Almost seventy years ago the first Folsom projectile point found in association with ancient bison bones in northern New Mexico demonstrated that Paleoindian people were in the New World as long ago as the end of the last ice age. To this day intact deposits containing Folsom points are rare, yet these points, with their distinctive channel flakes and exquisite craftsmanship, remain the best identifier of the culture. The Cooper site, discovered in 1992 in northwestern Oklahoma, is among the largest Folsom-age kill sites in the southern plains. Including extraordinarily well-preserved bison bones and thirty-three projectile points, the site has yielded major contributions to what is known of this early people. Leland C. Bement outlines the history of the Cooper site, its discovery and excavation. As the remains were found in stratified bonebeds, they provide the first clear traces of sequential Folsom activity. Analysis of the bones indicates a selective or "gourmet" butchering technique and offers insights into bison-herd demographics. Assessment of the projectile points suggests the movements of Folsom groups in relation to lithic sources. Here also is the first evidence of Folsom hunting ritual, in the form of a startling red zigzag painted on one of the skulls. The painted skull--the oldest design-painted object in North America--greatly enlarges the significance of the Cooper site, offering evidence of early ritual rarely seen in the tangible physical record.
The Cooper site, discovered in 1922 in northwestern Oklahoma, is one of the largest bison kill sites in the southern plains. It has yielded major contributions to what is known about Paleoindian people at the end of the last ice age. This book outlines the history of the Cooper site, its discovery,
“We must! Or we all will die here in these miserable Starving Mountains. They are out there, I know they must be.” A pair of youths on the cusp of manhood bring The People across the great moving sand belt onto the Great Plains. A young woman is tested greatly by the Bison Spirit and found acceptable to lead The People back to the ways of their ancestors. But Basket is only half the way; they must be reunited. Soul brothers ripped asunder as evil claws its way in. Only Basket and Star Child can save the people and drive the evil away so that The People reach their destiny. At the end of the Younger Dryas—11,500 years ago—the rain returned. The Great Plains again supported vast herds of bison: bison antiquuis. The People were living in fragmented groups at the edge of starvation, but gradually, they began to adapt to a new way of life and spread from south Texas to North Dakota. They were the Folsom Culture.
Exploring Archaeological Context, Early American Hunter-Gatherers, and Bison
Author: Marcel Kornfeld
Publisher: University Press of Colorado
Category: Social Science
Stones, Bones, and Profiles addresses key and cutting-edge research of three pillars of hunter-gatherer archaeology. Stones and bones—flaked stone tools and the bones of the prey animals—are the objects most commonly recovered from hunter-gatherer archaeological sites, and profiles represent the geologic context of the archeological record. Together they constitute the foundations of much of early archaeology, from the appearance of the earliest humans to the advent of the Neolithic. The volume is divided into three sections: Peopling of North America and Paleoindians, Geoarchaeology, and Bison Bone Bed Studies. The first section dissects established theories about the Paleoindians, including the possibility that human populations were in North America before Clovis and the timing of the opening of the Alberta Corridor. The second section provides new perspectives on the age and contexts of several well-known New World localities such as the Lindenmeier Folsom and the UP Mammoth sites, as well as a synthesis of the geoarchaeology of the Rocky Mountains' Bighorn region that addresses significant new data and summarizes decades of investigation. The final section, Bison Bone Bed Studies, consists of groundbreaking zooarchaeological studies offering new perspectives on bison taxonomy and procurement. Stones, Bones, and Profiles presents new data on Paleoindian archaeology and reconsiders previous sites and perspectives, culminating in a thought-provoking and challenging contribution to the ongoing study of Paleoindians around the world. Contributors: Leland Bement, Jack W. Brink, John Carpenter, Brian Carter, Thomas J. Connolly, Linda Scott Cummings, Loren G. Davis, Allen Denoyer, Stuart J. Fiedel, Judson Byrd Finley, Andrea Freeman, C. Vance Haynes Jr., Bryan Hockett, Vance T. Holliday, Dennis L. Jenkins, Thomas A. Jennings, Eileen Johnson, George T. Jones, Oleksandra Krotova, Patrick J. Lewis, Vitaliy Logvynenko, Ian Luthe, Katelyn McDonough, Lance McNees, Fred L. Nials, Patrick W. O’Grady, Mary M. Prasciunas, Karl J. Reinhard, Michael Rondeau, Guadalupe Sanchez, William E. Scoggin, Ashley M. Smallwood, Iryna Snizhko, Thomas W. Stafford Jr., Mark E. Swisher, Frances White, Eske Willerslev, Robert M. Yohe II, Chad Yost
The near disappearance of the American bison in the nineteenth century is commonly understood to be the result of over-hunting, capitalist greed, and all but genocidal military policy. This interpretation remains seductive because of its simplicity; there are villains and victims in this familiar cautionary tale of the American frontier. But as this volume of groundbreaking scholarship shows, the story of the bison’s demise is actually quite nuanced. Bison and People on the North American Great Plains brings together voices from several disciplines to offer new insights on the relationship between humans and animals that approached extinction. The essays here transcend the border between the United States and Canada to provide a continental context. Contributors include historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, paleontologists, and Native American perspectives. This book explores the deep past and examines the latest knowledge on bison anatomy and physiology, how bison responded to climate change (especially drought), and early bison hunters and pre-contact trade. It also focuses on the era of European contact, in particular the arrival of the horse, and some of the first known instances of over-hunting. By the nineteenth century bison reached a “tipping point” as a result of new tanning practices, an early attempt at protective legislation, and ventures to introducing cattle as a replacement stock. The book concludes with a Lakota perspective featuring new ethnohistorical research. Bison and People on the North American Great Plains is a major contribution to environmental history, western history, and the growing field of transnational history.
