Skip to main content Accessibility help

A Further Assessment of Paleoindian Site-Use at Bonfire Shelter

  • Ryan M. Byerly (a1), Judith R. Cooper (a1), David J. Meltzer (a1), Matthew E. Hill (a2) and Jason M. LaBelle (a3)...


In Byerly et al. (2005) we explored the hypothesis that the Paleoindian component at Bonfire Shelter was the result of a jump kill. Our efforts involved extensive mapping and GIS analysis, a re-examination of the Paleoindian-age bison assemblage, and consideration of the geomorphic history of the canyon in which the site is located. We concluded that the preponderance of evidence indicated the Paleoindian-age bison remains at Bonfire Shelter marked a processing site as Binford (1978) suggested, rather than a primary kill locality as originally interpreted (Dibble 1968). Bement (this issue) raises several concerns about our analysis and discussion, including that we omit pertinent information relevant to the interpretation of the site. His comments, however, result from a misreading of our discussion and a misconstrual of the data set, as we explain in this response.


En Byerly et al. (2005) exploramos la hipótesis que el componente paleoindio de Bonfire Shelter fuese el resultado de una matanza de salto. Nuestros esfuerzos incluyeron la preparación de extensivos mapas y un análisis SGI (GIS), una reexaminación de la asamblea bisonte de fecha paloeoindia y la evaluación de la historia geomorfológica del cañón en que se encuentra el sitio. Concluimos que la mayor parte de la evidencia indica que los restos bisontes de fecha paleoindia en Bonfire Shelter demuestran que fue un sitio de procesamiento tal como sugirió Binford (1978), en vez de ser una localidad de una matanza primaria tal como originalmente se propuso (Dibble 1968). Bement (this issue) plantea varios problemas sobre nuestro análisis, entre otras cosas que omitimos la información pertinente que tiene que ver con la interpretación del sitio. Sin embargo, su comentario es el resultado de una mala interpretación de nuestra discusión y los datos, tal como explicamos en esta respuesta.



