Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country by Mark Stiger

By Mark Stiger

The original geophysics of Colorado’s higher Gunnison Basin presents a wealthy archaeological rfile of over 8,000 years of environmental and cultural switch. In Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado excessive nation, Mark Stiger offers not just an outline of prior learn carried out within the Basin but additionally the numerous new findings and interpretations from his personal learn. Anchored within the huge physique of information that was once amassed by way of Stiger in the course of 8 years of labor at Tenderfoot--a huge lithic-scatter web site as soon as classified as "insignificant"-as good as similar info from quite a few different websites within the surrounding sector, this significant new contribution to archaeology within the southern Rocky Mountains makes use of an organizational method of describe and interpret prehistoric cultural swap throughout a large quarter of western Colorado. Stiger examines discoveries made via different archaeologists in the course of prior excavations within the sector and reviews the dominant conventional box tools and social reasons of prehistory. through the use of facts recovered in multi-year repetitive floor collections, he questions the direct interpretation of survey information and explores some great benefits of horizontally broad block excavations. He additionally investigates how dramatic environmental adjustments affected human variations via reading the region’s floral and faunal utilization styles and its common historical past via paleoenvironmental facts. The artifactual info from Tenderfoot and comparable websites exhibit how cultural swap was once mirrored within the homes, video game drives, firepits, stone instruments, and debitage over 8,000 years. utilizing this data, Stiger explains the cultural series present in the higher Gunnison Basin and probes its connections to cultural alterations within the American Southwest and West. eventually, he proposes the applying of non-traditional theoretical and methodological ways derived from his personal paintings to extra common difficulties of archaeological examine. Addressing a long-neglected region of yank archaeology, Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado excessive kingdom is vital studying for students attracted to the prehistoric archaeology of the West.

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Extra info for Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country

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If one were to subscribe to these views, one would conclude that the archaeological record of the Archaic is very boring. It would be an unchanging sequence of rare, temporary camps and few artifacts. Archaeological sites would represent 18 Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country at most a couple of weeks of occupation. Firepits and ephemeral structures such as windbreaks might be found. Materials from an 8,000-year-old site would exhibit no technological or cultural differences from those found in a 1,000year-old site.

The Archaic peoples maintained a continuity in lifestyle over many thousands of years. The explanation for this extraordinary longevity must lie in the early striking of an optimum balance with the arid environment” (Cassells 1997:115). ” If one were to subscribe to these views, one would conclude that the archaeological record of the Archaic is very boring. It would be an unchanging sequence of rare, temporary camps and few artifacts. Archaeological sites would represent 18 Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country at most a couple of weeks of occupation.

Also, the assumption of horizontally homogeneous archaeological deposits lies behind the facile classifications of sites (Kvamme 1988). With such classifications, the internal structure of a site and variation (both within a site and among sites in the same category) are ignored and considered unimportant. Many archaeologists do not regard horizontal stratigraphy to be as potentially informative as vertical stratigraphy. It is this approach that causes some archaeologists to ignore entire sites if the sites have no vertical differentiation.

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