Lithic Raw Material Procurement at the Multicomponent Prehistoric Wansack Site (36ME61), Mercer County, Pennsylvania: Evidence for Mobility and Trade Patterns through XRF Data

Author(s): Stephanie Bosch; P. Nick Kardulias

Year: 2015

Summary

The Wansack Site (36ME61) is a multicomponent, prehistoric site located in western Pennsylvania (Mercer County). Four seasons of excavation (1974-1977) yielded ample evidence of occupation spanning the Archaic, Woodland, and Late Prehistoric. The present study analyzes the patterns of raw material procurement, seen through the lithic artifacts collected from the site. The primary method utilized to do this is X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. Samples of chert from Flint Ridge, Upper Mercer, and Sky Hill outcrops provide a baseline for source types that occupants of the Wansack Site may have used. The elemental composition of source specimens is compared to that of 198 artifacts recovered from the Wansack Site to determine the point of origin of the latter. Flakes from all stratigraphic levels of occupation are tested, as well as across the site from each period. This study focuses on what the patterns of raw material procurement at the Wansack Site show about the changing dynamics of mobility and trading relationships from the Archaic through the Late Prehistoric periods in the upper Ohio River drainage. The data show a trend of residential mobility gradually being replaced by logistic mobility, as well as small-scale, local trading relationships increasing in importance and complexity.

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Cite this Record

Lithic Raw Material Procurement at the Multicomponent Prehistoric Wansack Site (36ME61), Mercer County, Pennsylvania: Evidence for Mobility and Trade Patterns through XRF Data. Stephanie Bosch, P. Nick Kardulias. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398056)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;