10,000 Years of Stone Tool Use by Hunter-Gatherers in Central Texas


We report on stone tool patterns derived from several recent archaeological excavation projects in Central Texas that provide a record of lithic use spanning most of the prehistoric sequence in the region. The projects, located within a few kilometers of one another, effectively sample debitage and tools reflecting Late Paleoindian, Early and Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, and the Terminal Late Prehistoric periods. Supported by several radiocarbon dates, these assemblages span roughly 10,000 years, from 10,300 CAL BP to A.D. 1600. High quality, large-sized stone tool material was available as primary sources roughly 15 to 20 km north of the projects along the Balcones Escarpment, a limestone dominate fault zone with multiple chert exposures. We reviewed over 11,000 pieces of debitage, chipped stone tools, and cores from these projects. Focusing on chipped stone tools and debitage subsamples, we monitor changes in raw material use over this 10,000-year period. Material groups are defined primarily by chert color, inclusions, and patterns in ultraviolet light fluorescence, with groups further assessed by geochemical (e.g., pXRF) methods. Comparisons of shifts in material groups over time likely reflect changes in access, mobility, or subsistence patterns.

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10,000 Years of Stone Tool Use by Hunter-Gatherers in Central Texas. Melissa Eiring, Sarah Wigley, Cynthia Munoz, Raymond Mauldin. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398110)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;