Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Context, Provenance and Technology of a Western Stemmed Tradition Artifact Cache from the Cooper’s Ferry Site, Idaho

  • Loren G. Davis (a1), Alex J. Nyers (a1) and Samuel C. Willis (a2)
Abstract

The discovery of an artifact cache containing Western Stemmed Tradition (WST) projectile points in a clearly defined pit feature at the Cooper’s Ferry site offers a unique perspective on early lithic technology and logistical organization in western North America. A description and analysis of the cache feature reveals several new insights, including: a rocky cairn capped the surface of the pit feature; some of the artifacts were made from cryptocrystalline silicates found 16 km away; debitage analysis, including aggregate and attribute based measures, identified two distinct lithic reduction stages present in the cache; new radiocarbon assays suggest that the cache is probably not early Holocene in age and may date to associated age estimates of 11,410–11,370 radiocarbon years before present (B.P.). Unlike Clovis caches, the Pit Feature A2 cache at Cooper’s Ferry appears to be a generalized toolkit that was probably placed at the site for future use. If the 11,410–11,370 radiocarbon years B.P. assays date the creation of the Pit Feature A2 cache, then its creators were probably not pioneers in the lower Salmon River canyon but possessed local knowledge about the landscape and raw material sources; these patterns suggest greater time depth for WST foragers.

Resumen

El descubrimiento de un depósito de artefactos conteniendo puntas de proyectil en la Tradición de Tallo Occidental (Western Stemmed Tradition) en una fosa claramente definida, en el sitio de Cooper’s Ferry, ofrece una perspectiva única sobre la tecnología lίtica temprana y organización logística en el Occidente de América del Norte. La descripción y el análisis de este depósito revela nuevas manifestaciones, incluyendo: el uso de un cumulo rocoso que cubrió la superficie de la fosa; algunos de los artefactos fueron hechos de silicatos criptocristalinos que se encuentran a 16 km de distancia; análisis de los desechos de talla, incluyendo las medidas basadas en agregados y sus atributos, identificaron dos distintas etapas de reducción lίtica presentes en el acopio. Nuevas fechas por radiocarbono indican que este depósito probablemente no corresponde al Holoceno temprano en antigüedad y bien puede datar a fechas por radiocarbono de entrell, 11,410–11,370 años de radiocarbono antes del presente. A diferencia de depósitos Clovis, el de la fosa A2 en Cooper’s Ferry, parece ser un conjunto de herramientas de uso general que probablemente fue colocado en el sitio para su uso a futuro. Si las fechas 11,410–11,370 años de radiocarbono antes del presente datan la creación del depósito en la fosa A2, entonces los autores probablemente no fueron pioneros en las bajas inmediaciones del cañón del río Salmón (Salmon River canyon), pero poseían un conocimiento particular acerca del paisaje y fuentes de materia primas locales; estos patrones sugieren una mayor antigüedad para los grupos recolectores de la Tradición de Tallo Occidental.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Ahler, Stanley A. 1989 Mass Analysis of Flaking Debris: Studying the Forest Rather Than the Trees. In Alternative Approaches to Lithic Analysis, edited by Donald Henry and George Odell.pp. 85118. Archaeological Papers No. 1. American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.
Ames, Kenneth M. 1988 Early Holocene Forager Mobility Strategies on the Southern Columbia Plateau. In Early Human Occupation in Far Western North America: The Clovis-Archaic Interface, edited by Judith A. Willig, C. Melvin Aikens, and John L. Fagan, pp. 325360. Anthropological Papers No. 21. Nevada State Museum, Carson City.
Ames, Kenneth M., Dumond, Don E., Galm, Jerry R., and Minor, Rick 1998 Prehistory of the Southern Plateau. In Plateau, edited by Deward E. Walker, Jr., pp. 103119. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 12, William C. Sturtevant, general editor. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Ames, Kenneth M., Green, J. P., and Pfoertner, M. 1981 Hatwai (10NP143): Interim Report. Archaeological Reports No. 9. Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.
