 1960s by the San Luis Obispo County Amateur Archaeologists, the collection is associated with 11 archaeological sites along the Estero Bluffs and includes site and artifact records, photographs, and a report. The collection is important because it represents the only artifact collection associated with the bluffs, a major portion of the research area. An aspect of this research includes comparative analysis of Cayucos with the Morro Bay Estuary, just south of Cayucos, in order to establish the relationship between these areas and identify regional patterns. The findings of this research begin to fill in the research gap remaining in the northern portion of Estero Bay.
Article
Stone that fractured conchoidally was an important resource for prehistoric hunter‐gatherers. In recent years, archaeologists have come to realize that rather than defining stone “quality” simply and implicitly as “high” or “low,” a stone's quality can be best defined in several different explicit and often quantitative ways involving production, function, or social benefits. Here, we examine the stone quality—defined as “fracture predictability”—of Upper Mercer chert when it is locally versus nonlocally acquired by prehistoric people in Ohio, USA. By quantitatively assessing silicon dioxide (SiO2) content and loss on ignition, we compared stone tools from a site at the Upper Mercer outcrop (n = 42) to those found at archaeological sites over 100 km north of it (n = 126). Our results showed that the former on average were of significantly higher quality than the latter. We conclude with a consideration of factors that could cause this difference in quality, suggesting that the lower quality of Upper Mercer chert in northern Ohio might be explained by northern people's decreased familiarity with it during the Archaic period and by their decreased access to it during the Woodland and Late Precontact periods.
Article
Quantifying archaeological material is an important basis on which interpretations about past lifeways are made. In a stone tool assemblage this typically refers to the number of artefacts made from a specific type of raw material, from which conclusions about mobility and provisioning strategies are drawn. However, the collected weight of that raw material is seldom taken into consideration. Previous work examined stone tool assemblages from the Bau de l’Aubesier (Vaucluse, France), quantifying raw material use by the number of lithic pieces from a particular source area. This study reproduces and directly compares that work with the existing weight data for the assemblages, using Generalized Linear Models that describe the sources of raw material in terms of both the landscape relative to the site and the characteristics of the materials themselves. In the older layers of the site, terrain variables contribute more towards source area use. In the younger layers, raw material characteristics drive source use, but less so in models that quantify stone tools by their weight. The distribution of tool sizes across the assemblages in each archaeological layer may be an important driver for observed differences between the two sets of models, raising important questions about the ways that specific provisioning strategies might be more or less vulnerable to biases that could reshape an understanding of hominin behaviours.
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A fundamental debate in evolutionary theory concerns the scale of evolutionary process. For cultural evolution, it is well understood that cultural elements on the scales of basic units of information (i.e. how to manufacture a lithic tool) change over time. We also recognize change in more complexly integrated cultural traditions spanning composite technologies to the fundamentals of social and political systems. The question remains as to whether change in the latter entities is a byproduct of evolution on lower scales leading to blended higher level entities or if evolutionary process actually unfolds on higher integrated scales. This study poses a test of the opposing hypotheses that evolution acts on the highest (species-like) scale versus the lowest (ephemeral traits) scales using data from the Middle to late Holocene Siberian and American Arctic. Results of modelling using Bayesian phylogenetic and Neighbornet Network procedures suggest that two distinct Arctic cultures, termed Paleo-Inuit and Neo-Inuit, evolved as species-like entities. Once established each evolved further on lower scales leading to blended within-group outcomes. We argue that cultural evolution is best understood as a process that can simultaneously act on multiple scales.
