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Low Impact, High Resolution: Unraveling and Learning from 10,000 Years of Hunter-Gatherer Use of Eagle Cave

Author(s): Charles Koenig ; Stephen Black

Year: 2017

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On the northeast fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert, one of the largest rockshelters in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands, Eagle Cave, preserves an extraordinary record of hunter-gatherer life spanning more than 10,000 years. Ongoing investigations by the Ancient Southwest Texas Project of Texas State University beginning winter of 2015 have re-excavated a 4-meter deep trench through the center of this massive rockshelter in order to document and sample complex stratigraphy and to stabilize and backfill archaeological units left open in 1963. Spanning 13 field months, we have used continuous Structure from Motion 3D mapping as our primary documentation method while employing microstratigraphic excavation techniques and rigorous multidisciplinary sampling led by geoarchaeology to explore Archaic and Late Prehistoric features such as shallow pits, earth oven beds, and latrines. We have also sampled Paleoindian deposits containing surface hearths, butchered bison bone, decomposing fiber beds, and mammoth remains. This presentation summarizes our methodological approach and field interpretations and highlights the site restoration effort as well as ongoing analyses from the 2015-2017 Eagle Cave investigations.

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Low Impact, High Resolution: Unraveling and Learning from 10,000 Years of Hunter-Gatherer Use of Eagle Cave. Charles Koenig, Stephen Black. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431791)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15320

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