Folsom Households and Community Structure: A New Look at Hunter-Gatherer Lifespace

Author(s): Brooke Morgan; Brian Andrews

Year: 2015


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 archaeologists operationalize concepts from the ethnographic literature. Though documenting "activity areas" has been fruitful in ethnoarchaeological settings, accurate identification of such areas through k-means cluster analysis was unsuccessful in this case. At intensively occupied, open-air sites like Mountaineer, archaeological deposits are subject to diverse post-depositional c- and n-transforms (sensu Schiffer 1987), precluding meaningful behavioral interpretation at the grossest scales of analysis. However, finer-grained scales of analysis at the level of macro- and microdebitage reveal actual patterning may be preserved over time. These fine-grained data, evidence for offsite foraging, and multiple smaller Folsom sites within the Gunnison Basin point to reduced residential mobility and implementation of a logistical foraging strategy.

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Cite this Record

Folsom Households and Community Structure: A New Look at Hunter-Gatherer Lifespace. Brooke Morgan, Brian Andrews. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395229)


Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;