An examination of the Browns Bench ignimbrite from the perspective of an archaeologist

Author(s): Christopher Noll

Year: 2017


Archaeologists have chemically distinguished the vitreous stone of the Rogerson Formation of southern Idaho, northeast Nevada, and northwest Utah as the Browns Bench Toolstone Source. Recent geologic research into the Rogerson Formation reveals that the deposits are much more variable than archaeologists recognize. Multiple potential toolstone beds with unique properties are present within the formation. This material is referred to as ignimbrite by geologists though some of it has the visual characteristics of obsidian, while other components appear similar to rhyolite. This paper outlines the variation in position, quality, character, and chemistry of the toolstone components of the Rogerson Formation in the Salmon Falls Creek Valley. The recognition and proper identification of these Browns Bench variants may be informative to archaeologists attempting to understand lithic reduction strategies, trade and exchange, and human mobility in the intermountain west.

Cite this Record

An examination of the Browns Bench ignimbrite from the perspective of an archaeologist. Christopher Noll. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 428880)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15910