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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comment on Chartkoff's A Nested Hierarchy of Contexts: An Approach to Defining Significance for Lithic Scatters


In this issue, Chartkoff (1995) outlined an approach to enable researchers to evaluate the significance of lithic scatters, a ubiquitous site type in California and elsewhere. He defined five levels of hierarchy: (1) The Within-Site Context; (2) The Assemblage as a Whole; (3) A Site in its Environmental Context; (4) Context of Cultural Systems; and (5) Context at the Regional Level. This approach is a useful tool in site research and likely will open new ways of thinking about lithic scatters. My comments here are a reemphasis, rather than a disagreement, of several important points noted—but not driven home—by Chartkoff.

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