Investigation and Analysis of Anthills Found in Archaeological Settings in the Northern Great Basin.

Author(s): Jordan Pratt; Amy Nelson

Year: 2015


Anthills are ubiquitous across the Great Basin, with the potential to affect archaeological sites through bioturbation. This study considers if lithic debitage found on the surface of anthills (and within) represents the redistribution of specific size grades, with an emphasis on vertical redistribution of smaller flakes from below ground to the surface. Our study targeted anthills near previously analyzed lithic plots around the perimeter of Rimrock Draw Rockshelter (35HA3855), a Paleoamerican site in Harney County, southeastern Oregon. Two sampling methods were used to collect debitage and gravels that compose anthills. Samples were taken above ground, and auger sampling was used to explore the relationship between debitage cast on the surface and in the heart of the colony. Mass-analysis of debitage and particle size-analysis of the gravels was conducted to create a profile of sedimentary and archaeological size grades that may inadvertently be interpreted as rejuvenation pressure flaking events for the former and high energy stream transport episodes for the latter, further advancing the way archaeologists interpret site disturbances.

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Investigation and Analysis of Anthills Found in Archaeological Settings in the Northern Great Basin.. Amy Nelson, Jordan Pratt. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398126)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.761; min lat: 29.917 ; max long: -109.27; max lat: 42.553 ;