Serrated scapular tools from Cache Cave

Author(s): David Robinson; Daniel Reeves; Gloria Brown

Year: 2015


Due to taphonomic processes at most open sites, bone tools are underrepresented in relation to stone tools. Tools made from modified artiodactyl scapulae are best known from protected sites (caves and rockshelters) in the Great Basin, such as Humboldt Cave and Lovelock Cave. These scapular tools vary in form and presumably function. Some are pointed and described as awls, but a second type is a serrated form, which we will discuss here. Many serrated forms are described as scapular saws, suited for cutting soft plant material, such as tules, but other forms are described as shaped for other uses, such as stripping seeds or as fleshers. In California, scapular tools have been recovered from the greater San Francisco Bay region as well as other areas. Here we will discuss serrated scapular tools recovered from the recent excavations of a cave at the Wind Wolves Preserve in Kern County, California. This site is located in the territory occupied ethnographically by the Emigdiano Chumash, a group for which little information existed until recently. The presence of these serrated scapular tools at this site provides insights about the lifeways of the people at this location.

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Cite this Record

Serrated scapular tools from Cache Cave. Gloria Brown, Daniel Reeves, David Robinson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395895)


Scapula serrated Tools

Geographic Keywords
North America - California

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;