Amick, Daniel S. 2004 A Possible Ritual Cache of Great Basin Stemmed Bifaces from the Terminal Pleistocene-Early Holocene Occupation of NW Nevada, USA. Lithic Technology 29:119145.
Beck, Charlotte, and Jones, George T. 1997 The Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Archaeology of the Great Basin. Journal of World Prehistory 11:161236.
Beck, Charlotte, and Jones, George T. 2007 Early Paleoarchaic Morphology and Chronology. In Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic? Great Basin Human Ecology at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition, edited by Kelly E. Graf and Dave N. Schmitt, pp. 2341. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Beck, Charlotte, and Jones, George T. 2010 Clovis and Western Stemmed: Population Migration and the Meeting of Two Technologies in the Intermountain West. American Antiquity 75:81116.
Beck, Charlotte, and Jones, George T. 2013 Complexities of the Colonization Process: A View from the North American West. In Paleoamerican Odyssey, edited by Kelly E. Graf, Caroline V. Ketron, and Michael R. Waters, pp. 273293. Center for the Study of the First Americans, College Station, Texas.
Binford, Lewis R. 1979 Organization and Formation Processes: Looking at Curated Technologies. Journal of Anthropological Research 35:255273.
Binford, Lewis R. 1980 Willow Smoke and Dogs’ Tails: Hunter-Gatherer Settlement Systems and Archaeological Site Formation Processes. American Antiquity 45:420.
Bryan, Alan L. 1980 The Stemmed Point Tradition: An Early Technological Tradition in Western North America. In Anthropological Papers in Memory of Earl H. Swanson, Jr., edited by L. Harten, Claude Warren, and Don Tuohy, pp. 77107. Special Publication of the Idaho State University Museum of Natural History, Pocatello.
Bryan, Alan L. 1988 The Relationship of the Stemmed Point and Fluted Point Traditions in the Great Basin. In Early Human Occupation in Far Western North America: The Clovis-Archaic Interface, edited by Judith A. Willig, C. Melvin Aikens, and John L. Fagan, pp. 5374. Anthropological Papers No. 21. Nevada State Museum, Carson City.
Butler, B. Robert 1963 An Early Man Site at Big Camas Prairie, South-Central Idaho. Tebiwa 6:2223.
Butler, B. Robert 1969 The Earlier Cultural Remains at Cooper’s Ferry. Tebiwa 12:3550.
Butler, B. Robert, and Fitzwater, R. J. 1965 A Further Note on the Clovis Site at Big Camas Prairie, South-Central Idaho. Tebiwa 8:3839.
Carlson, Roy L. 1983 The Far West. In Early Man in the New World, edited by Richard Shutler, pp. 7396. Sage Press, London.
Daugherty, Richard D. 1956 Archaeology of the Lind Coulee Site, Washington. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 100:223278.
Davis, Loren G., Nyers, Alex J., and Henry, Jason R. 2014 Radiocarbon Chronology for the Windust-Cascade Phase Transition at the Cooper’s Ferry Site, Idaho. Manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
Davis, Loren G., and Schweger, Charles E. 2004 Geoarchaeological Context of Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Occupation at the Cooper’s Ferry Site, Western Idaho, USA. Geoarchaeology 19:685704.
Davis, Loren G., and Sisson, David A. 1998 An Early Stemmed Point Cache From the Lower Salmon River Canyon of West-Central Idaho. Current Research in the Pleistocene 15:1214.
Davis, Loren G., Willis, Samuel C., and Macfarlan, Shane J. 2012 Lithic Technology, Cultural Transmission, and the Nature of the Far Western Paleoarchaic-Paleoindian Co-Tradition. In Meetings at the Margins: Prehistoric Cultural Interactions in the Intermountain West, edited by David Rhode, pp. 4764. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Dibble, Harold L. 1997 Platform Variability and Flake Morphology: A Comparison of Experimental and Archaeological Data and Implications for Interpreting Prehistoric Lithic Technological Strategies. Lithic Technology 22:150170.