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In southern Africa, key technologies and symbolic behaviors develop as early as the later Middle Stone Age in MIS5. These innovations arise independently in various places, contexts and forms, until their full expression during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort. The Middle Stone Age sequence from Diepkloof Rock Shelter, on the West Coast of the region, preserves archaeological proxies that help unravelling the cultural processes at work. This unit yields one of the oldest abstract engraving so far discovered in Africa, in the form of a rhomboid marking on the cortical surface of an ungulate long bone shaft. The comprehensive analysis of the lithic artefacts and ochre pieces found in association with the engraved bone documents the transport of rocks over long distance (>20km), the heat treatment of silcrete, the coexistence of seven lithic reduction strategies (including the production of bladelets and the manufacture of unifacial and bifacial points), the use of adhesives and the processing of ochre. At Diepkloof, the appearance of engraving practices take place in a context that demonstrates a shift in rock procurement and a diversification in lithic reduction strategies, suggesting that these behavioral practices acted as a cultural answer to cope with new environmental and/or socio-economic circumstances. We argue that the innovations later found during the Still Bay and the Howiesons Poort were already in the making during the MIS5 pre-Still Bay, though not all the benefits were yet taken advantage of by the populations.
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Recent archaeological exploration in the river Tikra, a tributary of the river Brahmani has brought to lighted several archaeological sites from different geomorphic contexts. The sites were representing the extensive prehistoric Hominin occupation of this region. The present paper aims to discuss the material remains recovered from the newly discovered sites as well as to understand the late Pleistocene Hominin settlement
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Hafting is an important part of lithic technology that can increase our understanding of socioeconomic behavior in the past. In this article, we develop a holistic approach to studying hafting by using the concept of curation within a broader assessment of lithic technological organization in early villages. Early villages were loci of socioeconomic transformation as part of the shift from mobile foraging to more sedentary cultivation lifeways. We suggest that an examination of hafting can provide new insights into how early villagers negotiated technological requirements, economic decision making, and social interactions in these novel contexts. As a case study, we develop a curation index and apply it to an archaeological context of hafted and unhafted pointed tools from the early Neolithic village of Dhra’, Jordan. This curation index allows for a discussion of the technological, economic, and social dimensions of hafting strategies at Dhra’. The presence of multiple hafting traditions within early Neolithic villages of Southwest Asia is evidence of persistent social segmentation despite food storage and ritual practices that emphasized communal integration. Through the lens of lithic technological organization, we demonstrate that hafting and curation patterns can increase our understanding of technological, economic, and social strategies in early villages.
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As escavações no Sambaqui de Sereia do Mar caracterizam uma tentativa de reconhecer as estruturas arqueológicas internas deste tipo de sítio arqueológico na Barreira da Itapeva, litoral norte do Rio Grande do Sul. O método de escavação empregado ocorreu através de níveis artifciais com 5cm em uma área total de 18m2. O sítio é basicamente formado por valvas de Mesodesma mactroides (Deshayes, 1854). Não foram identifcadas evidências de estruturas de habitação nem sepultamentos. Os artefatos encontrados caracterizam-se por contas de colares e pingentes em ossos e conchas, bem como percutores, lâminas de machados semi-polidas, bigornas e placas polidas líticas. Ocorreram também lascas térmicas e lascas de preparação de instrumentos. As matérias primas líticas selecionadas compõe-se de basalto, diorito e o diabásio
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The antiquity of microlithic research in Odisha goes back to pre-independence era, and has brought to light extensive remains of lithic assemblages from the post-Pleistocene deposits in different parts of the state. All these sites have been reported from three distinct geomorphologic contexts, viz. along the banks of the rivers and its tributaries of different orders, on the raised surfaces with massive exposure of rock out crops, and on the foothills. Some of these sites have also been found to be associated with rock shelter habitats. The assemblages are predominantly geometric-microlithic in character and are represented mostly by backed and truncated tools i.e. lunates, scrapers, denticulates, burins and notches. While typical trapeze is a rare occurrence, majority of the assemblages contain isosceles and scalene triangles in varying proportions. In all the cases, the prehistoric knappers had exploited locally available sources, which occur in the form of nodules and pebbles in the rivers and stream beds as well as cobbles on the foothills, for tool manufacture. Our preliminary study on Bhalugarh microlithic site situated in the Sapai river, gives some information about the characteristic feature of the lithic assemblages composition and different tool technology used by prehistoric knappers during the time of tool production.
