Multidisciplinary Analyses of a Paleoindian Bison Butchering Event in Eagle Cave


From its inception, a major objective of the Ancient Southwest Texas (ASWT) project has been to investigate the potential for Paleoindian-age deposits in Eagle Cave. Previously, the oldest dated deposit in the shelter was a zone of dense charcoal and decomposing fiber designated "Lens 14" and dated to about 8500 RCYBP by University of Texas investigations in the 1960s. These excavations terminated beneath Lens 14 at "Zone 6," a stratum described as "sterile yellow cave dust." During the 2016 ASWT field season, excavations through and beyond Zone 6 shortly exposed a discrete layer of scattered, fractured, cut, and burned bison bones. Decomposing plant remains, debitage, and chipped stone tools were interspersed among the bones, and an associated surface hearth contained charcoal, ash, and charred bone. Collectively these materials appear to represent an isolated bison processing event, possibly related to Paleoindian-age bison jump events at Bonfire Shelter, upstream in the same box canyon. We discuss this unique Paleoindian assemblage and interpretations gleaned from ongoing spatial, faunal, macrobotanical, and chipped stone analyses.

Cite this Record

Multidisciplinary Analyses of a Paleoindian Bison Butchering Event in Eagle Cave. Kevin Hanselka, Amanda M. Castañeda, Christopher Jurgens, Charles W. Koenig, Stephen L. Black. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431801)


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16572