Early Archaic subsistence in the central plains: The Spring Creek (25FT31) fauna

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Abstract

The Spring Creek site (25FT31) in southwestern Nebraska has been an important part of understanding Early Archaic adaptations to the central Plains since its excavation in 1961. A reanalysis of faunal remains from these excavations suggests that the Spring Creek site is a task-oriented bison processing site occupied for a limited duration in the late summer or early fall. Traditional zooarchaeological methods combined with stable isotope data indicate an archaeofauna dominated by bison from a single herd suggesting a subsistence system where bison hunting is not an unfamiliar activity. These ideas contradict many extant models of Early Archaic subsistence in the central Plains which de-emphasize bison resources in favor of a broad-spectrum foraging strategy. Finally, it is suggested that subsistence models developed for Middle Holocene hunter-gatherers in other areas of North America are not necessarily appropriate for coeval groups on the central Plains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)25-58
Number of pages34
JournalPlains Anthropologist
Volume49
Issue number189
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anthropology

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