Dibble, Harold L., and Pelcin, Andrew 1995 The Effect of Hammer Mass and Velocity on Flake Mass. Journal of Archaeological Science 22:429439.
Dibble, Harold J., and Rezek, Zeljko 2009 Introducing a New Experimental Design for Exterior Platform Angle, Platform Depth, Angle of Blow, Velocity, and Force. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:19451954.
Dibble, Harold L., and Whittaker, John C. 1981 New Experimental Evidence on the Relation between Percussion Flaking and Flake Variation. Journal of Archaeological Science 6:283296.
Fiedel, Stuart, and Morrow, Juliet 2012 Comment on “Clovis and Western Stemmed: Population Migration and the Meeting of Two Technologies in the Intermountain West” by Charlotte Beck and George T. Jones. American Antiquity 77:376385.
Frison, George C. 1991 Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains. 2nd ed. Academic Press, New York.
Frison, George C., Andrews, R. L., Adovasio, J. M., Carlisle, R. C., and Edgar, Robert 1986 A Late Paleoindian Animal Trapping Net from Northern Wyoming. American Antiquity 51:352361.
Frison, George, and Bradley, Bruce 1999 The Fenn Cache: Clovis Weapons and Tools. One Horse Land and Cattle Company, Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Goebel, Ted, and Keene, Joshua L. 2014 Are Great Basin Stemmed Points as Old as Clovis in the Intermountain West? A Review of the Geochronological Evidence. In Archaeology in the Great Basin and Southwest: Papers in Honor of Don D. Fowler, edited by Nancy Parezo and Joel Janetski, pp. 3560. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Gramly, Richard Michael 1993 The Richey Clovis Cache: Earliest Americans along the Columbia River. Persimmon Press, New York.
Haynes, C. Vance 1964 Fluted Projectile Points: Their Age and Dispersion. Science 145:14081413.
Haynes, C. Vance 1992 C-14 Dating of the Peopling of the New World. In Radiocarbon after Four Decades: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, edited by R. E. Taylor, A. Long, and R. Kra, pp. 503518. Springer Verlag, New York.
Haynes, Gary 2007 Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic? In Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic? Great Basin Human Ecology at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition, edited by Kelly E. Graf and Dave N. Schmidt, pp. 251258. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
Jenkins, Dennis L., Davis, Loren G., Thomas W., Stafford Jr., Campos, Paula F., Connolly, Thomas J., Scott Cummings, Linda, Hofreiter, Michael, Hockett, Bryan, Mc-Donough, Katelyn, Luthe, Ian, O'Grady, Patrick W., Reinhard, Karl J., Swisher, Mark E., White, Frances, Yates, Bonnie, Yohe, II, Yost, Chad , Robert M., and Willerslev, Eske 2013 Geochronology, Archaeological Context, and DNA at the Paisley Caves. In Paleoamerican Odyssey, edited by Kelly E. Graf, Caroline V. Ketron, and Michael R. Waters, pp. 485510. Center for the Study of the First Americans, College Station, Texas.
Jenkins, Dennis L., Davis, Loren G., Stafford, Jr., Campos, Paula F. , Thomas W., Hockett, Bryan, Jones, George T., Scott Cummings, Linda, Yost, Chad, Connolly, Thomas J., Yohe, II, Gibbons, Summer C. , Robert M., Raghavan, Maanasa, Rasmussen, Morten, Paijmans, Johanna L. A., Hofreiter, Michael, Kemp, Brian M., Lynn Barta, Jodi, Monroe, Cara, Thomas, M. Gilbert, P., and Willerslev, Eske 2012 Clovis Age Western Stemmed Projectile Points and Human Coprolites at the Paisley Caves. Science 337:223228.
Jones, S., and Bonnichsen, R. 1994 The Anzick Clovis Burial. Current Research in the Pleistocene 11:4243.
