Date of Graduation

5-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Marvin Kay

Committee Member

Jesse Casana

Second Committee Member

Walter Manger

Abstract

Toolstone use in the Ozark Mountains is a reactionary process reliant on how the landscape provides or constrains chipped stone for prehistoric populations. These technological adaptations are recognized at sites throughout the area, but no regional assessment of lithic assemblages provides answers as to why certain stones are used at a particular location. This thesis employs a five step mass analysis of lithic assemblages, and GIS visualizations to observe how the organization of stone technologies vary based on location within contrasting geologic contexts. The chert-bearing Springfield Plateau, and the Boston Mountains with siltstone, are two neighboring dichotomous landscapes that illustrate this prehistoric phenomenon. However, identification and distribution of lower Mississippian limestones within the prior landscape is a convoluted system between state boundaries causing confusion in archeological research. A secondary goal of this thesis is to address misinformation regarding resources in Arkansas, and standardize the recognition of Boone cherts. Ultimately, this project seeks to quantify the ratios of chippable stone used within different locations, and rationalize why the resulting data occurs. This allows future research to detect anomalies in stone use, or perhaps infer why populations change norms in technological organization.

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