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Peopling of the Americas Publications Series

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Peopling of the Americas Publications Series

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Arch Lake Woman

Physical Anthropology and Geoarchaeology

Douglas W. Owsley, Margaret A. Jodry, Thomas W. Stafford Jr., C. Vance Haynes Jr., and Dennis J. Stafford, et al

The Arch Lake human burial site, discovered in 1967 in eastern New Mexico, contains the third-oldest known remains in North America. Since its original excavation and removal to Eastern New Mexico University’s Blackwater Draw Museum, the 10,000 radiocarbon-year-old burial has been known only locally. In February 2000 an interdisciplinary team led by Douglas W. Owsley reexamined the osteology, geology, archaeology, and radiocarbon dating of the burial. In this first volume in Peopling of the Americas Publications—released by Texas A&M University Press for the Center for the Study of the First Americans—Arch Lake Woman presents the results of this recent analysis of the skeleton and site. In addition to color and black-and-white illustrations, Arch Lake Woman includes extensive tables describing the team’s discoveries and comparing their results with those of other ancient burials.

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Clovis Lithic Technology

Investigation of a Stratified Workshop at the Gault Site, Texas

Edited by Michael R. Waters, Charlotte D. Pevny, and David L. Carlson

Some 13,000 years ago, humans were drawn repeatedly to a small valley in what is now Central Texas, near the banks of Buttermilk Creek. These early hunter-gatherers camped, collected stone, and shaped it into a variety of tools they needed to hunt game, process food, and subsist in the Texas wilderness. Their toolkit included bifaces, blades, and deadly spear points. Where they worked, they left thousands of pieces of debris, which have allowed archaeologists to reconstruct their methods of tool production. Along with the faunal material that was also discarded in their prehistoric campsite, these stone, or lithic, artifacts afford a glimpse of human life at the end of the last ice age during an era referred to as Clovis. The area where these people roamed and camped, called the Gault site, is one of the most important Clovis sites in North America. A decade ago a team from Texas A&M University excavated a single area of the site—formally named Excavation Area 8, but informally dubbed the Lindsey Pit—which features the densest concentration of Clovis artifacts and the clearest stratigraphy at the Gault site. Some 67,000 lithic artifacts were recovered during fieldwork, along with 5,700 pieces of faunal material. In a thorough synthesis of the evidence from this prehistoric “workshop,” Michael R. Waters and his coauthors provide the technical data needed to interpret and compare this site with other sites from the same period, illuminating the story of Clovis people in the Buttermilk Creek Valley.

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From the Yenisei to the Yukon

Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Beringia

Edited by Ted Goebel and Ian Buvit

Who were the first people who came to the land bridge joining northeastern Asia to Alaska and the northwest of North America? Where did they come from? How did they organize technology, especially in the context of settlement behavior?     During the Pleistocene era, the people now known as Beringians dispersed across the varied landscapes of late-glacial northeast Asia and northwest North America.   The twenty chapters gathered in this volume explore, in addition to the questions posed above, how Beringians adapted in response to climate and environmental changes. They share a focus on the significance of the modern-human inhabitants of the region. By examining and analyzing lithic artifacts, geoarchaeological evidence, zooarchaeological data, and archaeological features, these studies offer important interpretations of the variability to be found in the early material culture the first Beringians.   The scholars contributing to this work consider the region from Lake Baikal in the west to southern British Columbia in the east. Through a technological-organization approach, this volume permits investigation of the evolutionary process of adaptation as well as the historical processes of migration and cultural transmission. The result is a closer understanding of how humans adapted to the diverse and unique conditions of the late Pleistocene.

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