2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 8:30 AM


MANDEL, Rolfe D., Kansas Geological Survey, Univ of Kansas, 1930 Constant Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66047-3724, HOLEN, Steven, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, 2001 Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80205 and HOFMAN, Jack L., Anthropology Department, Univ of Kansas, Fraser Hall, Lawrence, KS 66045, mandel@kgs.ku.edu

The Kanorado locality is in upper Middle Beaver Creek valley in northwestern Kansas. Late Quaternary alluvium is stored beneath two geomorphic surfaces: a low, narrow floodplain (T-0) and a broad, flat terrace (T-1). The Quaternary alluvium is inset into the Ogallala Formation. Recent investigations at Kanorado recorded two stratified Clovis-age campsites – 14SN101 and 14SN105 – contained in silty alluvium beneath the T-1 terrace. A third campsite, 14SN106, consists of stratified Folsom cultural deposits above a Clovis component. The Clovis-age cultural deposits at the three sites are in the lower 10 cm of the A horizon of a buried paleosol, or about 1.5 m below the T-1 surface. One or more of these components, represented by chipped-stone artifacts (flakes and tools) composed of exotic materials, including Alibates flint, Flattop chalcedony, Smoky Hill jasper, and Hartville chert, are in this paleosol. Faunal elements associated with the lithics are camel and bison size. Also, one element appears to be mammoth cortical bone. Purified collagen samples representing one bone from each of the three sites, all collected from the lower 10 cm of the buried A horizon, yielded AMS 14C ages of 10,150+/-500, 10,950+/-60, and 11,005+/-50 yrs B.P. Also, a concentration of in situ mammoth bones, including a proximal fibula, a vertebrae, and rib fragments, was exposed about 2.5 m below the Clovis-age component at site 14SN105. The bones were in loamy and fine-sandy alluvium about 30 cm above coarse-grained point bar facies. Spiral fractures were observed on the fibula and rib fragments and on one piece of cortical limb bone. The vertebra, however, showed no evidence of breakage. Also, a phalanx and fragment of pelvis from a Camelops were found among the mammoth bones. There is no evidence of carnivore gnawing and we consider human action to be a likely explanation for the bone modification. Purified collagen from a mammoth fibula, Camelops tibia, and mammoth radius yielded 14C ages of 12,215+/-35, 12,255+/-40 and 12,375+/-35 yrs B.P., respectively. In sum, the Kanorado locality is significant because it represents the first recorded in situ Clovis and Folsom-age cultural deposits in the Central Plains. It also may have a pre-Clovis archaeological component, and, therefore, may shed light on the timing of human entry into the Great Plains.