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Lecture 6

Anthropology 2231F/G Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Midden, Stone Tool, Grave Goods

Course Code
ANTH 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 6 Part 2 Middle Archaic
Middle Archaic (8,000 6,000 BP)
Disappearance of similarities with Paleoindians
Artifact Differences:
o Use of more local materials/stones, started using wider range of
stones including coarse grained rocks
o Throw-away stone technology no reuse of tools, use and throw away
o New tool forms added: e.g. net sinkers
o More ground and polished stone tools (axes, adzes, bannerstones,
o New kinds of ground stone tools, also pendants, beads
Were eventually traded over large areas
Site Differences
o Large garbage dumps/middens
Especially river valleys, etc.
Intensive use of fresh water mussels/shellfish, taken in large
E.g. Eva, Tennessee, begins about 7200 BP, shell midden
about 3m deep, evidence that they are starting to come back to
same locations “entrenched mobility”
o Appearance of more permanent, substantial structures
E.g. Koster, Illinois
7500-6500 area of Koster, find several well-built houses
(rectangular, with substantial posts 45cm across)
o More Burials and True Cemeteries
Black Earth, Illinois
Dates to end of Middle Archaic (6,500 6,000 BP)
154 burials, could be as many as 500 burials
No elaborate, mainly single individuals in shallow pits
Differences in how pits were dug for infants, younger
adults and older adults
o Infants and younger adults buried extended
o Middle to older adults were buried in fetal
Younger people got more grave goods, not as common
for older people
Not many grave goods to begin with
Adults: goods are utilitarian objects, tools form
everyday life
o Differences between males and females
o Males: resource procurement tools (points, axes,
o Females: processing tools (hide scrapers, awls,
needles, etc.)
Very few ceremonial objects
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