Archaic Period Obsidian Use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: The 48PA551 Assemblage in Regional Context
This is an abstract from the "New Multidisciplinary Research at 48PA551: A Middle Archaic (McKean Complex) Site in Northwest Wyoming" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
In comparison to other Archaic sites in the eastern portions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), the Dead Indian Creek site (48PA551) has an unusually high number of obsidian projectile points (N=29). Geochemical source characterization of 23 of the 48PA551 obsidian points suggests that not only was the use of obsidian by Middle Archaic occupants of the site regionally anomalous in terms of frequency of use, but also in source selection. In this poster, we use a large sample of sourced obsidian from montane sites in the eastern and northern GYE to provide a regional baseline for examination of the 48PA551 assemblage. In the higher elevations of the Absaroka Mountains to the south of 48PA551, Lava Creek Tuff makes up just 2.0% (N=23/1087) of the sourced assemblage of obsidian. In contrast, 56.5% (N=13/23) of the Middle Archaic obsidian points from 48PA551 are sourced to Lava Creek Tuff. This suggests a vital pathway for people across the northern Absarokas and south through the Yellowstone Plateau from Lava Creek Tuff to 48PA551 during the Middle Archaic. It also suggests that cultural and social connections between the northern and southern Absarokas during this period may not have been particularly robust.
Cite this Record
Archaic Period Obsidian Use in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: The 48PA551 Assemblage in Regional Context. Lawrence Todd, Rachel Reckin. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 450825)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Abstract Id(s): 24809