Date of Graduation

5-2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Anthropology (MA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Anthropology

Advisor

Wesley Stoner

Committee Member

Marvin Kay

Second Committee Member

George Sabo

Keywords

artifacts, classification, culture, 3D scanning, measurements, Late Archaic, cultural transmission theory, clustering

Abstract

Typologies have long been used by archaeologists to answer questions about the past, ranging from issues of site chronology to tool function. However, current methods are hampered by subjective misclassifications as well as a loss of the range of variability among different tool forms due to a process that forces them into singular types. This thesis looks to create a simple and reliable technique of projectile point classification. It is also the author’s goal to use a classification system that monitors cultural transmission over time. This objective is addressed with an Archaic projectile point sequence from the Albertson site in Ozark region in Northwest Arkansas. A structured-light 3D scanner was used to create complete 3D models of the artifacts that includes several projectile point types. This was done to improve the accuracy and replicability of measurements. Several different quantitative attributes were examined using cluster analysis. The results indicate that current projectile point types applied to the site are suitable for answering questions of site chronology. However, they are inadequate for questions of social interaction.

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