Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Early PaleoAmerican research in the Southwest: An investigation of Clovis activity in Petrified Forest National Park
by Fisher, Samuel H., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2016, 191; 10250013
Abstract (Summary)

This research sets out evidence for additional Clovis presence in an area famed for the occurrence of spectacular petrified wood outcrops, Petrified Forest National Park, in eastern Arizona. I developed and deployed of a predictive model, built to identify early PaleoAmerican activity areas in the Petrified Forest. The deployment of the predictive model resulted in the discovery of a new, early PaleoAmerican site—the Blue Mesa Clovis Site—containing a flaked stone tool assemblage consistent with Clovis lithic technology. The discovery and investigation of the early PaleoAmerican locality allowed me to conduct a sequence of fieldwork and analysis to support the hypothesized Clovis cultural affiliation of Blue Mesa, to identify the mobility and land use strategies employed by early PaleoAmerican in the area, and to test a fascinating evolutionary explanation for patterns in Clovis blade diminution across the grand sweep of the American West from southeastern Texas to southeastern Utah.

The analysis of the Blue Mesa lithic assemblage and other known Clovis lithic tool assemblages yielded evidence for Clovis occupation at the site. The analysis of a Clovis lithic sample assemblage including seven other known Clovis sites in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah enable for the evaluation of two early PaleoAmerican mobility models, High Residentially Mobile Hunter-Gatherer Theory and Staging-Area Logistical Strategy Model. The mobility investigations suggest Clovis groups of the region practiced the Staging-Area Logistical Strategy Model. The analysis of the Blue Mesa Clovis Site materials and selected Clovis assemblages from the west and across North America indicates a distinctive pattering in Clovis blade size consistent with the Beck and Jones (2015) prediction of “Clovis blade extinction” from east to west. Additional theoretical and methodological components used in this thesis include Middle Range Theory, Human Ecology, evaluation of the Parry and Kelly (1987) Hypothesis, and lithic analysis techniques. The research presented in this thesis highlights archaeological predictive modeling, precise site and artifact mapping, morphological and statistical analysis, and site and lithic assemblage comparison with known Clovis artifacts to investigate Clovis activity in the Southwest.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smiley, Francis E.
Commitee: Downum, Christian E., Vasquez, Michael L.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 56/03M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Native American studies
Keywords: Arizona, Clovis, Paleoamerican, Paleoindian, Petrified forest archaeology, Southwest Clovis, Southwest prehistory
Publication Number: 10250013
ISBN: 978-1-369-51356-1
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