Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Third Dimension in Site Structure: An Experiment in Trampling and Vertical Dispersal

  • Diane P. Gifford-Gonzalez (a1), David B. Damrosch (a1), Debra R. Damrosch (a1), John Pryor (a1) and Robert L. Thunen (a1)...

Two measured and weighed assemblages of lithic debitage were subjected to human treadage, one set on a compact sandy silt (“loam”) substrate, the other on unconsolidated sand. The assemblages were excavated, plotted in three dimensions, and documented for damage. Downward migration of pieces at the loam site was minimal: fracture of small pieces was the dominant damage pattern. Most sand site pieces migrated to 3-8 cm depth; vertical distribution of pieces approximated a normal curve, and edge-damage to larger pieces was the dominant damage pattern. Vertical distribution of artifacts at the sand site approximated a pattern observed in two other trampling experiments and a number of archaeological occurrences. Factors influencing these distributions are discussed.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

N. E. Barton , and C. A. Bergman 1982 Hunters at Hengistbury: Some Evidence from Experimental Archaeology. World Archaeology 14: 237248.

H. Bunn , J. W. K. Harris , G. Isaac , Z. Kaufulu , E. Kroll , K. Schick , N. Toth , and A. K. Behrensmeyer 1980 Fxjj50: An Early Pleistocene Site in Northern Kenya. World Archaeology 12: 109136.

K. Butzer 1982 Archaeology as Human Ecology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

D. Cahen , and J. Moeyersons 1977 Subsurface Movements of Stone Artefacts and Their Implications for the Prehistory of Central Africa. Nature 266: 812815.

D. Cahen , L. H. Keeley , and F. L. Van Noten 1979 Stone Tools, Tool Kits, and Human Behavior in Prehistory. Current Anthropology 20: 661683.

J. Courtin , and P. Villa 1982 Une Experience de Pietinement. Bulletin de la Societe Prehistorique Francaise 79: 117123.

D. P. Gif Ford , and A. K. Behrensmeyer 1977 Observed Formation and Burial of a Recent Human Occupation Site in Kenya. Quaternary Research 8: 245266.

S. Limbrey 1975 Soil Science and Archaeology. Academic Press, London.

J. Moeyersons 1978 The Behaviour of Stones and Stone Implements, Buried in Consolidating and Creeping Kalahari Sands. Earth Surface Processes 3: 115128.

P. Rolfsen 1980 Disturbance of Archaeological Layers by Processes in the Soil. Norwegian Archaeological Review 13: 110118.

R. M. Rowlett , and M. C. Robbins 1982 Estimating Original Assemblage Content to Adjust for Post-depositional Vertical Artifact Movement. World Archaeology 14: 7383.

M. B. Schiffer 1982 Toward the Identification of Formation Processes. American Antiquity 48: 675706.

A. Siirianen 1977 Rockshelters and Vertical Movement. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 43: 349353.

R. Tringham , G. Cooper , G. Odell , B. Voytek , and A. Whitman 1974 Experimentation in the Formation of Edge Damage: A New Approach to Lithic Analysis. Journal of Field Archaeology 1: 171196.

P. Villa 1982 Conjoinable Pieces and Site Formation Processes. American Antiquity 47: 276290.

P. Villa , and J. Courtin 1983 The Interpretation of Stratified Sites: A View from Underground. Journal of Archaeological Science 10: 267281.

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? *


Abstract views

Total abstract views: 44 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between 20th January 2017 - 27th April 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.