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ANTH 3650
Edward Hedican

Jennings Chapter 4: The Archaic Stage Previous era ‘stage’ determined by characteristics; - focus on large game-subsistence patterns - little (or simply lack of evidence) material cultural property (poverty in this case) - no evidence of plant products - simple technology - tools and utensils - uncomplicated sociopolitical organization - cultural skills and institutions limited to those required for survival (in pursuit of game) Archaic Period - ranging from 8000BP until AD 1850s in some places - described as foraging pattern of existence - coincided with Folsom and Plano phases - defined interpretively (artifact varies, a single definition on basis of an artifact cannot be universally applied) - specific specialized tools and utensils for varied (new) subsistence base - technologically more versatile and complex (then previous stages) - subsistence varied season to season, and tool inventory expanded Tools - ground stone woodworking tools : for forest environment (ax, wedge, gouge) - milling equipment : (mortars, pestles etc) - stone vessels : represent greater permanence of occupancy - ground slate points and knives : polished, also shows permanency - choppers and scrapers continue BUT drill first found in Archaic - greater variety of points - bone, horn and ivory made into awls, perforators and needles : indicates basket mak- ing and skinworking - evidence of marine prey : spears, gorges, hooks, harpoons, - shells : evidence of adornment and ornament - copper and asphaltum new to Archaic period Changes - formalized burials (round graves, partial cremation, inclusion of grave goods) : indicate temporal continuity Archaic Research - little evidence of houses and storage sites - trouble understanding Archaic as continent wide culture - definition tough in organizational terms without a commoner artifact - became accepted through term use (credited to Richie 1932) by ’58 fully accepted - key: Archaic as a lifeway, not geared to any one ecosystem Forest Efficiency - Interest in Archaic began in Eastern area - Caldwell 1958 Primary Forest Efficiency - thesis - point: more species variation (hunting as well as harvesting, seasonal progress) the beginnings of diversity specialization of tools. Technological skills increase as well. - East: uniform growth - Seasonal successes: thus without surplus settlements and permanent dwelling sites - primary forest efficiency may imply movement of groups to a schedule, but certainly not aimless, or nomadic. Caldwells Thesis - Archaic cultures became more and more complex and show increasing inventory of tools through time - populations increase - communications ease - greatest potential for cultural innovation - closing of Archaic = conquest for space completed - further efficiency in exploitation: implies new techniques of food preparation, broad- ened range of raw materials - leads to natural innovations Cont. - utilization of plant fibers = development of textile arts, = results: mats, baskets, bags - invention of basket = expedited gathering, transport and storage - fibers to make nets, to catch fish, rodents and fowl. - vegetable fiber makes cordage - used in traps, fishlines, snares, - greater devices = prepared for greater numbers with less effort - *Archaic: a series of inventions and innovations (utilizing raw materials not yet evident to earlier cultures) - technological advance = leads to special tools (rather than all purpose) increasing skills, lead to refinements, better efficient food collecting and other specialized tools Eastern Archaic - many reported Archaic sites - varied Gravers discovered (points, with different markings and chippings) - additional flint tools: flat flakes with secondary chippings on edges to make knives or scrapers - scrapers of thick flakes, rectangular, oval, triangular - storage pits and hearths uncovered - (these sites are important as ‘house’ type findings are rare - animal food bones (show range of diet) - range of hunting specialized tools - indication of seasonal intent (what bone
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