Date of Award

5-2021

Degree Type

Report

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Sociology, Social Work, and Anthropology

Committee Chair(s)

Judson Finley (Committee Chair)

Committee

Judson Finley

Committee

David Byers

Committee

Molly Cannon

Abstract

The Black Mountain Redoubt is a small Late Archaic through Late Prehistoric campsite in northwestern Wyoming associated with a series of communal bighorn sheep hunting traps. A diverse tools assemblage along with several house features indicates a wide range of activities specifically associated with bighorn sheep hunting. We use a 100 percent analysis of the obsidian formal tool and debitage assemblage as a test of obsidian conveyance in western Wyoming. Obsidian artifacts come from the five major regional sources but are dominated by Obsidian Cliff materials in keeping with the Yellowstone Plateau conveyance zone. In contrast, obsidian from Malad, Idaho is rare. There is no difference in the outcomes of the source analysis when comparing formal tools and debitage indicating that previous interpretations of regional obsidian conveyance are robust. The analysis also provides an opportunity to examine the technological differences in which artifacts from different sources enter the site’s archaeological record. Obsidian formal tools are limited to projectile points and bifaces. Obsidian debitage analysis indicates that these materials enter the archaeological record in many forms that are not specific to source. The key difference between sources in the obsidian debitage assemblage is artifact size, but contrary to expectations artifacts from the closest sources are not necessarily the largest in the assemblage. This analysis highlights the potential of detailed obsidian source analysis from a single site that integrates both formal tools and debitage into a comprehensive interpretation of obsidian technological organization.

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