Decoding Knudson’s Flintknappers: A 3D Model Analysis of the Plainview Bison Kill Projectile Points

Author(s): Stance Hurst; Eileen Johnson

Year: 2021


This is an abstract from the "Paleo Lithics to Legacy Management: Ruthann Knudson—Inawa’sioskitsipaki" session, at the 86th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Excavated in the mid-1940s, the Plainview site on the Southern High Plains generated considerable interest and continues to do so today. After hours spent illustrating each flake scar of the Plainview (41HA1) bison kill site’s lithic assemblage, Knudson stated in her 1973 dissertation that “perhaps only one and at the most two individuals made these tools.” To further examine this observation as a hypothesis, 3D models were made using photogrammetry of the Plainview type projectile points. Twenty of the 28 Plainview projectile points Knudson examined were available for this research. The other eight had been from local collectors. Analysis of the 3D projectile point models focused on flake scar size, orientation, and overall patterning. These data then were compared with 3D models made of Plainview projectile points from the Warnica-Wilson Plainview campsite located near Portales, New Mexico. Greater variation might be expected in a camp assemblage vs. a kill assemblage. Results suggested that 3D models have the potential to quantify the number of flintknappers responsible for projectile point manufacture. A focus on individual variation within Plainview lithic assemblages also appeared to have the potential to delineate the Plainview projectile point type better—a notorious problem for Paleoindian scholars.

Cite this Record

Decoding Knudson’s Flintknappers: A 3D Model Analysis of the Plainview Bison Kill Projectile Points. Stance Hurst, Eileen Johnson. Presented at The 86th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. 2021 ( tDAR id: 466502)

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 30899