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RADIOCARBON DATING OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSITIONS: FROM ATLATL TO BOW IN NORTHWESTERN SUBARCTIC CANADA

Author(s): Brigid Grund

Year: 2017

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Summary

Prehistoric archaeologists traditionally focus on periods of stability rather than change when constructing regional cultural chronologies, even though explaining periods of change is equally if not more important than explaining periods of stability. The advent of large radiocarbon date databases and the proliferation of open source computing programs such as program R have recently provided archaeologists with the tools necessary to begin understanding prehistoric transitions with high chronological precision. In this study, I employ Markov-Chain Monte Carlo procedures, Bayesian statistical theory, Program R, R’s Bchron package, and IntCal13 to calculate the optimal number of dates required on atlatl and bow technology to adequately date this transition. Further analysis compares a subset of previously published radiocarbon dates on diagnostic atlatl and bow technologies collected from ice patches in the northwestern Canadian subarctic to thousands of runs of computer generated models in order to determine whether bow and atlatl technology overlapped for a significant amount of time in prehistory, and for how many years of actual calendric time they overlapped. Analyses such as this one open the door to explaining why and how technological transitions occured within and between prehistoric groups.


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RADIOCARBON DATING OF TECHNOLOGICAL TRANSITIONS: FROM ATLATL TO BOW IN NORTHWESTERN SUBARCTIC CANADA. Brigid Grund. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430695)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 13265

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