Lithic procurement patterning as a proxy for identifying Late Paleoindian group mobility along the Lower Tennessee River Valley


The Tennessee and Cumberland River Valleys boast some of the highest concentrations of diagnostic Paleoindian artifact finds in the Americas. However, many of these finds are from secondary contexts void of associated deposits. The study utilizes chert provenance data, obtained using reflectance spectroscopy, on a large sample of Late Paleoindian diagnostic bifaces from sites along the Lower Tennessee River Valley. The objective of the study is to visualize group identity and mobility at the close of the Pleistocene. Resulting data suggests that band group mobility may have been significantly less than proposed models for adjacent regions. The data may also indicate that groups were periodically congregating along the Lower Tennessee River from three regions. Chert source data provides a means to glean useful cultural information even from disassociated materials.

Publication Title

Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports