AdvisorKuhn, Steven L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation is a study in the use of formal optimality models to explore intersite variability in lithic assemblages within a behavioral ecological framework. Formal models of raw material procurement, core, biface, and tool design, and flake and tool discard are developed and tested using data from late Pleistocene Folsom and Goshen archaeological sites in Wyoming and Colorado: Locality B of Barger Gulch, Upper Twin Mountain, Krmpotich, the Area 2 Folsom component of Agate Basin, and the Folsom component of Carter/Kerr-McGee. Because residential mobility is a primary constraint shaping the technology of mobile peoples, I also develop various assemblage-scale measures of occupation span and site reoccupation to allow investigation of the effects of mobility on lithic technology. It is argued that the goals of the behavioral ecological approach are identical to those of "technological organization"--to determine the general principles governing the use and discard of stone tools within an optimality framework. However, the use of formal models in behavioral ecology, as opposed to informal narrative models in studies of technological organization, results in a logically and theoretically more robust method in the former, due to explicit definition of constraints, currencies, and goals. Unlike many models of technological organization, the models developed herein are based upon very simple component variables that are relatively straightforward to monitor with archaeological data. Furthermore, when using formal mathematical models, predictions must logically follow from the theoretical construct, something not necessarily true of informal models. I highlight the utility of this approach by drawing several conclusions about Folsom and Goshen mobility and technology in the study area. Although Paleoindian adaptations are often portrayed as somewhat redundant, I emphasize that considerable variability exists within the Paleoindian mobility and technological regimes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College