Site structure and activity organization at a late paleoindian base camp in western nebraska

Matthew G. Hill, David J. Rapson, Thomas J. Loebel, David W. May

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Paleoindian archaeology on the Great Plains is often characterized by the investigation of large mammal kiil/butchery bonebeds with relatively high archaeological visibility. Extensively documented aspects of Paleoindian behavioral variability include the form and composition of weaponry systems, hunting strategies, carcass exploitation, and hunter mobility. Non-hunting oriented aspects of settlement and subsistence behavior are less documented. Information from Component 2 at the O. V. Clary site, in Ash Hollow, western Nebraska, lessens this imbalance of knowledge. It provides a fine-grained, spatially extensive record ofLate Paleoindian (Alien Complex) activities at a winter base camp occupiedfor 5-7 months. This paper highlights elements of site structure and activity organization, emphasizing domestic behaviors including hearth use, site maintenance, and hide working. ArcGIS 9.3.1 (ESRI) and GeoDa 0.9.5-1 (Anselin 2003; Anselin et al. 2006) are employed in conjunction with middle-range observations and expectations to document and interpret spadai patterning in the distribution of over 57,000 artifaets, ecofacts, and red ochre nodules. More broadly, results are related to two models of Paleoindian residential mobility: the place-oriented model and the high-tech forager model. Rather than mutually exclusive scenarios, Component 2 indicates that these models reflect complementary structural poses within the overall behavioral system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)752-772
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Antiquity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Museology


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