Kilby, J. David, and Huckell, Bruce B. 2013 Clovis Caches: Current Perspectives and Future Directions. In Paleoamerican Odyssey, edited by Kelly E. Graf, Caroline V. Ketron, and Michael R. Waters, pp. 257272. Center for the Study of the First Americans, College Station, Texas.
Lahren, Larry, and Bonnichsen, Robsen 1974 Bone Foreshafts from a Clovis Burial in Southwestern Montana. Science 186:147150.
Leonhardy, Frank. C., and Rice, David G. 1970 A Proposed Culture Typology for the Lower Snake River Region, Southeastern Washington. Northwest Anthropological Research Notes 4(1):129.
Lipo, Carl P., Dunnell, Robert C., O'Brien, Michael J., Harper, Veronica, and Dudgeon, John 2012 Beveled Projectile Points and Ballistics Technology. American Antiquity 77:774788.
Loud, Llewellyn, and Harrington, M. R. 1929 Lovelock Cave. Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology Vol. 25, No 1. University of California, Berkeley.
Lyman, R. Lee, O'Brien, Michael J., and Hayes, Virgil 1998 A Mechanical and Functional Study of Bone Rods from the Richey-Roberts Clovis Cache, Washington, USA. Journal of Archaeological Science 25:887906.
Maley, Terry S. 1987 Exploring Idaho Geology. Mineral Land Publications, Boise, Idaho.
Mehringer, P. J. Jr. 1988 Weapons Cache of Ancient Americans. National Geographic 174:500503.
Muto, Guy R. 1971 A Stage Analysis of the Manufacture of Chipped Stone Implements. In Great Basin Anthropological Conference 1970: Selected Papers, edited by C. Melvin Aikens,pp. 109117. Anthropological Papers No. 1. University of Oregon, Eugene.
Nyers, Alex J. 2013 A Provenance Study of Crypto-Crystalline Silicates at the Cooper's Ferry Site: A Geochemical Approach. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, Oregon State University, Corvallis.
Odell, George H. 1989 Experiments in Lithic Reduction. In Experiments in Lithic Technology, edited by D. S. Amick and R. P. Mauldin, pp. 163198. BAR International Series 528. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
Owsley, Douglas W., and Hunt, David R. 2001 Clovis and Early Archaic Period Crania from the Anzick Site (24PA506), Park County, Montana. Plains Anthropologist 46:115121.
Pelcin, Andrew W. 1997 The Effect of Core Surface Morphology on Flake Attributes: Evidence from a Controlled Experiment. Journal of Archaeological Science 24:749756.
Roosevelt, A. C., Douglas, John, and Brown, Linda 2002 The Migrations and Adaptations of the First Americans: Clovis and Pre-Clovis Viewed from South America. In The First Americans: The Pleistocene Colonization of the New World, edited by Nina G. Jablonski, pp. 159236. Memoir No. 27. California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco.
SAS Institute 2012 JMP 10 Modeling and Multivariate Methods. SAS Institute, Cary, North Carolina.
Schiffer, Michael B. 1987 Formation Processes of the Archaeological Record. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Speth, John D. 1981 The Role of Platform Angle and Core in Hand Hard-Hammer Percussion Flaking. Lithic Technology 10:1621.
Tomka, Steven A. 1989 Differentiating Lithic Reduction Techniques: An Experimental Approach. In Experiments in Lithic Technology, edited by D. S. Amick and R. P. Mauldin, pp. 137162. BAR International Series 528. British Archaeological Reports, Oxford.
Wilke, Phillip J., Jeffrey Flenniken, J., and Ozbun, Terry L. 1991 Clovis Technology at the Anzick Site, Montana. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 13:242272.
Wilke, Philip J., and McDonald, M. 1989 Prehistoric Use of Rock-Lined Cache Pits: California Deserts and Southwest. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 11:5073.
Woods, James C., and Titmus, Gene L. 1985 A Review of the Simon Clovis Collection. Idaho Archaeologist 8:38.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed