Lithics and the Late Prehistoric: Changing Adaptive Strategies on the Southeastern Columbia Plateau

Author(s): Kathryn Harris

Year: 2017


How do people adapt to the changing natural and social environment of the late prehistoric (3,000 B.P. to historic), Columbia Plateau? By interacting and learning from one another, and by adapting their technology. Though frequently characterized as a homogenous culture area over the past 3,000 years, previous analyses show differences in artifact form, assemblage composition and household features. This project traces these changes through the stone tools of the archaeological record. Research questions include: can the cultural learning and adaptive strategies of late prehistoric cultural groups be identified in the diachronic and spatial variability of southeastern Columbia Plateau projectile points? And, how does obsidian procurement reflect changing cultural interactions and exchange networks in the southeastern Columbia Plateau over the last 3,000 years? Using concepts from evolutionary and social network theories, this project employs obsidian provenience sourcing and the morphometric analysis of projectile points to trace the ways people dealt with these pressures through shifting adaptive strategies and increased intergroup interaction. Ultimately, I consider the universally important question of how and why cultures interact and change through time; and the particularly important question of how the indigenous inhabitants of the Columbia Plateau came to establish the significant Ethnographic Pattern lifeway.

Cite this Record

Lithics and the Late Prehistoric: Changing Adaptive Strategies on the Southeastern Columbia Plateau. Kathryn Harris. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429137)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -122.168; min lat: 42.131 ; max long: -113.028; max lat: 49.383 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16160