Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

565

Date

2012

Date of Award

4-17-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Earth Sciences

Concentration

Archaeology

Committee Chair

Judson B Finley

Committee Member

Andrew M Mickelson

Committee Member

George H Swihart

Abstract

A trans-Holocene time averaged synthesis of obsidian use in the Wyoming Basin is presented through the analysis of published and unpublished obsidian source provenance reports. A caloric based cost surface model is used to evaluate whether or not ecological factors contributed to the low regional abundance of Yellowstone Plateau obsidian. The results of the cost surface analysis indicate that modeled caloric costs for the use of four key sources varies little across the region and rather than environmental variables, social factors likely structured the regional obsidian record. Least cost paths generated from the cost surface models were compared to regional ethnographic and ethnohistoric records with the aim of comparing the seemingly stable trans-Holocene settlement and land-use patterns with historically documented ethnographic ranges. The regional obsidian record supports a stable, long-term subsistence strategy centered on the Wyoming Range and encompassing the Wyoming Basin and eastern Snake River Plain.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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