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Paleoindian Exploitation of Mammals in Eastern Washington State

  • R. Lee Lyman (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Eleven mammalian archaeofaunas associated with the Western Stemmed Point Tradition (WSPT) in the Columbia Basin of intermontane northwestern North America and recovered from eastern Washington State suggest that local Paleoindians were variable in subsistence pursuits. The 11 faunas are strongly if imperfectly nested taxonomically, suggesting that they all derived from the same metacommunity. Taxonomic abundances evidenced by several faunas indicate a focus on large mammals (>25 kg body weight), others indicate a focus on small mammals (<5 kg body weight), and still others indicate generalized exploitation of a diverse array of mammalian body sizes. Early WSPT assemblages point to a broad diet, whereas late WSPT assemblages show a focus on artiodactyls. Middle and late Holocene mammalian faunas from the same and nearby areas indicate that Archaic-stage subsistence was more focused on large mammals than local early Paleoindian adaptations. The traditional model that specialized big-game-hunting Paleoindians were followed chronologically by more generalized or broad-spectrum adaptations of the Archaic is not supported in the Columbia Basin.

Resumen

Once restos de animales mamíferos en buen estado y asociados con la cultura Paleoindia, conocida en inglés como the Western Stemmed Point Tradition (WSPT) en la cuenca del rio Columbia, rio que se interconecta desde el noroeste de América del Norte y que pasa por el estado este de Washington, sugiere que las actividades de subsistencia fueron muy variables en los nativos Paleoindios. Las once faunas fuertemente imperfectas, y pobremente organizadas taxonómicamente, sugieren que todos ellos provienen de la misma comunidad local o meta comunidad. Las abundantes taxonomías encontradas, son evidencia de la existencia y concentración en la fauna de grandes mamíferos no mayores de 25 kg de peso, otros indican una concentración de pequeños mamíferos de menos de 5 kg de peso, y se encuentran otros que indican una explotación generalizada de una gran variedad de mamíferos de diversos tamaños. En los primeros años del WSPT los restos mamíferos encontrados indican que llevaban una amplia dieta, mientras que los restos encontrados más tarde indican una amplia concentración de artiodáctilos. En la mitad y a finales del periodo holoceno la fauna mamífera de la misma área y áreas cercanas indican niveles arcaicos de subsistencia, la cual estaba más enfocada en los grandes mamíferos que en los primeros Paleoindios y su adaptación. El modelo tradicional que los Paleoindios utilizaron fue la cacería de caza mayor, es decir de grandes animales, este fue seguido cronológicamente por una más generalizada y amplia variedad de adaptaciones durante el periodo arcaico, evidencia que no fue basada en lo encontrado en la cuenca del Columbia.

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