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Characterizing Hunter-Gatherer Ground Stone Bedrock Features in the Northeastern Chihuahuan Desert

Author(s): Amanda M. Castañeda

Year: 2017

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Ground stone bedrock features are common at archaeological sites in the Lower Pecos Canyonlands of southwest Texas. These features are human-made depressions pecked, ground, or worn into bedrock or large boulders, and were used for a variety of processing activities by the indigenous peoples. Although archaeologists in the region have informally recognized different "types" of ground stone bedrock features (e.g., slicks, grinding facets, deep mortars), there have been no dedicated studies of bedrock features. Due to their widespread occurrence in the region, bedrock features represent an untapped research avenue regarding the lifeways of Lower Pecos hunter-gatherers. Therefore, to gain a better understanding of these features, 824 bedrock features were mapped, documented, and analyzed at ten sites across the Lower Pecos. Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry was utilized to map the bedrock features and provide high resolution three-dimensional data to gather metric measurements. Statistical analyses were employed to characterize the range of bedrock feature variation. This paper discusses the potential implications of bedrock feature morphological variation and explores the role(s) these features played in Lower Pecos hunter-gatherer lifeways.

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Characterizing Hunter-Gatherer Ground Stone Bedrock Features in the Northeastern Chihuahuan Desert. Amanda M. Castañeda. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431796)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17401

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