Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Mobility and lithic reduction strategies during the Archaic and Basketmaker periods in northwestern New Mexico
by Flavin, Kasey M., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2015, 246; 1594003
Abstract (Summary)

The analysis of lithic debitage provides researchers with valuable information about the lives of prehistoric populations, particularly with respect to residential mobility. In the northern Southwest United States, the gradual change from high mobility practiced by Archaic groups to decreased mobility with the introduction of maize agriculture during the Basketmaker II period is directly reflected in lithic assemblages from these occupations. The increased rates of change from the Basketmaker II to Basketmaker III social organization is also observable in the artifact assemblages, where expediently made tools become common among more sedentary communities of farmers.

Through analysis of 1,579 pieces of lithic debitage and 96 lithic tools from two Archaic sites, two Basketmaker II assemblages, and one Basketmaker III site in the southern portion of the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, I test the Parry and Kelly (1987) hypothesis that sets out a model in which proportions of lithic debitage from different stages in bifacial reduction provide proxy information about rates of residential mobility; the transition to an overall adoption of expedient core technology from standardized (or formal) core technology may represent a response to decreased mobility. The gradual increase of sedentism is observed in the archaeological record in predictable patterns throughout the Southwest and the rest of temperate North America, and my analysis demonstrates similar patterns in northwestern New Mexico, affirming the viability of the Parry and Kelly model as a proxy for prehistoric mobility.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smiley, Francis E., IV
Commitee: Smiley, Francis E., Thompson, Kerry F., Wilce, James
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 54/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, American history, Geology, Cultural Resources Management
Keywords: Archaic, Basketmaker, Debitage, Lithic, Mobility, New mexico
Publication Number: 1594003
ISBN: 978-1-321-90716-2
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