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This paper examines the procurement and use of raw materials by upland Archaic groups in the Tucson Basin of southern Arizona and the influence of group mobility, raw material availability, and tithic technology on raw material use. The goal of this study is to examine the relationship between raw material procurement and hunter-gather, adaptations in this desert context. Data from sites in the upper bajada in the Tucson Basin reveal that raw material use in this zone was tied to group mobility and the availability of fine-grained materials. This study illustrates that regional patterning in raw material procurement and use can provide important information on hunter-gather use of a landscape. RESUMEN Este trabajo examina la obtención y uso de materia prima litica por los grupos arcaicos de las zonas altas en el Valle de Tucson del Sur de Arizona y las influencias de la movilidad del grupo, la disponibilidad de materia prima, y la tecnología lítica en tipos determinados de materia prima. El propósito de este estudio es examinar la relación entre la obtención de materia prima y las adaptaciones de los cazadores recolectores en este contexto desértico. Datos obtenidos de sitios en las laderas superiores de las inmediaciones del Valle de Tucson revelan que la materia prima usada en esta zona estaba vinculada a la movilidad del grupo y la disponibilidad de rocas de grano fino. Este estudio ilustra que el patrón regional de obtención y uso de materia prima provee de información importante referente al uso del terreno por los grupos cazadores-recolectores.
Chapter
Intensive archaeological survey and excavation conducted in the Rio Maior region of Portuguese Estremadura has yielded a large sample of Upper Paleolithic sites. Chipped stone assemblages from technologically and typologically distinct Gravettian and Magdalenian periods exhibit both temporal and spatial variability. Valley landforms have changed little since the Early Pleistocene, which allows comparison of prehistoric land use patterns. Field survey coupled with analogy to historic gunflint workers in the nearby town of Azinheira provides insight into Late Pleistocene flint source distributions and procurement activities. Knowing these background variables is advantageous for understanding the complex dynamic between raw material selection, lithic reduction trajectories, and settlement systems. A combination of both curated and expedient technological strategies is evident in the Upper Paleolithic assemblages. By analyzing degree of planning in raw material choices and assessing economizing behavior in the reduction sequence, assem-blages are able to be interpreted as an integrated whole. This study demonstrates the importance of regional analysis not only for contributing to middle range theory, but as a method for interpreting diachronic lithic data in behaviorally significant ways.
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This paper presents a macroscopic and petrographic comparative analysis of volcanic rocks with similar characteristics but pertaining to different outcrops: Campo Cortaderas, Los Negros and Afloramientos de Vulcanita 8 in the Antofagasta de la Sierra microregion. The samples studied were obtained from different areas of each outcrop, the objective being to examine internal variability and therefore establish differences between the outcrops and the rocks present in them. The results enabled preliminary macro and microscopic criteria of differentiation to be established, contributing to the identification of different types of rocks, which in turn helps determine the potential spatial origin of similar rocks from the archaeological record.
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The nature of hunter-gatherer mobility strategies--the way in which hunter-gatherers move about a landscape over the course of a year--is discussed, using ethnographic data. Several mobility variables that measure residential and logistical mobility are defined; several environmental variables which measure resource accessibility and resource monitoring costs are also defined. Ethnographic data are used to demonstrate patterning between the nature of mobility strategies and the resource structure of an environment. The data show that the extent to which a group of hunter-gatherers emphasizes residential or logistical mobility is closely related to the structure of resources in their environment.
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The antiquity of human occupation in the New World undoubtedly is one of the major unresolved culture-historical problems in North American prehistory. On the one hand, a dominant position with a long history in American archaeology (cf. Wilmsen 1965) holds that human beings arrived in the New World at the close of the Pleistocene, no longer than 12,000 years ago, and that Clovis sites represent the oldest occupation in the Americas (Haynes 1970; Martin 1973; Waters 1985). On the other hand, a less widely accepted school of thought sees a variety of evidence for human occupation in the Americas well back into the Pleistocene, with dates ranging from 19,000 B.P. at Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania (Stuckenrath et al 1984), to 32,000 B.P. at Boquiero do Sitio da Pedra in Brazil (Guidon and Delibrias 1986), and to at least 220,000 B.P. at Calico Hills in the California desert (Bischoffetal. 1981).
