Mapping Prehistoric Behavior Patterns at Lithic Toolstone Source in the Colorado Desert

Author(s): Benito Guzman

Year: 2017


This pilot study examines lithic artifact scatters recorded in the Colorado Desert of California. The data set used in this research was compiled from several Cultural Resource Management (CRM) projects that have taken place in the study area. Tierra Environmental Services of San Diego collected large portions of data located on cobblestone terraces in Imperial County, California between 2011 and 2013 (smaller sections have been recorded by various environmental consulting firms since the mid 1930s). Research goals include: understanding prehistoric settlement, mobility, and subsistence practices on the cobblestone terraces that rest a short distance from the Western margin of prehistoric Lake Cahuilla.

The study will develop inferences regarding behavior through the geospatial mapping of lithic reduction locations. In addition, least cost path analysis is applied (through Geographic Information Systems) to examine the most efficient travel paths within the environment. Optimal foraging theory supports the use of analysis of least cost travel paths in the distributions of lithic reduction, as such events are predicted when examining small-scale societies and their focus on procurement of the least costly lithic resources. Cost, in this study, is determined and assessed based on energy expenditure and potential routes to quarry sites.

Cite this Record

Mapping Prehistoric Behavior Patterns at Lithic Toolstone Source in the Colorado Desert. Benito Guzman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428820)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14516