Camping with Mammoths? Identification of Ivory Fragments at the La Prele Mammoth Site Using Microscopy
Author(s): Molly Herron
This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
While it is well known that Clovis people hunted mammoths (Mammuthus columbi), there are few cases in the Paleoindian record where campsites associated with mammoth remains have been found. The La Prele Mammoth site, located near Douglas, Wyoming, is an approximately 13,000-year-old mammoth kill site with an associated camp. While mammoth remains have been found on site, they have not been identified within the camp area. This may be due to the fragmentary nature of the faunal assemblage, which limits traditional means of morphological identification of taxa. However, based on a preliminary analysis, some of these small fragments may be proboscidean ivory. Here I discuss the identification of material type using microscopy. Under magnification, ivory can be identified by its unique characteristics such as Schreger lines and annual rings. The identification of mammoth remains from the campsite area would support the association of cultural deposits contemporaneous with the mammoth remains at the site. This method could also offer an alternative means to identifying ivory in other sites with fragmentary faunal remains.
Cite this Record
Camping with Mammoths? Identification of Ivory Fragments at the La Prele Mammoth Site Using Microscopy. Molly Herron. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449908)
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Abstract Id(s): 25397