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Functional requirements of activities do not alone explain variability in the technologies of forager groups. Rather, they are one among a larger set of factors that determine how technologies are organized within cultural systems. Failure to consider these other factors can impair interpretations of behavior based on analysis of artifact assemblages. One promising avenue of research is the relationship between technology and settlement mobility. Ethnographic evidence shows that elements of technology are related to the settlement mobility of forager societies. The implications of this relationship for archaeology are far-reaching, and they deserve careful consideration.
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Addresses the need for theoretical approaches to the study of prehistoric stone tools. Time stress is a major factor determining variations in technological behaviour among hunter-gatherers. Two effects of time budgeting are discussed. Predictions for the composition, diversity and complexity of tool-kits are illustrated by an analysis of tools used in the procurement of food. Although further work is needed before the ideas presented here can be implemented in the study of archaeological material, this preliminary attempt at theory building demonstrates that future research must account for the role of time in shaping prehistoric hunter-gatherer assemblages. -from Author
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Archaeologists frequently explain tool curation by its efficiency. Such explanations ignore the fact that curation is a complex activity and that its component parts are efficient in different ways. I argue that the nature and distribution of lithic resources critically affect technological efficiency and I discuss two aspects of curation, maintenance and recycling, asserting that they are responses to raw material shortages. Shortages result from regional geological conditions and from behavior patterns that restrict access to raw material in certain contexts. Ethnographic and archaeological examples support this hypothesis and highlight the relationship between subsistence-settlement organization, raw material distribution, and technology.
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Controlled experiments in percussion flaking allowed for objective analysis of relationships between variables of flake production and those variables which are attributes of the final result. The independent variables, those controlled by the flintknapper in the production of stone tools, include force and angle of blow, platform thickness and exterior platform angle. The dependent variables are those attributes of the flakes which are often used in current lithic analyses and include interior platform angle, length, thickness and flake termination. The results clearly show that exterior platform angle is highly significant for understanding many aspects of flake production. These and other relationships between the independent and dependent variables are also discussed.
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The systematic study of chipped stone debitage provides important information about prehistoric lithic technology. However, the results of most debitage analyses are unconvincing because of questionable assumptions and inherent flaws in the typologies used to classify the material. After briefly reviewing these problems, we present an alternative approach that does not rely on the presumed technological origins of individual artifacts as the basis for debitage classification and interpretation. An important element of this approach is a typology composed of interpretation-free and mutually exclusive debitage categories. The derivation of this typology is described and the utility of the approach is demonstrated with two Arizona case studies. The TEP St. Johns project provides new data and interpretations about Archaic Period technological and settlement changes while the Pitiful Flats study illustrates how differences in functional and organizational factors affect debitage assemblage variability.
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Hunter-gatherer adaptations to long-term fluctuations in regional resource structure require mechanisms to cope with periodic subsistence stresses. Among documented groups, a common response to such stress is temporary movement into adjacent occupied areas-moving in with "relatives" when things go wrong. However, in the case of early (ca. 12,000-10,000 B.P.) Paleoindian groups in the Americas, the availability of neighboring groups with a detailed knowledge of local resource geography could not be relied upon. Post-Pleistocene environmental changes and the low initial population of the New World are important factors conditioning a lifeway characterized by a dependence on hunting (though not exclusively of megafauna), and by high residential, logistical, and range (territorial) mobility. Early Paleoindian groups had to adopt a subsistence technology that could be employed regardless of the specific resource microstructure. In some regards, Paleoindians seem to have behaved like tropical foragers while in others like arctic collectors. Use of high quality lithic raw materials from large quarry sources, reliance on a bifacial technology, limited use of caves and rockshelters, and a low level of processing of food products for storage all may be indicative of such a subsistence technology, which would have been unlike that of any modern hunter-gatherers.
