Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title

American Antiquity

Publication Date

2017

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Volume

82

Issue

3

First Page

574

Last Page

592

Abstract

The 1960s and 1970s excavations at Owl Cave (10BV30) recovered mammoth bone and Folsom-like points from the same strata, suggesting evidence for a post-Clovis mammoth kill. However, a synthesis of the excavation data was never published, and the locality has since been purged from the roster of sites with human / extinct megafauna associations. Here, we present data on bone from the oldest stratum, review provenience data, conduct a bone-surface modification study, and present the results of a protein-residue analysis. Our study fails to make the case for mammoth hunting by Folsom peoples. Although two of the fragments tested positive for horse or elephant protein, recent AMS dates indicate that all mammoth remains predate Folsom, and horse remains absent from the Owl Cave collection. Further, In unambiguously cultural surface modifications were identified on any of the mammoth remains. Given the available data, the Owl Cave deposits are most parsimoniously read as containing a Folsom-age occupation in the buried context, the first of its kind in the West West, but one nonetheless part of the Palimpsest of Pleistocene materials terminal.

DOI

10.1017/aaq.2017.14

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