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The Use and Travels of Red Munsungun Chert: The Early Social Significance of a Northern New England Quarry

Author(s): Nathaniel Kitchel

Year: 2017

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Summary

Red Munsungun chert from northern Maine has long been recognized as an important lithic raw material during the fluted point period of New England. Building upon this observation, recent lithic sourcing efforts using visual and XRF geochemical techniques, have demonstrated that this material is virtually ubiquitous in fluted point sites from the region. This same study also shows that red Munsungun chert is transported over longer distances than other raw materials commonly used at this time. Such patterns of use suggest that red Munsungun chert was more highly prized than other tool stone sources commonly used by the earliest peoples of this region. Such differences indicate that this tool stone, and consequently the quarry location from which it was obtained, held social significance for these first groups beyond simple utilitarian applications. These patterns demonstrate that these early populations were already highly knowledgeable of their environment having embedded landscape features, including the quarry location of red Munsungun chert, within webs of social meaning.


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The Use and Travels of Red Munsungun Chert: The Early Social Significance of a Northern New England Quarry. Nathaniel Kitchel. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429702)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15127

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