Identification of lithic processing stages at Boxed Springs (41UR30)
Haley, C. 2022. Identification of lithic processing stages at Boxed Springs (41UR30) -- In Proceedings: 18th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University
Boxed Springs (41UR30) is an early Caddo site (800-1200 CE) located in East Texas that has been a known site since the 1950s and excavated by archaeologists, volunteers, and looters. The site is documented to be poor in stone deposits suggesting the people had to source their stone from different regions. Stone tools as well as flakes and debitage left behind tell us about the production process and where the raw materials originated. There are two ways in which raw materials can be transported to make tools: whole pieces of raw stone and preforms, the latter of which is stone worked to a rough shape making it smaller and easier for transportation. To understand the process in which the raw materials were transported back to the site, both the size of debitage and flakes will be analyzed to determine which stages of production appear frequently. WSU Archaeology of Food Laboratory currently has a small collection of lithics from the August 2021 excavation which will be used in the analysis. With a sample size of 188 flakes the average length, width, and thickness were found to be 12.45 mm (L), 12.41 mm (W), and T 2.49 mm (T). The small size of the flakes shows stone being worked in stages 3 and 4. In these later stages, larger pieces of stone and cortex have been removed. This is consistent with the minimal amount of cortex found, making up only 9% of the sample size with even fewer having 100% cortex on one side. Evidence shows the transport of preform materials being brought into the Boxed Springs region to be worked and reshaped into tools needed for everyday life. Further excavation and research should be conducted on other lithic materials from the site to determine the extent of the creation and retouching of tools at Boxed Springs.
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Research completed in the Department of Chemistry, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences