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Lecture 23 Part 2 – Middle Plains Archaic

Course Code
ANTH 2231F/G
Christopher Ellis

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Lecture 23 Part 2 Middle Plains Archaic
Middle Plains Archaic: 5,000 3,300 BP
Major changes between 5,000-4,500 BP
Moisture increased, more grasses on plains, bison
o More bison kills (bison in modern form)
o People moving onto the plains more
o Associated more with the north, called the McKean Complex
McKean Complex
o 4,500-3,300 BP
o Named after site in northwestern Wyoming
o People starting to produce a variety of point styles
o Wider range of sites, some occupations in the foothills
Rockshelters occupied in the summer-early fall, used
extensively for plant harvesting (lots of monos and matates)
Appearance of roasting ovens for preparing plant foods
Occupation sites on ridge-top sites
Stream close by, good vantage point to watch for game
Appearance of stone circles
Circle of large stones, about 4-7 meters across
Probably weights for teepees
o Bison kill sites still major source of information
Still used arroyos, many more kill sites because they needed to
feed more people
o Bison Jump
Several sites
E.g. Kobold, Wyoming
10m high sandstone cliff, buffalo forced off the edge
People waited at the bottom to finish them off
o Artificial structures for hunting
E.g. Scoggin, Wyoming
Corral at the bottom of a gradual slope
At least 100 animals were taken at a time
Sites used multiple times
Need to get multiple animals running, ones at the front can see
the barrier or cliff, others behind them force them off the edge
o Shift from winter hunting to fall hunting
Realized that they needed some form of preservation
Could live off stored products through the winter
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