Clovis Lithic Debitage from Excavation Area 8 at the Gault Site (41BL323), Texas: Form and Function
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This dissertation focuses on two portions of the Clovis lithic assemblage recovered from Excavation Area 8 at the Gault site (41BL323) located in central Texas. Gault is a quarry-camp visited by hunter-gatherer groups for at least 13,000 years, with Paleoindian, Archaic, and Late Prehistoric occupations. Freshwater seep springs, a diverse array of floral and faunal resources, and an abundant outcrop of high-quality toolstone at the site created an ideal location for people who lived a mobile hunting-andgathering way of life. The site is currently the only locale with two stratigraphically separate Clovis components-a lower geologic unit designated 3a and an upper unit designated 3b. Both are represented in Excavation Area 8 where, in the spring of 2000, Texas A&M University (TAMU) excavated 22 1-m2 contiguous units. For this research, 3375 complete flakes were analyzed individually to characterize Clovis debitage as represented at Excavation Area 8 and to establish if there are technological differences between the debitage assemblages recovered from Units 3a and 3b. The two Clovis components are quite similar from a technological standpoint. Minor differences appear to be related to site formation processes and intensity of site use. The second objective was to determine if Clovis debitage has diagnostic technological traits that allow confident assignment to the Clovis era. To test whether Clovis debitage is distinctive, it was compared to debitage recovered from later cultural components at the site. No evidence of a true blade technology was observed in the post- Clovis Paleoindian or Early Archaic debitage assemblages, although biface manufacture continued through time. Technologically, few differences were observed between the Clovis, post-Clovis Paleoindian, and Early Archaic debitage related to biface reduction. While overshot flakes may be diagnostic of Clovis biface technology, biface thinning flakes and other non-distinctive debitage showed few differences between components. During debitage analysis pieces were selected in an attempt to identify edgemodified tools. Low- and high-power usewear analysis was employed to make determinations concerning the cultural modification or use of flakes. This study concluded post-depositional damage affected most of the collection and there was minimal usewear-or minimal observable usewear-on flakes. Taphonomic processes interfered to a great extent with drawing firm inferences on tool use and possibly hindered the identification of tools. Of the 3375 pieces of Clovis debitage originally analyzed, 26 specimens were classified as tools based mainly on invasive, patterned flaking with less reliance on microscopic use indicators. Of these, inference of use was assigned to nine tools.
projectile point manufacture
Pevny, Charlotte D. (2009). Clovis Lithic Debitage from Excavation Area 8 at the Gault Site (41BL323), Texas: Form and Function. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from