Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology

First Advisor

Jay K. Johnson

Second Advisor

Janet Ford

Third Advisor

Matthew L. Murray

Abstract

Over twenty years of archaeological excavations at Sandy Hill, in Mashantucket, CT, have provided an incredibly rich assemblage of artifacts. Yet some of the most basic questions about Sandy Hill's Early Archaic inhabitants remain unanswered. This thesis will synthesize the results of major excavations at Sandy Hill by analyzing site morphology, lithics, and hard tissue macrobotanical remains from several radiocarbon dated contexts. Macrobotanical artifacts recovered from Sandy Hill indicate a preference for hazelnut as well as wetland roots and tubers. The lithic assemblage is related to the Gulf of Maine Archaic Tradition and the predominance of quartz flakes technology and the uniform size and shape of these flakes suggest systematic production for a specific purpose, perhaps grater boards. Sandy Hill is a regional manifestation of the Gulf of Maine Archaic Tradition where people exploited dependable wetland resources in a time of ecological stress.

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