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Paleoindian Use of the Western Ouachita Mountains, Oklahoma

Author(s): Stephanie Stutts

Year: 2015

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Summary

At present, the archaeological record of eastern Oklahoma reflects abundant evidence of prehistoric occupation in the region’s river valleys, from the Paleoindian period onward. Conversely, little archaeological work has been done in the upland environments of the Western Ouachita Mountains. Yet these uplands are notably rich in resources, ranging from high quality lithic sources, lush plant-life, diverse animal species, and many streams and rivers providing water throughout the year. I therefore hypothesize that the western Ouachitas would have been used by prehistoric people throughout prehistory, starting in Paleoindian time. This paper preliminarily evaluates this hypothesis by synthesizing first, what few archaeological findings have been reported for the Ouachita high country; and second, what archaeologists have learned about Paleoindian use of the nearby Eastern Ouachita Mountains and Southern Ozarks of Arkansas. I conclude that there is a high probability that Paleoindian groups did indeed use the Western Ouachita Mountains, and probably in highly diverse ways. I end by suggesting potentially fruitful next steps for evaluating this literature-derived conclusion through fieldwork.

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Paleoindian Use of the Western Ouachita Mountains, Oklahoma. Stephanie Stutts. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397613)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America