Exploring Artifact Trampling at an Early Paleoindian Campsite

Author(s): Ian Beggen; Joseph A. M. Gingerich

Year: 2017


Taphonomic processes such as trampling can have a major impact on the interpretation of site formation, artifact distribution, and use-wear analyses. This poster presents a preliminary spatial and lithic analysis of artifacts from the Shawnee-Minisink Paleoindian site in Pennsylvania, USA. Using a high resolution point-provenience database of Paleoindian artifacts, possible trampling damage is mapped and analyzed in order to distinguish if high foot traffic areas exist at Shawnee-Minisink, such as between hearths or zones of specialized activities. Trampling of lithic debris by human activity can be difficult to assess in the archaeological record. Evidence of trampling, however, is explored through multiple assessments: the vertical distributions of artifacts, the horizontal dispersion of different artifact types and sizes, and an analysis of artifact edge damage. Graphical displays of damaged artifacts and distinct spatial distributions allow for a better interpretation of activity areas and site occupation. In combining artifact metrics, artifact edge damage, and the spatial distributions artifacts we expect to identify incidents of cultural disturbance at Shawnee-Minisink. These data contribute to a larger body of spatial analysis research aimed at better understanding the occupation of mobile hunter-gatherer campsites.

Cite this Record

Exploring Artifact Trampling at an Early Paleoindian Campsite. Ian Beggen, Joseph A. M. Gingerich. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 432097)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -84.067; min lat: 36.031 ; max long: -72.026; max lat: 43.325 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16305