A Paleoindian Heavy Stone Analysis at Shawnee-Minisink


Cobbles, natural rock, and unflaked lithics are rarely subjects of study at Paleoindian sites. The lack of available literature on this topic may be due to an absence of these artifacts in Paleoindian levels, insufficient sample sizes, or an over emphasis on more aesthetic flaked stone. Within the Smithsonian’s Shawnee-Minisink collection, there are a number of stones from the Paleoindian level that appear to be manuports. Considering these stones are isolated, not found in cobble clusters, and occur in loess sediments, it is unlikely they were brought into the site by natural causes. This site’s spatial integrity and abundance of piece-plotted artifacts make it an ideal sample for heavy stone analysis. Each stone was examined for modifications and traces of use wear to deduce probable function. Additional attributes including weight and material type were also considered when relating spatial data in pre-existing GIS maps. This poster presents our efforts to explore the significance of heavy stone analysis in Paleoindian studies. This work also contributes to our understanding of Paleoindian activities and the spatial organization of sites.

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Cite this Record

A Paleoindian Heavy Stone Analysis at Shawnee-Minisink. Elise Widmayer, Joseph Gingerich, Harry Iceland. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398327)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -80.815; min lat: 39.3 ; max long: -66.753; max lat: 47.398 ;