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Ceremonial Artifact Breakage in the Archaic Period of Eastern North America

Author(s): Kyle Forsythe

Year: 2017

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Intentional breakage of artifacts proliferates throughout the archaeological record in Eastern North America. Using the case of a Middle Archaic site (ca. 5000-4500 B.P.) from Ontario, this paper seeks to examine and compare the strategies for purposely damaging artifacts, with focus placed on gaining insight into motivations for breakage. Through the refitting of artifact fragments it is possible to identify when breakage was intentional and implemented for purposes beyond subsistence activities. Similar patterns found in the experimental breakage of reproduction artifacts offer novel perspectives into the social conceptions of tools for Archaic hunter-gatherers.

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Ceremonial Artifact Breakage in the Archaic Period of Eastern North America. Kyle Forsythe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429213)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16582

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