Hunter-Gatherer Mobility at the Chandler Site (41BX708)

Date

2020

Authors

Wall, Peggy M.

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Abstract

This thesis examines the mobility of ancient hunter-gatherer groups intermittently occupying the Chandler site (41BX708) in northwest Bexar County, Texas, from the Paleoindian through the Late Prehistoric periods through lithic analyses of the debitage and tools. Thousands of pieces of chipped stone were examined using SigmaScan software and ultraviolet light fluorescence, Sullivan and Rozen's (1985) flake completeness analysis, Bradbury and Carr (2014) non-metric continuum flake analysis, and analyses of the tools. Expectations were that mobility of ancient hunter-gatherer groups would be most affected by population density and precipitation. As population density increased over thousands of years, ancient hunter-gatherers were more restricted in their movement. During xeric periods, movement would also be restricted as water resources became scarcer on the landscape. Since fine gradations of the components at the Chandler site were not possible, it is not possible to analyze patterns for shifts in mobility during xeric periods. Mobility patterns from the lithic analyses provide conflicting evidence and different versions of mobility in prehistory. Some evidence offers expected patterns of mobility, including the use of more residential mobility in the Paleoindian component, decreasing over time. Some evidence points to the use of the Chandler site as a residential site in the Paleoindian component with a longer occupation span than subsequent periods, which is a pattern contrary to traditional models of highly mobile hunter-gatherers. Though it is unknown whether methodology, models, or other factors are the reason for the inconsistencies, critical evaluation is made of the methodology employed in this research.

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Keywords

archaic, central Texas, lithic analysis, paleoindian, Texas archaeology, ultraviolet light fluorescence

Citation

Department

Anthropology