Whole Assemblage Behavioral Indicators: Expectations and Inferences from Surface and Excavated Records at Elandsfontein, South Africa
Large scale surface surveys represent singular insights into the landscape scale variation in behaviors. Detailed investigations of the spatial distribution of artifacts across large spatial extents allow archaeologists to investigate a landscape as a single site. Surface assemblages have the advantage of large sample sizes and large aerial extents. However, biases associated with the formation processes of surface assemblages often undermine our confidence in the behavioral inferences derived from these records. Here we investigate patterns of behavior recorded in several whole assemblage behavioral indicators for seven assemblages recovered from the Acheulean dunefield site of Elandsfontein (800 ka -1 Ma) from the Western Cape in South Africa. Large surface and excavated assemblages of stone artifacts from similar locations allow us to investigate the impact of deflation processes on behavioral inferences. We use agent based models to develop expectations about the spatial variation in behaviors across this ancient landscape. Results suggest that the processes that created deflated surface assemblages have varied impacts on whole assemblage behavioral indicators. Some of these proxies of behavior appear to provide faithful representations of patterns derived from excavated assemblages. We compare these behavioral inferences to contextual data collected from excavated contexts.
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Whole Assemblage Behavioral Indicators: Expectations and Inferences from Surface and Excavated Records at Elandsfontein, South Africa. David Braun, Matthew Douglass, Benjamin Davies, Jonathan Reeves. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444614)
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min long: 9.58; min lat: -35.461 ; max long: 57.041; max lat: 4.565 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22553