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A Geospatial Analysis of Northern Side-notched points in the Northern Great Basin: A Case Study from the Burns District Bureau of Land Management

Author(s): Jordan Pratt

Year: 2016

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Summary

In the northern Great Basin region of eastern Oregon, little is understood about human settlement during the hot, dry middle Holocene. The only diagnostic piece of material culture which reliably dates to this period is the Northern Side-notched (NSN) projectile point, which was last studied extensively by John Fagan in 1974. The purpose of this study is to reconsider Fagan’s interpretations of Altithermal occupations in the northern Great Basin - specifically whether such sites are limited to high elevations and associated with perennial springs. NSN points and associated site reports from the Burns District of the Bureau of Land Management were reviewed, and ArcGIS was utilized to analyze the geographic distribution of NSN, including in reference to obsidian sources. Ultimately, NSN were produced on both local and non-local obsidians, occur extensively across the landscape, at high and low elevations, and appear to have been associated with both perennial and ephemeral water sources. These results indicate that Altithermal occupations were more extensive than previous research indicated, and that prehistoric humans were exploiting multiple resource zones despite climatic fluctuations.


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A Geospatial Analysis of Northern Side-notched points in the Northern Great Basin: A Case Study from the Burns District Bureau of Land Management. Jordan Pratt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405325)


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Spatial Coverage

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

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