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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 13, Issue 2, 1991

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Boulders to Bifaces: Initial Reduction of Obsidian at Newberry Crater, Oregon

Experimental and archaeological data are used here to determine aspects of prehistoric lithic technology represented at three sites within the obsidian quarry complex in Newberry Crater. These data indicate that several different sets of technological activities occurred at sites within the crater; however, all involved reduction of obsidian into large-sized bifacial artifacts.

Unifacial Bifaces: More Than One Way to Thin a Biface

This paper describes an alternative biface reduction strategy, the unifacial biface, and its implications for prehistoric stone tool studies and replicative experiments.

Problems with the Use of Flake Size in Inferring Stages of Lithic Reduction

This paper examines flake-size analyses and the type of information they produce. The prehistoric sites area located in central Oregon, an area rich in obsidian sources and lithic scatters compromise a major potion of prehistoric record.

The Diamond Lil Site: Projectile Point Fragments as Indicators of Site Function

Ethnographic data, environmental information, and a site structural analysis of the spatial distribution of bone and debitage, suggest that the site location was employed to process deer and manufacture/rejuvenate flaked stone tools. However, experimental and archaeological data involving projectile point rejuvenation and breakage suggest the site served also as a deer kill location. Furthermore, the site assemblage, dominated by projectile point rejuvenation debitage and fragments of lanceolate, dart, and arrow points, is interpreted as representing a multiple weapons system technology utilized in a communal hunting situation.

A Closer Look at Margin "Grinding" on Folsom and Clovis Points

It is herein proposed that there is an alternative explanation for the intentional dulling of tool margins. Experimental replication offers insights into the methods used to dull tool margins, and breakage pattern analysis suggests dulled margins may have served to strengthen the basal portion of stone projectiles, thus preventing breakage of the projectile within the wood or bone foreshaft.

Reduction Assemblage Models in the Interpretation of Lithic Technology at the Tosawihi Quarries, North-Central Nevada

Preliminary results of the ongoing technological analysis of debitage recovered from the Tosawihi Chert Quarries illustrate how replication experiments are begin used to model technologically variable lithic reduction assemblages.

The Packwood Lake Site: Lithic Technology and Site Function

The specific functional characterization of the sites used for this comparison was necessary in an attempt to eliminate the potential for intersite redundancy of representative on-site lithic reduction activities; therefore, for purposes of this research, sites that represent relative functional extremes and manifest specific lithic reduction activities associated with those functions were expected to be the most effective for comparative purposes with the Packwood Lake site assemblage (see Binford 1979: 255).

Flaked Stone from the Navajo Springs Great House, Arizona

The remainder of this paper concentrates on the lithic analysis with brief summaries of the ground stone and ceramic data (more detail on ceramics may be found in Graves [1990] and Warburton and Graves [n.d.]).

Clovis Technology at the Anzick Site, Montana

This paper discusses our interpretation of Clovis lithic technology based on analysis of the assemblage from the Anzick site (Fig. 1) in southwestern Montana.


The Antiquity of CA-SMI-1: A Multicomponent Site on San Miguel Island

The rich archaeological record of San Miguel Island has attracted the attention of antiquarians, archaeologists, and relic collectors for over 100 years (Schumacher 1875; Glassow 1977), partly because severe erosion caused by overgrazing and sea cliff retreat has exposed the contents of many sites.

"Invisible" Archaeological Deposits at Small Milling Sites

If we are to more completely understand the development of the native cultures of the California coast, we must have more and better chronological data on which to base our interpretations. The most powerful chronological tool we have continues to be radiocarbon dating. Carefully selected, analyzed, and interpreted radiocarbon dates help us refine our chronologies by placing cultural developments in a more precise temporal framework. They also provide valuable data on shifts in settlement and demography through time (see Glassow et al. 1988). Despite these obvious facts, there are many important archaeological collections or sites that have never been radiocarbon dated, or that remain inadequately dated. So many sites in California are threatened by erosion, vandalism, or development that collecting more and better chronological data should be an urgent priority. Fortunately, CA-SMI-1 is not threatened by erosion or development. It is, however, one of the few archaeological sites on San Miguel Island for which significant excavation data are available. Two radiocarbon dates from the middle levels of the midden suggest that at least two separate occupations of the site took place, one about 7,000 years ago and another beginning about 3,350 years ago. As is often the case, further dating and detailed research are needed to place the archaeological assemblage from CASMI- 1 in a more refined cultural and ecological framework.


Lightfoot, Wake, and Schiff: The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, California, Volume 1, Introduction

The Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Fort Ross, Califomia, Volume 1, Introduction. Kent G. Lightfoot, Thomas A. Wake, and Ann M. Schiff Contributions to the University of California Archeological Research Facility, Number 49, 1991, ix + 249 pp., 31 tables, 32 figures, 6 appendices, $18.00 (paper).