By Mark Stiger
The original geophysics of Colorado’s top Gunnison Basin offers a wealthy archaeological record of over 8,000 years of environmental and cultural switch. In Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado excessive nation, Mark Stiger offers not just an summary of previous study carried out within the Basin but additionally the numerous new findings and interpretations from his personal study. Anchored within the gigantic physique of information that was once accumulated via Stiger in the course of 8 years of labor at Tenderfoot--a huge lithic-scatter website as soon as labeled as "insignificant"-as good as related facts from a variety of different websites within the surrounding area, this crucial new contribution to archaeology within the southern Rocky Mountains makes use of an organizational method of describe and interpret prehistoric cultural switch throughout a large region of western Colorado. Stiger examines discoveries made via different archaeologists in the course of past excavations within the zone and opinions the dominant conventional box tools and social factors of prehistory. by utilizing info recovered in multi-year repetitive floor collections, he questions the direct interpretation of survey information and explores some great benefits of horizontally wide block excavations. He additionally investigates how dramatic environmental adjustments affected human diversifications by way of examining the region’s floral and faunal utilization styles and its ordinary heritage via paleoenvironmental facts. The artifactual information from Tenderfoot and comparable websites express how cultural switch was once mirrored within the homes, video game drives, firepits, stone instruments, and debitage over 8,000 years. utilizing this knowledge, Stiger explains the cultural series present in the higher Gunnison Basin and probes its connections to cultural alterations within the American Southwest and West. eventually, he proposes the applying of non-traditional theoretical and methodological techniques derived from his personal paintings to extra common difficulties of archaeological examine. Addressing a long-neglected quarter of yank archaeology, Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado excessive kingdom is key studying for students attracted to the prehistoric archaeology of the West.
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Extra info for Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country
P. based on the vertical distribution of points and two radiocarbon dates from a single test pit. I agree with Black (and Benedict) that the evidence is not solid, but Black argues a different date based on point /radiocarbon date associations at two other sites. These two other sites are 5GN344 (Black 1983b) and the Dead of Winter Site (Buckles 1978). At 5GN344, Black (1983b) found a projectile point shaped similarly to the Mount Albion Boardinghouse points. This point was 20 cm deep in the soil when found; most artifacts were located in this 20-cm surface layer.
The situation is parallel to that in the Front Range, where people of the Mount Albion Complex appeared suddenly at a time when the region was only beginning to be reinhabited. The implication is that there was an influx of new people into each of these regions, rather than in situ technological development, or the diffusion of new ideas from distant sources to a resident population. (Benedict and Olson 1978:173) Similarly, according to the traditionalists’ approach, invention can be diagnosed from the archaeological record.
Stiger (1986:261–263), using refitting, demonstrated more vertical than horizontal movement of materials within a deposit. Most of the perplexity in mountain archaeology is due not to the nature of the sites but to archaeologists’ trying to understand the sites with methods and theories that are not optimally useful. Multiple occupations and compressed stratigraphy are actually advantages in dealing with mountain sites. However, one cannot gain understanding by using excavation techniques designed to determine only vertical variability.
Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country by Mark Stiger