Synthesis and Assessment of the Folsom Record in Illinois and Wisconsin

Thomas J. Loebel, John M. Lambert, Matthew G. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Census of avocational and public collections for Folsom and Midland artifacts from Illinois and Wisconsin signals a substantial Folsom occupation in the Upper Midwest. Over 200 points and preforms demonstrate a southwest–northeast pattern of point manufacture, use, discard, and loss across much of Illinois and the southern third of Wisconsin. The distribution of these artifacts overlaps to a large extent; however, most Midland points occur in Wisconsin. This non-fluted weaponry is interpreted as a techno-situational response to the intrinsic properties and distribution of regional toolstones, combined with the relatively high cost of fluting failure experienced during periods of focused hunting. Folsom mobility and land use are structured along major rivers, with southern Wisconsin most often functioning as a main destination of group movement. Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus) are the inferred focal prey and organizational driver of Folsom adaptations in the Upper Midwest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2 2016


  • forager mobility
  • landscape archaeology
  • technological organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Palaeontology


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