Paper No. 55-0
STACKELBECK, Kary L., Anthropology, Univ of Kentucky, 211 Lafferty Hall, Lexington, KY 40506-0024,

This paper explores the potential for using lithic refit analysis as a method for establishing contextual integrity within archaeological deposits and assessing site formation processes when it is used in tandem with geoarchaeological and geomorphological data. The validity of archaeological reconstructions of past lifeways relies heavily on the intact nature of the cultural and natural deposits that are the basis for interpretations. Geoarchaeological assessments of stratigraphy, depositional environment, and taphonomic processes are correlated with temporal and archaeological data for periods of human occupation in specific locations on the landscape to provide a framework for evaluating whether the cultural deposits are relatively intact, or if they have been disturbed. Other means of evaluation may further support such geoarchaeological assessments. For example, lithic refit analysis has been employed as a means of identifying spatial organization of past human behavior, and evaluating the degree of post-depositional movement of artifacts at various archaeological sites world-wide. This method was applied to a sample of Paleoindian (ca. 11,500-10,000 B.P.) lithic artifacts from the Big Eddy site in southwest Missouri. Stratified Paleoindian deposits at the Big Eddy site are deeply buried within the Early Rodgers Shelter submember, 285-355 cm below surface. Integrated lithic refit, stratigraphic, sedimentological, geochemical, archaeological, and temporal data from the Big Eddy site indicate strong contextual integrity of Paleoindian deposits. Establishing the integrity of these deposits was central to previous interpretations of early hunter-gatherer occupation of this region, and is integral to continuing research at the Big Eddy site, as well as other archaeological and geoarchaeological studies in the Sac River Valley and its tributaries.

North-Central Section (36th) and Southeastern Section (51st), GSA Joint Annual Meeting (April 35, 2002)
Session No. 55
Geology and Human History II: Geoarchaeology and Site Formation Studies
Hyatt Regency Hotel: Patterson Ballroom D
1:20 PM-5:00 PM, Friday, April 5, 2002

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