Camas processing or upland hunting: an interpretation of lithic scatters at High Prairie
LccE 78 I18 B75 1992
LcshExcavations (Archaeology) - Idaho
Idaho - Antiquities
Indians of North America - Idaho - Antiquities
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AbstractEthnographic, archaeological and historical data are employed to develop a cultural context for the use of camas in the vicinity of south central Idaho. The consequent hypotheses are tested using an assemblage of stone tools and debitage from five sites at High Prairie. High Prairie is in a region known to have been an important camas harvesting site during the historic period. The recovered artifact assemblage is almost completely made up of chipped stone tools and the byproducts of their manufacture. Flake tools are the most frequently occurring artifact type. A study of the use-wear on the utilized edges on the flake tools and a detailed analysis of the lithic debitage are the most important analytical techniques used in the interpretation of the High Prairie sites. Projectile points are also numerous and based on extant chronologies, the sites may date as early as the time of Christ, with repetitive reoccupations probably occurring into the late prehistoric period. Excavations at High Prairie and the subsequent analysis of the artifact assemblage failed to produce any evidence for the intensive processing of camas root. In fact, the assemblages suggest that the sites are related to the obsidian quarry near Fairfield and represent the procurement of lithic raw material, possibly in anticipation of tool needs during hunting forays in the surrounding uplands.
Bibliography: p. 118-132.
CitationBrisland, R. T. (1992). Camas processing or upland hunting: an interpretation of lithic scatters at High Prairie (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/20437
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