Exploring the Age of Western Stemmed Points at the Nials Site, Harney Basin, Oregon

Author(s): Jordan Pratt; Ted Goebel

Year: 2018


First American archaeologists are increasingly interested in the relationship between Western stemmed point technology (WST) and other Paleoindian lithic technologies, including Clovis. While there is some evidence of WST dating as early as 14,000 14C years before present, most sites lack reliable geoarchaeological and geochronological evidence. In the late 1990s and early 2000s the University of Nevada Reno excavated several stratified open-air WST sites in Oregon along the southern shoreline of Harney Lake, including the Weed Lake Ditch, Biting Fly, and Nials sites. The research presented here focuses on Nials (35HA2828), from which over 33,000 debitage pieces and 76 stone tools, including two crescents and five stemmed points, were recovered in situ. Initial attempts to radiocarbon date the cultural layer failed, therefore the Center for the Study of the First Americans returned to the site in 2017 with the goal of establishing its age, as well as describing and interpreting the geoarchaeological and lithic materials. This recent excavation recovered further lithic and faunal samples, as well as materials for both AMS Radiocarbon and optically stimulated luminescence dating. Additionally, lithic technological attributes and ArcGIS 3D Analyst were utilized in analysis, allowing us to more clearly understand WST in Oregon.

Cite this Record

Exploring the Age of Western Stemmed Points at the Nials Site, Harney Basin, Oregon. Jordan Pratt, Ted Goebel. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443215)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22530