Playa archaeology on the southern high plains of Texas: A spatial analysis of Hunter-Gatherer occupations at Tahoka-Walker (41LY53)

Stance Hurst, Eileen Johnson, Vance T. Holliday, Sophie Butler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tahoka-Walker (41LY53) is a multi-component Paleoindian and Late Archaic campsite located along the margins of a playa near the town of Tahoka on the Southern High Plains of Texas. Three discrete concentrations of artifacts observed while mapping the surface distribution of artifacts suggest separate activity areas. A spatial analysis of the distribution oflithic artifacts by their raw material source and minimum analytical nodule is undertaken to determine if a separate Paleoindian and Late Archaic occupation could be distinguished. In addition, minimum analytical nodules are used to deduce the technological planning strategies evident at Tahoka-Walker. A spatial analysis of hearthstones and bone scrap are used to compare with the distribution oflithic artifact clusters. Spatial analysis confirms the presence of three distinct areas that coincide with the three concentrations noted in the field. One is an activity area associated with a Paleoindian occupation, but Late Archaic activities overlap the Paleoindian activity area in extent, and cannot be distinguished spatially. Information recovered from the piece-point plotted surface artifacts holds great potential for spatial analysis, but investigating the spatial structure of the site is critical for determining what types of cultural inferences can be made about the site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-214
Number of pages20
JournalPlains Anthropologist
Volume55
Issue number215
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Late Archaic
  • Minimum analytical nodule analysis
  • Paleoindian
  • Southern High Plains
  • Surface archaeology

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