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Reply to McGuire and Garfinkel


McGuire and Garfinkel (1976) have argued that evidence presented in my recent article discussing the origins of pinyon exploitation in Owens Valley, eastern California (Bettinger 1976), fails to demonstrate adequately the beginnings of that procurement system at about A.D. 600, and signals only the initiation of an intensified form of pinyon exploitation that required the processing and storing of pinenuts in the pinyon zone. They contend that prior to A.D. 600 pinenuts might have been processed and stored at lowland winter villages, leaving little direct evidence in the pinyon zone. To support their case, they cite the results of surveys in Reese River, central Nevada (Thomas 1973), where items related to pinyon exploitation, principally rock rings and millingstones, were remarkably rare in the pinyon zone despite heavy reliance on pinenuts as a dietary staple. I will restrict my comments to a few major points.

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