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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 Part 2– Desert Archaic

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Anthropology 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 14 Part 2– Desert Archaic Desert Archaic Prior to 2,000 BP  Material is not well known, even though it is a 6,000-6,500 year period  Why? o Sites are small, with few artifacts  Hard to locate o Most artifacts are not that distinctive/diagnostic o Points are relatively rare on sites  Appearance of notched points, sometime around 8,500-8,000 BP o Biases towards looking at the later sites (closer to 2,000 year end)  Later materials are preserved better  More interested on how maize agriculture affected the lifestyle when it came in (just before and just after arrival of corn)  Earlier sites are very rare, very hard to find – ones prior to 5,000 years ago especially, mainly a climatic problem (was a very dry and hot climate – hypsithermal/altithermal)  Hard to make a living – retreated to areas where it was easier to make a living o Excavations of certain kinds of sites  Cave sites instead of open-air sites  Caves are usually stratified sites, easier to date layers  Extremely well preserved organic items: early spears, arrows, fabrics, basketry, mats, moccasins/sandals, etc.  Duck decoys, from Lovelock, Nevada  E.g. Danger Cave, Utah What we know about the Desert Archaic  Culture history: chronological sequence o Going to be following Early, Middle, Late dating (Bruce Huckell) o Early Desert Archaic: > 5,500 BP  Not well known  Didn’t make points before 8,500 BP  Large number
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