New Perspectives in Folsom Archaeology

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

In the past decade, our knowledge of Folsom adaptations has improved dramatically. While Folsom peoples were undoubtedly highly mobile and hunted bison, work since the early 2000s has provided a much more nuanced view of their subsistence and settlement systems. Folsom sites located in a variety of environments (including the high elevation intermountain basins in the Rockies and the prairie woodlands east of the Great Plains) have shed new light on the diversity of Folsom lifeways, and analyses of new and extant collections have improved our understanding of Folsom technological organization. The primary goal of this symposium is to report on innovative recent research on Folsom technology, mobility, and settlement systems that adds insight to our reconstruction of Folsom adaptations. Individual papers within the session span a wide geographic range, include new methods for addressing variability in the Folsom archaeological record, and draw on concepts from a plethora of theoretical frameworks to contribute to a contemporary synthesis of how Folsom Paleoindians flourished during the Terminal Pleistocene.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Beaver River Complex Contribution to Folsom Archaeology: An Update and Future Directions (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Leland Bement.

    The Beaver River Complex (NW Oklahoma) of early Paleoindian (Clovis and Folsom) large-scale bison kill sites began contributing to our knowledge of Folsom hunting organization two decades ago with the identification, excavation, and analysis of the Cooper site. Since then a total of five Folsom kill components have been identified at three arroyo kill sites within a 700 m reach of the Beaver River. The most recently discovered site, Badger Hole, contains the youngest Folsom kill component of the...

  • Endscrapers Across the Folsom World (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshua Boyd.

    This paper explores variability in Folsom adaptive strategies by examining endscraper technology throughout the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Common reconstructions based on highly curated projectile points and bifaces as well as presence of exotic raw material portray Folsom people as highly mobile and technologically organized in the sole pursuit of bison. Recent studies have begun questioning such a rigid perspective concerning Folsom life ways. Utilizing endscraper assemblages from...

  • Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives on Folsom Households (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Todd Surovell. Matthew O'Brien.

    Over the few decades, households have been identified in a handful of Folsom sites. Although it should surprise no one that the Pleistocene inhabitants of North America built, lived in, and used domestic structures, it may be surprising we know relatively little about how those household spaces were organized. This problem is hardly unique to Folsom. It could be argued that this is true of hunter-gatherer household archaeology as a whole. Part of the difficulty we encounter in interpreting...

  • Exploring the relationship between Folsom and Midland points in the Southern Plains (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Thomas Jennings.

    The relationship between Folsom points and Midland points in the Southern Plains remains an unresolved topic of debate. At the scale of individuals, it has been suggested that the fluted Folsom point was a symbolic object made by a person(s) of power to alleviate risk in hunts. Along similar lines, differences between Folsom and Midland points have been attributed to the relative skill differences between knappers. At a broader scale, some have questioned the association of Folsom and Midland,...

  • Folsom Adaptations to Bison Hunting: a comparison of Northern and Southern Plains arroyo trap kills (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kristen Carlson.

    The purpose of this research is to compare and contrast Paleoindian arroyo trap bison kills on the Southern plains to analogous sites on the Northern plains to investigate the transition from opportunistic hunting to organized hunting under different environmental regimes. Analyses to address this problem include: Stable isotopes of bison bone to aid in environmental reconstruction; radiocarbon dates to determine the antiquity of the sites being compared; and the seasonality of the kill event to...

  • Folsom from the Continental Divide to the Plains-Woodland Border: Examining patterns in artifact distribution and lithic procurement (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brendon Asher.

    Folsom artifact distributions from the Rocky Mountains to the Plains-Woodland border are not ubiquitous. This study documents Folsom projectile point occurrences across seven different physiographic regions, from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to the Central Lowlands and Glaciated Region of eastern Kansas, and argues for diverse resource availability and lithic procurement strategies in separate regions. Particular attention is given to artifacts from private collections and surface context. A...

  • Folsom Households and Community Structure: A New Look at Hunter-Gatherer Lifespace (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Brooke Morgan. Brian Andrews.

    The presence of four contemporaneous Folsom-age structures at the Mountaineer site near Gunnison, Colorado suggests these hunter-gatherers had broader adaptations than previously recognized. Mountaineer provides a unique setting for investigating Folsom socio-economic structure as it relates to domestic architecture, through analysis of lithic assemblages and spatial patterning. A multi-scalar analysis has provided new insight into Folsom lifeways and raised questions concerning how...

  • Folsom on the Edge of the Plains: Occupation of the Estancia Basin, Central New Mexico (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only William Reitze.

    At the end of the Pleistocene, during Folsom occupation, the Estancia Basin contained the eastern-most pluvial lake in the American Southwest. The basin has a long history of archaeological research and the story of changing lake levels has played an important part in understand the Paleoindian occupation of the New World. Within the basin, geoarchaeological assessment at the Martin site can be used as a baseline for understanding environmental change during the late Pleistocene. The large well...

  • Folsom Toolkit Replenishment at Chispa Creek, Texas: Comparing Bifacial to Unifacial Technologies (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only John Seebach.

    Folsom technology has been characterized by Ingbar and others as employing a "serial replacement" strategy, where toolkits are replenished on a more or less continuous basis based on the proximate taskscape. Such replenishment is in evidence at Chispa Creek, a west Texas lithic workshop repeatedly occupied by Folsom foragers. Similar to Hanson, Wyoming, at least three local toolstone sources were used at Chispa to manufacture projectile points and a large number of unifaces. These occupations...

  • Making Sense of the Variation in Folsom Projectile Point Technology (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Robert Lassen.

    Analyses of Folsom projectile point technology generally focus on the making and use of the classic bifacially fluted form. Often some mention is made of Midland or unfluted points, but formal technological analyses of these types are rare. Utilizing a sample of 989 points and preforms from Folsom and closely related technologies, this research explores the variation that is present in Folsom point production. Points from Folsom contexts are divided into five types: Folsom, Midland,...