Publication Date

5-2017

Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

3-3-2017

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Anthropology

Department

Anthropology

Major Advisor

Pei-Lin Yu, Ph.D.

Advisor

Mark G. Plew, Ph.D.

Advisor

Samantha H. Blatt, Ph.D.

Abstract

Recent high altitude archaeological research has provided evidence for seasonal utilization of high mountain landscapes during the Late Archaic era. Sites in the Western United States display varying patterns of land use suggesting that during the Late Archaic, mountain landscapes were used differently based upon unique environmental conditions. Hypotheses about land-use in the Spangle Lakes area of the Sawtooth Mountains, Idaho, were compiled from regional Late Archaic high elevation sites, regional ethnographic data, and a Binfordian database that utilizes environmental and ethnographic measurements to develop projections on hunter-gatherer behavior. Through a reinvestigation of the Spangle Lakes area, it was determined that Late Archaic sites are characterized by smaller surface areas with little to no depth. It was also determined that lithic flakes at these sites were crafted entirely from expedient use of locally available quartz but tools that were curated and constructed from materials sourced in other areas. Overall, it is suggested that this difference in characteristics may stem from the dynamic environment in which the sites are located, affecting the way in which people utilize their environment as well as the overall densities of components found there and relocated over time.

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