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Lithic Source Use and Paleoarchaic Foraging Territories in the Great Basin

  • George T. Jones (a1), Charlotte Beck (a1), Eric E. Jones (a2) and Richard E. Hughes (a3)

Abstract

Paleoarchaic (11.5–8.0 ka) occupants of the Great Basin encountered numerous lithic sources as they moved across foraging territories. Source provenance and lithic technologic analyses applied to the tools manufactured from these source materials elucidate several aspects of mobility, including the geographic scale of material conveyance and extent and possible routes of population movement. This research indicates that central Great Basin groups traversed large subsistence territories, extending more than 400 km from north to south, with mobility tactics probably keyed to the distribution of resource-rich wetlands. Changes in source representation parallel warming and drying trends, suggesting that Paleoarchaic foraging ranges shifted as wetlands diminished after about 9.5–8.5 ka.

Résumé

Los habitantes paleoarcaicos (11.500–8.000 a.p.) de la Gran Cuenca de los Estados Unidos encontraron numerosas fuentes líticas durante el recorrido de sus territorios de recolección. Los análisis tecnológicos y de proveniencia indican el uso de estas fuentes y además permiten elucidar algunos aspectos de mobilidad, incluyendo la escala geográfica del transporte de material y el alcance de las posibles rutas de movimiento de población. Esta investigación indica que los grupos de la Gran Cuenca central explotaron vastos territorios, de más de 400 km. de norte a sur, con tácticas de mobilidad enfocadas en la distribución de pantanos ricos en recursos. Cambios en el uso de ciertos materiales líticos coinciden con el desarrollo de un clima cálido y árido, sugiriendo que, a partir de 9.500-8.500 a.p., los habitantes paleoarcaicos modificaron sus territorios de recolección debido a la desecación de los pantanos.

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