Chapter
This book was originally published in 1984. For over a million years rocks provided human beings with the essential raw materials for the production of tools. Nevertheless we still know very little about the behaviour and processes that resulted in the creation of archaeological sites at or near lithic quarries. In the past archaeologists have placed much emphasis on the process of 'exchange' in their analysis of prehistoric economies while largely ignoring the sources of the exchanged objects. However, with the development of interest in the means of production, these sites have begun to take on a new significance. Prehistoric Quarries and Lithic Production is the first systematic study of archaeological sites that served as quarries for stone tools. Its theoretical and methodological importance will extend its appeal beyond those archaeologists concerned with lithic technology and prehistoric exchange systems to archaeologists and anthropologists in general and to geographers and geologists.
Article
Steel balls were dropped on to massive equilateral and right-angle glass prisms in order to investigate the effects of varying platform angle and prism size on the shape and size of hard-hammer percussion flakes. Ball diamėter, drop height, and impact angle were held Constant. For a given platform angle [measured between striking platform and exterior surface of prism or flake], a decrease in the size of the prism is accompanied by a decrease in terminal flake length, terminal flake width, and terminal platform thickness, and by an increase in the minimum ball diameter required to remove a flake. For prisms of comparable size, a decrease in platform angle is accompanied by a decrease in terminal flake length and in the average values of the length/width, length/platform thickness and width/platform thickness ratios. A decrease in platform angle is also accompanied by a marked increase in the width of the zone along the edge of the prism within which flakes can be produced. Thus, the larger the platform angle, the greater the accuracy required to remove a flake. Further investigations are needed in order to determine to what extent the relationships and trends observed in the present study are applicable to the more complex core geometries generally encountered by archaeologists.
Article
The activities of the ethnographers and three Alyawara men during the course of a trip to a stone quarry in Central Australia are described. The excavation, shaping, and reduction of cores for the production of standardized flakes and blades was observed on the trip. These observations are then used as the basis for a short discussion regarding the current literature treating lithic techniques. Some contemporary approaches or interpretations may be in need of modification as we become increasingly aware of the variability in technique that may well stand behind the manufactured products we regularly analyze and study.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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Detailed behavioral observations permitted the dimensional analysis of formation processes operative on the Mask site, a Nunamiut Eskimo hunting stand. Activity structure, technological organization, disposal mode, and spatial organization were all seen as behavioral dimensions that could each vary, altering the patterns of assemblage content and spatial disposition at an archaeological site. These ethnoarchaeological experiences were then contrasted with those recently reported by John Yellen (1977), and a critical evaluation of his "conclusions" was conducted from the perspective of the Eskimo experience. It was pointed out that basic differences in philosophy and approach to research largely conditioned the contrasting character of the conclusions drawn from the different experiences.
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It is generally accepted that Lake Mohave artifacts date from the closing phase of the last deglaciation when the lake stood at its highest level. A re-evaluation of published data shows that Lake Mohave artifacts date from the overflow period, but only after the lake had abandoned the highest or 946-foot beach. A radiocarbon date of 9640 ± 240 years has been obtained from Anodonta shells at levels between 925 and 930 feet. These shells have been interpreted as remains of animals stranded en masse during the final recession of the Pluvial lake. No evidence for such a catastrophic event has been presented, and there is some evidence which suggests the opposite. The Anodonta shells appear to represent remains of dead animals deposited when the lake stood somewhat higher than 930 feet. It is apparent that an interdisciplinary approach, involving geology, paleolimnology, and palynology, as well as archaeology, is needed if man's place in the history of Lake Mohave is to be understood.
An elongate basin at the termination of the Mojave River contained pluvial Lake Mojave, now represented by Silver and Soda Lake playas near Baker, California. During overflow, water level was controlled by an outlet channel at the north end of Silver Lake. Geomorphic features, including wave-cut cliffs and beaches, and stratigraphic information from lacustrine deposits around the playa margin, indicate alternating periods of high and low water. Twenty-four radiocarbon dates on shell material and calcareous tufa from six locations allow correlation with other researchers conclusions from nearby areas to provide the following chronology. A major lacustral interval ended about 14,500 yrs ago, with water overflowing the outlet at the 941- to 943-ft level. The second lacustral, from about 13,750 to 12,000 yrs ago, caused extensive development of shoreline features at the same level. During the third high water period, from 11,000 to just before 9,000 yrs ago, cutting of the outlet to the 936-ft level occurred. A final lake from 8,500 to 7,500 yrs ago did not overflow the outlet. Early man was apparently in the area 10,000 yrs ago.
