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PART IV 213 The Lange/Ferguson site affords a rare snapshot in time detailing early Paleo-Indian interactions with now-extinct megamammals nearly 13,000 years ago. Moreover, the site provides a singular view of the dynamic, transitional environment during the terminal Pleistocene and evidence of a proboscidean bone tool technology attributable to the area’s Clovis inhabitants. The site includes the remains of one adult and one juvenile mammoth—likely a cow and calf pair—that perished at the edge of a small, spring-fed pond. The animals were subsequently butchered utilizing a set of expedient tools fashioned from bone elements of both the juvenile and the adult. The bone tools and their flaking detritus were discovered in association with a small suite of lithic tools, three of which are projectile points that are Clovis in technological affiliation. Paleoenvironmental Setting The highly erodible badlands landscape reflected today in the Lange Creek Valley contrasts sharply with the setting in which Clovis hunters butchered the two mammoths nearly 13 millennia ago. Multidisciplinary investigations incorporating the study of pollen and phytoliths (Grimm and Fredlund, chapter 2, this volume), geology and geomorphology (C. V. Haynes, chapter 3, this volume), diatoms and ostracodes (Palacios-Fest, chapter 4, this volume ), mollusks (Leonard, chapter 5, this volume), and vertebrate paleontology (Martin 1983, 1984, 1987) have generated a clearer picture of the immediate site environment during the time of Clovis occupation. The stratigraphic framework of Lange Creek Valley consists of Quaternary units A–K overlying Oligocene White River Group bedrock (see C. V. Haynes, chapter 3, this volume). The most critical of these units—those that provide a clearer understanding of the Clovis/mammoth interactions at the site—are Strata B and C. About 1,000 years prior to the butchering event, the floor of Lange Creek Valley in the immediate site area was a shallow, bowl-shaped pond (Substratum B2) fed by an active, cauldron-type spring (Substratum B3). Based on the radiocarbon data, C. V. Haynes (chapter 3, this volume ) interprets the Substratum B2 pond sediments to have aggraded by about 12,000 14 C yr BP. From this point, the spring that fed the pond (Substratum B3) remained active for nearly a millennium, or until shortly before the two mammoths arrived prior to 11,000 14 C yr BP (13,000 cal yr BP). The presence of the two mammoths at the site is secured chronologically by the acquisition of XAD-purified collagen ages of 10,710±130 14 C yr BP and 11,110±40 14 C yr BP from mammoth bone (UCIAMS-11344 and UCIAMS-11345). The average of the two ages is 11,078±39 14 C yr BP, which equates to an age range of 13,060–12,815 cal yr BP at 95.4 percent probability. By this time, spring discharge had waned and the earlier pond deposits making up Substratum B2 had solidified (see C. V. Haynes, chapter 3, this volume). Crossing the dried-up deposits of Substratum B2, the mammoths entered the reworked pond and spring deposits of Substratum B3, partially sank, and perished. Because the mammoth remains were discovered in Substratum B3, and because Substratum B3 is inset in Substratum B2, the mammoths postdate aggradation of Stratum B. In addition to the mammoth remains, the reworked pond and spring deposits (Substratum B3) also harbored the molluscan (table 25) and vertebrate (table 26) faunal assemblages analyzed by Leonard (chapter 5, this volume) and Martin (1983, 1984, 1987). The fauna found in these studies overwhelmingly favor slightly cooler and more As any archaeologist will tell you. . . . You try to see what the ruin meant to whoever inhabited it and, if you are lucky, you see a little way backward into time. Loren Eiseley (1975:217) Summary and Conclusions chapter thirteen L. Adrien Hannus 214 Chapter Thirteen mesic environmental conditions than those that currently prevail in the region (fig. 150). The presence of muskrats, water snakes, small minnows, and frogs indicates permanent , low-energy aquatic environments (Martin 1987:328); most of the vertebrate fauna identified prefer wooded wetlands. Mollusks recovered include aquatic-adapted, woodland-adapted, and woodland/grassland-tolerant species (see Leonard, chapter 5, this volume). These findings support the results of the vertebrate faunal analysis and argue that at the time the mammoths arrived, the pond likely existed in a wooded or partially wooded fen-type environment. It is probable that although spring discharge had waned, the pond had not entirely dried up. A radiocarbon age of 11...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781623495930
Related ISBN
9781623495923
MARC Record
OCLC
1031090235
Pages
262
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-16
Language
English
Open Access
No
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