Beyond the Points: Sociocultural Complexity Revealed by Non-Hunting Artifacts from Melting Ice Patches in the High Alpine, Greater Yellowstone Area, USA
The recovery of chipped stone projectile points, bows, dart and arrow foreshafts and shafts, and the remains of prey species—notably bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis)—in direct association with melting Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) ice patches illustrates that hunting was a primary activity for Native Americans at these features. The recovery of other, non-hunting related, types of organic artifacts at ice patches suggests a broader utilization of the alpine environment. Although fewer in number, these artifacts bolster the contention that the alpine archaeological record reflects repeated occupations by family units—or still larger groups—taking advantage of a seasonally enriched biome. Artifacts that will be discussed include cordage made from hair (undated), a ca. 1375 cal BP twisted object made of wapiti (Cervus elephus) hide, several wood objects of uncertain function ranging in age between ca. 6200 cal BP and 1370 cal BP, and a ca. 1340 cal BP basket/tray made of willow (Salix sp.). In concert with a growing appreciation for the robust, increasingly well-documented chipped stone record from non-ice patch areas within the GYA alpine, the non-hunting artifacts recovered at ice patches provide an important avenue for understanding how Native peoples integrated with these ecosystems.
Cite this Record
Beyond the Points: Sociocultural Complexity Revealed by Non-Hunting Artifacts from Melting Ice Patches in the High Alpine, Greater Yellowstone Area, USA. Craig Lee, Pei-Lin Yu, Edward Jolie, Kathy Puseman, Halcyon LaPoint. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442874)
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min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21378