Northeastern Section - 50th Annual Meeting (23–25 March 2015)

Paper No. 1
Presentation Time: 10:20 AM


CALOGERO, Barbara L., Archaeologist, 148 Lawler Road, West Hartford, CT 06117,

More than 10,000 years ago Paleo-Americans transported a large supply of chert from the Hudson Valley to the Connecticut Valley in Deerfield, to knap into weapons for hunting caribou. In 1995, Gramly excavated the location, the Sugarloaf site, first identified in 1978 by Thomas Ulrich. Gramly and colleagues continued the excavation in 2013, recovering 115 tools including whole or fragments of 23 fluted spear points of chert and two of banded rhyolite.

Of the 42,000 knapping waste flakes, 26 were prepared in thin section for petrographic identification. Eight were rhyolite, five of which are spherulitic and resemble the rhyolite from Mt. Jasper, Berlin, New Hamp[shire. The remainder of the flakes consist of Hudson Valley chert, Clough and other metamorphic quartzites, basalt from both the entablature and collonade of the Holyoke flow, pegmatite, and a few rocks that are too fine grained to identify.

These few thin sections provide evidence of the resourcefulness of the ancient tool knappers and their willingness to use a variety of different materials. It also indicates that they obtained rock by direct procurement or exchange from a considerable distance, more than 200 km to the northeast.

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