Dating the Emergence and Decline of Middle Woodland Blade Technology

Author(s): G. Logan Miller

Year: 2018


Prepared core and blade industries emerge in various times and places throughout the prehistory of North America. One of these is in association with the Hopewell phenomenon of the Eastern Woodlands. As such, they are often recognized as a Middle Woodland "index fossil" and a key materialized indication of Hopewell ceremonialism. However, few formal tests of their occurrence across space and time exist. Drawing on published reports, as well as an extensive review of the unpublished gray literature, I present a Bayesian analysis of radiocarbon dated, bladelet-bearing features from across Ohio. Results are not crystal clear but do provide insight into previously unrecognized temporal variation in this element of Hopewell material culture. The most likely current scenario indicates that bladelets occur earliest in southern and central Ohio before subsequently spreading north to the Lake Erie region. There is strong evidence that interactions between groups in Ohio and the Illinois River Valley served as a catalyst for the spread of blades and potentially further elements of Hopewell ceremonialism.

Cite this Record

Dating the Emergence and Decline of Middle Woodland Blade Technology. G. Logan Miller. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443445)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22224