The greatness of America is right under our feet. The American past—the people, battles, industry and homes—can be found not only in libraries and museums, but also in hundreds of archaeological sites that scientists investigate with great care. These sites are not in distant lands, accessible only by research scientists, but nearby—almost every locale possesses a parcel of land worthy of archaeological exploration. Archaeology in America is the first resource that provides students, researchers, and anyone interested in their local history with a survey of the most important archaeological discoveries in North America. Leading scholars, most with an intimate knowledge of the area, have written in-depth essays on over 300 of the most important archaeological sites that explain the importance of the site, the history of the people who left the artifacts, and the nature of the ongoing research. Archaeology in America divides it coverage into 8 regions: the Arctic and Subarctic, the Great Basin and Plateau, the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, the Midwest, the Northeast, the Southeast, the Southwest, and the West Coast. Each entry provides readers with an accessible overview of the archaeological site as well as books and articles for further research.
"George Frison is an icon in American archeology. In Survival by Hunting, he describes personal experiences leading to the insights and perspectives that set him apart from the majority of his colleagues, who know of large game hunting only secondhand."—Michael B. Collins, Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, the University of Texas at Austin “This small book is a record of achievement and dedication to learning rarely seen in the profession of archaeology. It is the inspirational product of a person who fully understands the critical importance of prior knowledge about the behavior of prey to inferring the activities of ancient hunter-gatherers. Students of past hunter-gatherers need to read this book.”—Lewis R. Binford, author of In Pursuit of the Past
George Frison’s Prehistoric Hunters of the High Plains has been the standard text on plains prehistory since its first publication in 1978, influencing generations of archaeologists. Now, a third edition of this classic work is available for scholars, students, and avocational archaeologists. Thorough and comprehensive, extensively illustrated, the book provides an introduction to the archaeology of the more than 13,000 year long history of the western Plains and the adjacent Rocky Mountains. Reflecting the boom in recent archaeological data, it reports on studies at a wide array of sites from deep prehistory to recent times examining the variability in the archeological record as well as in field, analytical, and interpretive methods. The 3rd edition brings the book up to date in a number of significant areas, as well as addressing several topics inadequately developed in previous editions.
The Mountaineer Site presents over a decade’s worth of archaeological research conducted at Mountaineer, a Paleoindian campsite in Colorado’s Upper Gunnison Basin. Mountaineer is one of the very few extensively excavated, long-term Folsom occupations with evidence of built structures. The site provides a rich record of stone tool manufacture and use, as well as architectural features, and offers insight into Folsom period adaptive strategies from a time when the region was still in the grip of a waning Ice Age. Contributors examine data concerning the structures, the duration and repetition of occupations, and the nature of the site’s artifact assemblages to offer a valuable new perspective on human activity in the Rocky Mountains in the Late Pleistocene. Chapters survey the history of fieldwork at the site and compare and explain the various excavation procedures used; discuss the geology, taphonomic history, and geochronology of the site; analyze artifacts and other recovered materials; examine architectural elements; and compare the present and past environments of the Upper Gunnison Basin to gain insight into the setting in which Folsom groups were operating and the resources that were available to them. The Folsom archaeological record indicates far greater variability in adaptive behavior than previously recognized in traditional models. The Mountaineer Site shows how accounting for reduced mobility, more generalized subsistence patterns, and variability in tool manufacture and use allows for a richer and more accurate understanding of Folsom lifeways. It will be of great interest to graduate students and archaeologists focusing on Paleoindian archaeology, hunter-gatherer mobility, lithic technological organization, and prehistoric households, as well as prehistorians, anthropologists, and social scientists. Contributors: Richard J. Anderson, Andrew R. Boehm, Christy E. Briles, Katherine A. Cross, Steven D. Emslie, Metin I. Eren, Richard Gunst, Kalanka Jayalath, Brooke M. Morgan, Cathy Whitlock
This magnificent, sweeping work traces the histories of the Native peoples of the American West from their arrival thousands of years ago to the early years of the nineteenth century. Emphasizing conflict and change, One Vast Winter Count offers a new look at the early history of the region by blending ethnohistory, colonial history, and frontier history. Drawing on a wide range of oral and archival sources from across the West, Colin G. Calloway offers an unparalleled glimpse at the lives of generations of Native peoples in a western land soon to be overrun.
