What mean ye by these stones? : lithic analysis for Pueblo Blanco (LA 40)
Lawton, James McCrorey
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This thesis analyzed lithic debris and stone tools recovered during excavations at Pueblo, Blanco (LA 40) a prehistoric archaeological site in New Mexico, that has been the focus of a long-term research project by Dr. Winifred Creamer for the last decade. The site of Pueblo Blanco was abandoned prior to European contact, leaving architectural, ceramic, lithic and faunal remains behind. The perseverance of lithic materials in the archaeological record makes it an ideal material for providing a consistent basis for a study; lithic materials do not decay over time. The possibility of sourcing the lithic remains make the stone tool remains from a site also quite valuable in determining both prehistoric exchange patterns and the changes that occur to them over time. The objective of this thesis is to determine the degree to which residents of Pueblo Blanco were engaging in both long-distance trade and specialization, and to make inferences concerning the level of societal complexity at the site using these two factors. Dates of the occupation of each of the roomblocks, the architectural units at Pueblo Blanco, permit the association of changes with a time frame The rates at which exotic, non-local and local materials vary will determine the relationship between the site of Pueblo Blanco and neighboring sites that had control over the lithic raw material resources. The lithic assemblage would exhibit different patterns depending on the nature of the production taking place at Pueblo Blanco. Lithic exchange where finished tools were being traded would be characterized by a lesser amount of lithic debris, with an emphasis on pressure flakes rather than cortical flakes. Both materials recovered from seasonal rounds, and raw materials traded for, would be characterized by a high quantity of cortical flakes, also known as primary flakes, as the cortex of the stone would be removed at the site rather than elsewhere. Sequential production, however, would be characteristic of specialist activities, and would be indicative of a higher degree of social organization at the site.