Nathan E. Stevens's research while affiliated with California State University, Sacramento and other places

Publications (9)

Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents new perspectives on the marine shell beads recovered from Monitor Valley: Richard Hughes updates the temporal distribution of the Haliotis and Olivella shell beads based on recent evidence from the Great Basin and California, and Jelmer Eerkens and his colleagues infer projected sources for a selected sample of Olivella shell...
Article
Bedrock mortars were an integral part of intensive acorn economies in Native California and are a prominent feature of the Late Holocene archaeological record of the Sierra Nevada. Construction of these milling features also indicates a long-term investment in the landscape. Ethnographic evidence suggests the importance of local acorn crops and oth...
Article
Although use-wear analysis of prehistoric stone tools using conventional microscopy has proven useful to archaeologists interested in tool function, critics have questioned the reliability and repeatability of the method. The research presented here shows it is possible to quantitatively discriminate between various contact materials (e.g., wood, a...
Article
Full-text available
Production of marine shell beads in island and coastal settings was an important activity in prehistory, with important political and economic ties. Currently, there are few methods to track beads to their locus of production. Examining the spatial distribution of bead types provides one method of doing so. Chemical and stable isotopic methods prov...
Article
Along California's central coast, projectile points representing the central coast stemmed series were the dominant bifacial form for over 5000 years. Archaeologists working in the region are accustomed to referring to these arti-facts as "dart points" and to later small leaf-shaped points as "arrow points," even though these functional inferences...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We use stable isotope analysis to help determine the source locality for Olivella shells used to produce beads recovered from the Windmiller component at CC)-548. We compare isotopic profiles of modern shells collected along the coast to ancient ones. In the process, we discoverd that the Windmiller-period beads, indeed many Northern California bea...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Due to the suite of morturay-related traits that defines the Windmiller culture, most previous archaeological work has emphasized how Windmiller people died rath than how they lived. Other more mundane aspects of Windmiller lifeways, such as lithic technology and subsistence, have been remained largely nknown due to the early excavation dates of mo...

Citations

... Sites included in the analysis presented here are confined to those with manifestations of Late Prehistoric material or chronometric data. The intensification of both acorns (Basgall 1987;Bettinger 2015;Moratto 1984;Eerkens et al 2004;Stevens et al 2019;Wohlgemuth 1996) and pinyon pine nuts (Bettinger 1976;Eerkens 2003;Eerkens et al 2004;Hildebrandt & Ruby 2006;Zeanah 2002) postdate 1500 cal BP in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Great Basin. While one might argue that the proportion of oak and pinyon resources incorporated into the subsistence economy may have shifted through time and the brunt of milling intensification related to acorn processing postdates 600 cal BP in the region at large (Stevens et al 2019), limited temporal data do not allow us to assign a refined chronological association to many sites in the study area. ...
... In contrast to obsidian studies, where geochemical techniques such as X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) have been developed and repeatedly tested, geochemical provenance analyses of shell beads is less established. While it is clear that Olivella beads found in the Great Basin are ultimately derived from the Pacific coast, pinpointing a more precise geographic origin has only been the focus of analysis for the last decade (Eerkens et al., 2005(Eerkens et al., , 2007(Eerkens et al., , 2009(Eerkens et al., , 2010Bottman, 2006;Smith et al., 2016Smith et al., , 2018. Instead, procurement localities have generally been assumed based on the geographic distributions of beads with particular attributes, such as size and shape (Bennyhoff and Hughes, 1987;Milliken and Schwitalla, 2009;Rosenthal, 2011). ...
... Recent excavations at CA-CCO-548 (Marsh Creek site, Pearl Locus) revealed early evidence of sedentary, plant-intensive, foraging economies in Central California (Wiberg, 2010) (Fig. 1). The archaeological deposit contains a large quantity of faunal and archaeobotanical remains, ground stone artifacts, lithics, fire-affected rock, house floors, storage and cooking features, and hundreds of human burials, attesting to intensive occupation for over two millennia (Wiberg, 2010;Stevens et al., 2009). Archaeofaunal studies indicate that freshwater fish (e.g., Sacramento perch, Sacramento suckers), ground squirrels, lagomorphs (hares and rabbits), artiodactyls, and waterfowl were important economic resources (Gobalet, 2004;Gobalet et al., 2010;Valente, 2010). ...
... The Central Coast Sequence has been applied to the area between San Simeon and Point Conception and is broken into six periods with the following date ranges established in Jones et al. (2007): the Paleo-Indian (pre-8000 BCE), Millingstone (8000-3500 BCE); ...
... Soon thereafter, the Gabrielino/Tongva began to trade with the Chumash for those shell beads. Recent isotope studies have suggested that shell beads were made at a variety of locations across southern California, both on the mainland and on the northern and southern Channel Islands (e.g., Eerkens et al. 2010). Arnold and colleagues (e.g., Arnold 2012;Arnold and Graesch 2001;Arnold and Munns 1994) have extensively documented shell-bead manufacture and use among the Chumash in the northern Channel Islands. ...
... Temporal ranges are from mainland styles in Codding and Jones (2007), Jones and Hylkema (1988), and Justice (2002) (2) a 2σ range of 640-490 cal BP. This fits well within the known chronologies from sites on the mainland (Stevens and Codding, 2009;Justice, 2002:363). Cooccurring with Malaga Cove Leaf points at CA-SRI-840 is one Cañalino Triangular, again fitting the proposed chronology of this form in southern California (Justice, 2002:375). ...
... The search for a quantitative approach arises from the need to make results comparable and reproducible among researchers (Goodall et al., 2015). With the development of highly accurate devices during the last decades, research has focused mainly on flint artefacts, putting the effort on the metrology of use-wear surfaces (Evans and Donahue, 2008;Stevens et al., 2010;Macdonald, 2014;Ibáñez et al., 2019). Such approaches have accomplished success rates of considerable variability in their range (60-90 %), depending on the type of contact material used in the experiments. ...