From the Continental Divide to the Plains-Woodland Border: Clovis and Folsom/Midland Land Use and Lithic Procurement

by Brendon Patrick Asher

Institution: University of Kansas
Year: 2015
Keywords: Archaeology; Chipped Stone; Clovis; Folsom; Lithic Procurement; Midland; Pleistocene
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2067313
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/1808/21705


The terminal Pleistocene represents a dynamic period of environmental flux and resultant extirpation, extinction, and reorganization of biotic communities. Assessment of Clovis and Folsom/Midland artifacts offers an opportunity to address human response to these changing conditions. Clovis sites range in age from ca. 11,590-10,800 RCYBP (13,550-12,850 CALBP) with Folsom technology well expressed from ca. 10,800-10,200 RCYBP (12,800-11,700 CALBP). Although firm radiocarbon assessments of Midland sites are largely lacking, it is suggested Midland technology is a different expression of the same organizational system as Folsom groups. This research outlines environmental change during this dynamic period and develops models of diverse land use strategies between Clovis and Folsom/Midland groups. It is suggested that a small change in adaptive systems can result in noticeable differences in the archaeological record when compounded through redundant activity and time. This change is in part attributed to shifting ecosystems and resource availability of the terminal Pleistocene. Spatial patterning in Clovis and Folsom/Midland artifact distributions, particularly projectile points, preforms, and channel flakes is addressed at a variety of analytical scales in this research. Private artifact collections and isolated artifact discoveries from the Continental Divide of Colorado to the eastern Kansas border are used to characterize Clovis and Folsom/Midland land use and lithic procurement across the Central Great Plains. This research demonstrates that Clovis and Folsom/Midland artifact distributions are not homogenous across the study region, and are influenced by a variety of factors including ground surface visibility and geomorphic filtering, artifact collector activity and research intensity, and diverse land use and resource procurement strategies between Clovis and Folsom/Midland groups. Advisors/Committee Members: Hofman, Jack L (advisor), Holen, Steven R (cmtemember), Sellet, Frederic (cmtemember), Olsen, Sandra L (cmtemember), Mandel, Rolfe D (cmtemember).