The Impact of Mobility on a Chipped Stone Assemblage in the Bootheel Region of New Mexico

Date
2023
Authors
Wendel, Steven P.
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Abstract

This thesis examines the impact that mobility had on the chipped stone assemblage at the Late Archaic Tom Holcomb site (LA 162023) in the Bootheel region of New Mexico. Thousands of pieces of chipped stone and other artifacts were examined through visual observation and were compared with the published chipped stone analyses from Cerro Juanaquena, an Early Agricultural site located 74 km to the southeast in northwest Chihuahua. The two sites are approximately contemporaneous. The Tom Holcomb site is characterized as a hunting and gathering location with no evidence of maize use and a product of relatively high residential mobility. In contrast, Cerro Juanaquena was a location whose residents made substantial use of maize and engaged in low levels of residential mobility. Building on the work of previous researchers who associate the organization of chipped stone technology to mobility, it was expected that relative to Cerro Juanaquena, the chipped stone at the Tom Holcomb site would be dominated by non-local materials. It was also expected that relative to Cerro Juanaquena, the chipped stone at the Tom Holcomb site would only represent portions of the reduction sequence. Lastly, it was expected that relative to Cerro Juanaquena, the chipped stone at the Tom Holcomb site to be dominated by the production of bifacial tools. The results demonstrated that there was not sufficient data to determine the extent of the use of local versus non-local materials. The results also demonstrated that all stages of the reduction sequence were present at both the Tom Holcomb site and at Cerro Juanaquena. Lastly, the results demonstrated that biface tool production was occurring at a far higher rate at the Tom Holcomb site than at Cerro Juanaquena.

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The author has granted permission for their work to be available to the general public.
Keywords
Chipped stone, Bootheel region, New Mexico, Artifacts, Bifacial tools
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Department
Anthropology