Stories of Events and People that Shaped Sooner State History
Author: Robert L. Dorman
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
This book offers an inside look at over 30 interesting and unusual episodes that shaped the history of the Sooner State. Read all about the Trail of Tears in Tahlequah. Find out why George W. McLaurin was denied admission to the University of Oklahoma in 1950. Try to solve the mystery of Karen Silkwood's suspicious death in 1974.
Stoic, regal, and formidable in size and strength, the bison has long epitomized the American West. Perhaps this is even more so because we have, in our avarice, nearly destroyed them all, and are now seeking to restore their populations. From spiritual figure to abused resource to powerful symbol of wildlife preservation, the bison is a microcosm of the West itself, and in this book, renowned zoologist Desmond Morris tells its fascinating story from the first evidence of its fossil record two million years ago all the way up to today. Exploring the bison’s evolution and habitat, Morris paints a nuanced portrait of this iconic animal, exploring the different sides of its personality. He shows that, while generally seen as gentle and calm, bison in fact are very unpredictable, liable to attack at any moment. Comparing and contrasting the two remaining species—the European wisent and the American bison—he goes on to tell the heartbreaking story of their near-extinction, how we hunted them down from innumerable numbers to less than a thousand, with such little regard that it was a common practice for train travelers to shoot them from their passing cars. He also tells the story of our more recent efforts—and successes—at bringing them back to such a point that their domestically raised meat has now become a popular alternative to beef. Throughout, Morris balances this natural history with a cultural one, the lore of the bison and the spirit of the west, dotting his text with vibrant images of the bison from nature, art, and popular culture. The result is an absorbing history of one of the most majestic creatures to walk the plains of the earth.
New Archaeological Investigations of a Classic Paleoindian Bison Kill
Author: David J. Meltzer
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Annotation The first comprehensive analysis of the original excavations (c. 1920s) and more recent archaeological and ecological research conducted at the Folsom, New Mexico bison hunting site, which established the Pleistocene antiquity of humans in North America and defined the Folsom paleoindian culture.
From the host of the Travel Channel’s “The Wild Within.” A hunt for the American buffalo—an adventurous, fascinating examination of an animal that has haunted the American imagination. In 2005, Steven Rinella won a lottery permit to hunt for a wild buffalo, or American bison, in the Alaskan wilderness. Despite the odds—there’s only a 2 percent chance of drawing the permit, and fewer than 20 percent of those hunters are successful—Rinella managed to kill a buffalo on a snow-covered mountainside and then raft the meat back to civilization while being trailed by grizzly bears and suffering from hypothermia. Throughout these adventures, Rinella found himself contemplating his own place among the 14,000 years’ worth of buffalo hunters in North America, as well as the buffalo’s place in the American experience. At the time of the Revolutionary War, North America was home to approximately 40 million buffalo, the largest herd of big mammals on the planet, but by the mid-1890s only a few hundred remained. Now that the buffalo is on the verge of a dramatic ecological recovery across the West, Americans are faced with the challenge of how, and if, we can dare to share our land with a beast that is the embodiment of the American wilderness. American Buffalo is a narrative tale of Rinella’s hunt. But beyond that, it is the story of the many ways in which the buffalo has shaped our national identity. Rinella takes us across the continent in search of the buffalo’s past, present, and future: to the Bering Land Bridge, where scientists search for buffalo bones amid artifacts of the New World’s earliest human inhabitants; to buffalo jumps where Native Americans once ran buffalo over cliffs by the thousands; to the Detroit Carbon works, a “bone charcoal” plant that made fortunes in the late 1800s by turning millions of tons of buffalo bones into bone meal, black dye, and fine china; and even to an abattoir turned fashion mecca in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, where a depressed buffalo named Black Diamond met his fate after serving as the model for the American nickel. Rinella’s erudition and exuberance, combined with his gift for storytelling, make him the perfect guide for a book that combines outdoor adventure with a quirky blend of facts and observations about history, biology, and the natural world. Both a captivating narrative and a book of environmental and historical significance, American Buffalo tells us as much about ourselves as Americans as it does about the creature who perhaps best of all embodies the American ethos.
