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Were Bifaces used as Mobile Cores by Clovis Foragers in the North American Lower Great Lakes Region? An Archaeological Test of Experimentally Derived Quantitative Predictions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Metin I. Eren
Affiliation:
Department of Anthropology, Marlowe Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, CT2 7NR, U.K. (metin.i.eren@gmail.com)
Brian N. Andrews
Affiliation:
Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Criminal Justice, Rogers State University, Claremore, Oklahoma 74017 (bnandrews@gmail.com)
Corresponding

Abstract

The notion that Paleoindians used bifaces as “mobile cores” is widespread in Late Pleistocene lithic research, although it can be difficult to test empirically. Here, we use experimental replication to establish two quantitative predictions that would be indicative of biface-core transport. If bifaces are being used as mobile cores, then we should see among a group of sites of varying toolstone procurement distances (a) a negative relationship between toolstone procurement distance and the mean unifacial tool maximum-thickness value from each site; and (b) a negative relationship between toolstone procurement distance and the variability (standard deviation) of maximum flake thickness values from each site. We then test these predictions against data from six Clovis sites of varying toolstone procurement distance in the Lower Great Lakes region. The results show that both sets of data possess a strong, positive relationship with increasing toolstone procurement distance, which is inconsistent with the notion that biface-cores were transported. Since the Clovis presence in the Lower Great Lakes is widely acknowledged to be a colonization pulse, we conclude that the lack of biface-core transport there is an economizing and risk-mitigating behavior consistent with the models of Kuhn (1994) and Meltzer (2002, 2003, 2004).

Resumen

Resumen

La idea de que los Paleoindios usaban bifaces a modo de “núcleos móviles” se ha generalizado en la investigación del registro lítico del Pleistoceno tardío a pesar de que su comprobación empirica pueda resultar difícil. En este trabajo utilizamos réplicas experimentales con el fin de establecer dos expectativas de tipo cuantitativo que puedan utilizarse como indicadores del transporte de los bifaces-núcleo. Si éstos están siendo utilizados como núcleos-móviles debería observarse en un grupo de yacimientos que presente variaciones en las distancias de aprovisionamiento de recursos líticos (a) una relación negativa entre ésta y la media del valor máximo del espesor de las piezas unifaciales de cada uno de ellos; así como (b) una relación negativa entre la distancia de aprovisionamiento y la variabilidad (desviación estándar) del valor máximo del espesor de sus respectivas lascas. A continuación se evalúa el modelo que proponemos a partir de los datos procedentes de seis yacimientos Clovis de la región baja de los Grandes Lagos. Los resultados muestran que ambas expectativas poseen una relación positiva y estadísticamente significativa de las distancias de aprovisionamiento, incompatible con la idea de que los bifaces-núcleos fueron transportados. Dado que la presencia de Clovis en la región baja de los Grandes Lagos es ampliamente concebida como un impulso de la colonización, se concluye que la falta de bifaces-núcleo transportados responde en dicha área a un comportamiento económico dirigido a mitigar riesgos, acorde con los modelos de Kuhn (1994) y Meltzer (2002, 2003, 2004).

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Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 by the Society for American Archaeology.

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Were Bifaces used as Mobile Cores by Clovis Foragers in the North American Lower Great Lakes Region? An Archaeological Test of Experimentally Derived Quantitative Predictions
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