Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Anthropology

First Advisor

Jay K. Johnson

Second Advisor

Jodi Skipper

Third Advisor

Matthew L. Murray

Abstract

This thesis describes archaeological investigations carried out at 15Md158, a prehistoric lithic workshop site in Meade County, Kentucky. Although there has been a wide range of diagnostic projectile points as well as some late radiocarbon dates recovered from the site had been identified as a mostly Late Archaic special purpose site where mostly late-stage lithic reduction took place. The goals of this project were to develop a more secure chronology for the site, document a change in the use of the site in order to relate it to changes in mobility patterns of those who utilized the site, and document if different areas of the site were used for different stages of the lithic reduction process. In order to answer these questions a series of five test units were excavated in the areas of the site that contained the greatest densities of lithic artifacts. The artifact assemblage that was collected was subjected to a production trajectory analysis that was used to look for vertical and horizontal patterning. The artifact assemblage from 15Md158 was found to reflect a long production trajectory, meaning that the full range of the lithic reduction process took place at this site. This study was not successful in finding vertical or horizontal patterning in the artifact assemblage, although it was successful in developing a more secure chronology for the site. The investigation found that the site was most heavily utilized during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland periods. Furthermore, this study found that the site may be associated with a network of lithic manufacturing sites in the region that were used for the specialized manufacture of trade and ritual artifacts from Wyandotte, a blue-gray chert which was heavily traded during the time periods the periods that the site was utilized.

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