Article
Rock-varnish coatings on cobbles from geomorphic surfaces and exposed deposits in arid environments are an effective medium for dating over a time range of several thousand to a few million years. A new analytical method for dating of rock varnish is presented wherein the varnish cation ratio (VCR) is determined by a scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray analyzer (EDAX). The experimental SEM method is a nondestructive technique that has several potential advantages over the original method of analysis, described by R.I. Dorn, that uses particle-induced x-ray emission (PIXE) of varnish scraped from rock surfaces. The SEM method can potentially eliminate analytical errors due to contamination from rock substrate because variations in varnish thickness and irregularities on the substrate surface are examined before cation ratios are determined. Because varnish surfaces remain intact, varnish sites that yield anomalous results may be reanalyzed or verified. In addition, the general accessibility of scanning electron microscopes will make rock-varnish dating more widely available for use in Quaternary studies. Cation ratios were calculated for rock varnish from Espanola Basin, New Mexico, and the Yucca Mountain region, Nevada, and were used to construct rock-varnish dating curves for these areas.
Article
Design engineers share archaeologists' interest in material culture, but unlike archaeologists, engineers have developed concepts for determining the suitability of technical systems to perform specific tasks. Given the difficulty archaeologists face in developing theories of material culture, I suggest that guiding principles of engineering design offer potentially useful insights. In this article I discuss two design alternatives for optimizing the availability of any technical system - reliability and maintainability. Reliable systems are made so that they can be counted on to work when needed. Maintainable ones can easily be made to function if they are broken or not appropriate to the task at hand. Because these design alternatives have markedly different optimal applications and observably different physical characteristics, archaeologists can link the design of prehistoric weapons to environmental constraints and to specific hunting strategies. Ethnographic examples indicate that primitive hunters do use both reliable and maintainable systems in optimal situations.
Article
The first accelerator radiocarbon dates of rock varnishes are reported along with potassium/argon ages of lava flows and conventional radiocarbon dates of pluvial lake shorelines, in an empirical calibration of rock varnish K+ + Ca2+/Ti4+ ratios with age in the Mojave Desert, eastern California. This calibration was used to determine the cation-ratio dates of 167 artifacts. Although cation-ratio dating is an experimental method, some dates suggest human occupation of the Mojave Desert in the late Pleistocene.
Article
Rock varnish coats many surfaces of geomorphic and archaeologic interest in arid lands. All varnish dating techniques are limited by the time lag between the exposure of a surface to subaerial processes and the onset of varnishing. They are valid only where manganese is not remobilized after deposition, for example, in most arid environments. The premise of a new age-determination method, cation-ratio dating, is that the ratio of the more mobile cations (e.g., K and Ca) to titanium in varnish decreases with time. Although there are many inherent assumptions and potential limitations, cation-ratio dating has been verified on relative age-sequences from a Death Valley debris cone, Negev Desert talus flatirons, and prehistoric lake levels at Searles Lake in California. Varnish cation ratios have been calibrated to independently dated surfaces in the Coso volcanic field and vicinity in California. Tentative absolute dates have been assigned to geomorphic surfaces in the Coso area. Cation ratios have been used to distinguish relative ages of archaeologic artifacts in southwestern North America and to demonstrate that varnish at the South Stoddard locality, Mojave Desert, did not form in 25 yr.
Article
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Michigan, 1985. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 364-396). Photocopy. s
Conference Paper
The concept of information technology (IT) risk is examined, and it is argued that the generally held conception is too narrow. The sources of IT risk and several problems that arise in managing that risk are explored. Some areas where research is needed are identified, and steps that can improve an organization's understanding of and ability to manage the IT risk it faces are proposed
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