Hide All
Beaver, Joseph E. 2004 Identifying Necessity and Sufficiency Relationships in Skeletal-Part Representation using Fuzzy-Set Theory. American Antiquity 69:131140.
Bement, Leland C. 1986 Excavation of the Late Pleistocene Deposits of Bonfire Shelter, 41VV218, Val Verde County, Texas. Archaeological Series 1. Texas Archaeological Survey, Austin.
Binford, Lewis R. 1978 Nunamiut Ethnoarchaeology. Academic Press. New York.
Blackwell, Paul G., Buck, Caitlin E., and Reimer, Paula J. 2006 Important Features of the New Radiocarbon Calibration Curves. Quaternary Science Reviews 25:408413.
Byerly, Ryan M., Cooper, Judith R., Meltzer, David J., Hill, Matthew E., and LaBelle, Jason M. 2005 On Bonfire Shelter (Texas) as a Paleoindian Bison Jump: An Assessment using GIS and Zooarchaeology. American Antiquity 70:595629.
Byerly, Ryan M., Cooper, Judith R., Meltzer, David J., and Theler, Jim 2007 Exploring Paleoindian Site-Use at Bonfire Shelter (41VV218). Bulletin of the Texas Archaeological Society, in press.
Cooper, Judith R., and Byerly, Ryan M. 2005 The Significance of a Second Folsom Projectile Point from Bonfire Shelter, Texas. Current Research in the Pleistocene 22:4143.
Dibble, David S. 1968 The Archaeology. In Bonfire Shelter: A Stratified Bison Kill Site, ValVerde County, Terns, pp. 176. Miscellaneous Papers No. 1. Texas Memorial Museum Publications, University of Texas, Austin.
Dibble, David S. 1970 On the Significance of Additional Radiocarbon Dates From Bonfire Shelter, Texas. Plains Anthropologist 15:251254.
Egeland, Charles P., and Byerly, Ryan M. 2005 Application of Return Rates to Large Mammal Butchery and Transport among Hunter-Gatherers and its Implications for Plio-Pleistocene Hominid Carcass Foraging and Site Use. Journal ofTaphonomy 3:135158.
Emerson, Alice M. 1993 The Role of Body Part Utility in Small-scale Hunting under Two Strategies of Carcass Recovery. In From Bones to Behavior: Ethnoarchaeological and Experimental Contributions to the Interpretation if Faunal Remains, edited by Jean Hudson, pp. 138155. Center for Archaeological Investigations Occasional Paper No. 21. Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.
Faith, J. Tyler, and Gordon, Adam D. 2006 Skeletal Element Abundances in Archaeofaunal Assemblages: Economic Utility, Sample Size, and Assessment of Carcass Transport Strategies. Journal of Archaeological Science, in press [doi: 10.1016/j.jas.2006.08.007].
Forbis, Richard G. 1969 Review of Bonfire Shelter: A Stratified Bison Kill Site, Val Verde County, Texas. American Antiquity 34:9091.
Frison, George C. 1991 Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains, 2nd ed, edited by George C. Frison. Academic Press. New York.
Frison, George C. 2004 Survival by Hunting: Prehistoric Human Predators and Animal Prey. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Hill, Matthew G. 2001 Paleoindian Diet and Subsistence Behavior on the Northwestern Great Plains of North America. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Holliday, Vance T. 1997 Paleoindian Geoarchaeology of the Southern High Plains. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Holliday, Vance T. 2000 The Evolution of Paleoindian Geochronology and Typology on the Great Plains. Geoarchaeology 15:227290.
Kitigawa, Hiroyuki, and Plicht, Johannes van der 1998 Atmospheric Radiocarbon Calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late Glacial Fluctuations and Cosmogenic Isotope Production. Science 279:11871190.
Kreutzer, Lee 1988 Megafaunal Butchering at Lubbock Lake, Texas: A Taphonomic Re-analysis. Quaternary Research 30:221231.
Lorrain, Dessamae H. 1968 Analysis of the Bison Bones from Bonfire Shelter. In Bonfire Shelter: A Stratified Bison Kill Site, Val Verde County, Texas, pp. 77132. Miscellaneous Papers No.1. Texas Memorial Museum Publications, University of Texas, Austin.
Lupo, Karen D. 2006 What Explains the Carcass Field Processing and Transport Decisions of Contemporary Hunter-Gatherers? Measures of Economic Anatomy and Zooarchaeological Skeletal Part Representation. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 13:1966.
Lyman, R. Lee 1994 Vertebrate Taphonomy. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Meltzer, David J. 2006 Folsom: New Archaeological Investigations of a Classic Paleoindian Bison Kill. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Metcalfe, Duncan, and Jones, Kevin T. 1988 A Reconsideration of Animal Body-Part Utility Indices. American Antiquity 53:486504.
Reeves, Brian O.K. 1990 Communal Bison Hunters of the Northern Plains. In Hunters of the Recent Past, edited by Leslie B. Davis and Brian O.K. Reeves, pp. 168194. Unwin Hyman, London.
Rogers, Alan R. 2000 Analysis of Bone Counts by Maximum Likelihood. Journal of Archaeological Science 27:111125.
Rogers, Alan R., and Broughton, Jack M. 2001 Selective Transport of Animal Parts by Ancient Hunters: A New Statistical Method and an Application to the Emeryville Shellmound Fauna. Journal of Archaeological Science 28:763773.
Sellards, Elias H., Evans, Glen L., and Meade, Grayson E. 1947 Fossil Bison and Associated Artifacts from Plainview, Texas. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America 58:927954.
Sellet, Frederìc 2001 A Changing Perspective on Paleoindian Chronology and Typology: A View from the Northwestern Plains. Arctic Anthropology 38:4863.
Todd, Lawrence C. 1983 The Horner Site: Taphonomy of an Early Holocene Bison Bonebed. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.
Todd, Lawrence C. 1987 Analysis of Kill-Butchery Bonebeds and Interpretation of Paleoindian Hunting. In The Evolution of Human Hunting, edited by Matthew H. Nitecki and Doris V. Nitecki, pp. 225266. Plenum Press, New York.
Todd, Lawrence C. 1991 Seasonality Studies and Paleoindian Subsistence Strategies. In Human Predators & Prey Mortality, edited by Mary C. Stiner, pp. 217238. Westview Press, Boulder.
Todd, Lawrence C., Hofman, Jack L., and Bertrand Schultz, C. 1992 Faunal Analysis and Paleoindian Studies: A Reexamination of the Lipscomb Bison Bonebed. Plains Anthropologist 37:137165.
Todd, Lawrence C., Hill, Matthew G., Rapson, David J., and Frison, George C. 1997 Cutmarks, Impacts, and Carnivores at the Casper Site Bison Bonebed. In Proceedings of the 1993 Bone Modification Conference Hot Springs, South Dakota, edited by L. Adrien Hannus, Lynette Rossum, and R. Peter Winham, pp. 136157. Occasional Publication No. 1. Archeology Laboratory, Augustana College, Sioux Falls.
Todd, Lawrence C., and Rapson, David J. 1999 Formational Analysis of Bison Bonebeds and Interpretation of Paleoindian Subsistence. In Le Bison: Gibier et Moyen de Subsitance de homes du Paleolithique aux Paleoindiens des Grandes Plaines, edited by Jean-Philip Brugal, Francine David, James Enloe, and Jacques Jaubert, pp. 480499. Editions APDCA, Antibes, France.


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed