Transport Distance and Debitage Assemblage Diversity: An Application of the Field Processing Model to Southern Utah Toolstone Procurement Sites
Understanding the decisions made at toolstone procurement localities is critical to understanding lithic production systems. However lithic assemblages at procurement sites are typically voluminous, frequently overlapping, and always complex. This paper explores the influence of expected toolstone transport distance on procurement site assemblage variability using a central place theory inspired model from Human Behavioral Ecology. Debitage assemblage diversity is examined for 43 sites in two procurement contexts with different expected overall transport distances. Twenty-six of these sites are from the Canyonlands region of southeastern Utah where toolstone transport distances are expected to be uniformly short; seventeen sites are from the Black Rock desert region of west-central Utah where transport distances are expected to be longer. Observed differences in debitage assemblage diversity from each procurement context are consistent with expectations derived from the model which suggests that procurement site assemblage variability is predictably affected by expected toolstone transport distance.
Beck, R. Kelly. (2008). Transport Distance and Debitage Assemblage Diversity: An Application of the Field Processing Model to Southern Utah Toolstone Procurement Sites. American Antiquity, 73(4), 759-780.