A definitive reference explores 119 important aspects of Oklahoma history in this resource that examines each topic by pairing it with one or more maps that include explanatory legends, tables, and graphs, along with an interpretive essay to chart Oklahoma's rich and varied history.
As the study of Palaeolithic technologies moves towards a more analytical approach, it is necessary to determine a consistent procedural framework. The contributions to this timely and comprehensive volume do just that. This volume incorporates a broad chronological and geographical range of Palaeolithic material from the Lower to Upper Palaeolithic. The focus of this volume is to provide an analysis of Palaeolithic technologies from a quantitative, empirical perspective. As new techniques, particularly quantitative methods, for analyzing Palaeolithic technologies gain popularity, this work provides case studies showcasing these new techniques. Employing diverse case studies, and utilizing multivariate approaches, morphometrics, model-based approaches, phylogenetics, cultural transmission studies, and experimentation, this volume provides insights from international contributors at the forefront of recent methodological advances.
New research and the discovery of multiple archaeological sites predating the established age of Clovis (13,000 years ago) provide evidence that the Americas were first colonized at least one thousand to two thousand years before Clovis. These revelations indicate to researchers that the peopling of the Americas was perhaps a more complex process than previously thought. The Clovis culture remains the benchmark for chronological, technological, and adaptive comparisons in research on peopling of the Americas. In Clovis: On the Edge of a New Understanding, volume editors Ashley Smallwood and Thomas Jennings bring together the work of many researchers actively studying the Clovis complex. The contributing authors presented earlier versions of these chapters at the Clovis: Current Perspectives on Chronology, Technology, and Adaptations symposium held at the 2011 Society for American Archaeology meetings in Sacramento, California. In seventeen chapters, the researchers provide their current perspectives of the Clovis archaeological record as they address the question: What is and what is not Clovis?
Modern humans and their hominid ancestors relied on chipped-stone technology for well over two million years and colonized more than 99 percent of the Earth's habitable landmass in doing so. Yet there currently exist only a handful of informal models derived from ethnographic observation, experiments, engineering, and "common sense" to explain variability in archaeological lithic assemblages. Because the fundamental processes of making, using, and discarding stone tools are, at root, exercises in problem solving, Todd Surovell asks what conditions favor certain technological solutions. Whether asking if a biface should be made thick or thin or if a flake should be saved or discarded, Surovell seeks answers that extend beyond a case-by-case analysis. One avenue for addressing these questions theoretically is formal mathematical modeling. Here Surovell constructs a series of models designed to link environmental variability to human decision making as it pertains to lithic technology. To test the models, Surovell uses data from the analysis of more than 40,000 artifacts from five Rocky Mountain and Northern Plains Folsom and Goshen complex archaeological sites dating to the Younger Dryas stadial (ca. 12,600-11,500 years BP). The primary result is the production of powerful new analytical tools useful to the interpretation of archaeological assemblages. Surovell's goal is to promote modeling and explore the general issues governing technological decisions. In this light, his models can be applied to any context in which stone tools are made and used.
Since its publication in 1996, The Oxford Companion to Archaeology has firmly established itself as the standard reference work in the field of archaeology, selling nearly 15,000 copies to date and remaining a favorite among students, scholars, and anyone interested in archaeology. In 700 entries, the second edition provides thorough coverage to historical archaeology, the development of archaeology as a field of study, and the ways the discipline works to explain the past. In addition to these theoretical entries, other entries describe the major excavations, discoveries, and innovations, from the discovery of the cave paintings at Lascaux to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics and the use of luminescence dating. Much has changed in the field since 1996. Recent developments in methods and analytical techniques (e.g., laser-based mapping and survey systems, new applications of the scanning electron microscope) have revolutionized the ways excavations are performed. Cultural tourism, cultural resource management, heritage, and conservation have been redefined as areas within archaeology, and have had new emphasis given them by scholars and administrators. Major new sites have expanded our understanding of prehistory and human developments through time. The second edition explores each of these advances in the field, adding approximately 200 entries and exanding the total work to three volumes. Neil Asher Silberman, a renowned practicing archaeologist, author, and scholar, and a board member for the first edition, is the editor in chief. In addition to significant expansion, first-edition entries have been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect the progress that has been made in the last decade and a half