Culminating Project Title
Rethinking Hudson-Meng: A Taphonomic Analysis of the Faunal Assemblage from 25SX115, Sioux County, Nebraska
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.
College of Liberal Arts
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Hudson-Meng (25SX115), located in the Oglala National Grassland, Sioux County, Nebraska, is a multi-component Cody complex site that was used for the procurement of bison between 10,500 and 11,250 years ago. The site was excavated in the 1970s and 1990s, which led to many, at times divergent, interpretations of the site’s origin and use by Cody complex peoples. Excavations between 2006 and 2012 have led to new evidence and interpretations regarding multiple episodes of site use. The faunal assemblage recovered from the most recent excavations was used for zooarchaeological and taphonomic studies, and is reported here. The identification of taphonomic characteristics, statistical analyses, and comparative studies were used to investigate the natural or cultural origin of the deposits, produce economic utility curves, and determine the faunal composition of the site. Both natural and cultural taphonomic characteristics were identified in this study of Hudson-Meng and along with other evidence of site use, confirm that Hudson-Meng is a multi-component cultural site. Two components were determined more likely to be natural based on a lack of cultural taphonomic characteristics. Economic utility curves produced for the components with adequate taxonomic information, showed that all of the components except one had identifiable elements representative of the unbiased utilization of animals. One component showed a bulk utilization of the animals represented at the site. It is possible that at least one of these economic utility curves was partly skewed by the deterioration and loss of less dense skeletal elements. The natural taphonomic characteristics identified for each of the components showed some slight differences between stratigraphically adjacent components that led to patterned clustering. This outcome demonstrates the possibility that the post-depositional processes that occurred within the first few years of the formation of each deposit were slightly different, which may reflect slight changes in the environment. The cultural taphonomic characteristics demonstrate that when only cultural processing was considered Components 3 and X were the most similar, followed by Component 2. In all cases where bone tool manufacturing characteristics or natural characteristics were considered with cultural processing characteristics Components 2 and 3 were the most similar, followed by Component X. Component X most likely represents a component from the same cultural phase as Component 3 or possibly Component 2.
Barg, Diana M., "Rethinking Hudson-Meng: A Taphonomic Analysis of the Faunal Assemblage from 25SX115, Sioux County, Nebraska" (2013). Culminating Projects in Cultural Resource Management. 1.
Ms. Diana Barg received the 2013 Distinguished Thesis award from the School of Graduate Studies at St. Cloud State University.
This thesis was digitized and published to The Repository with the generous permission of Diana Barg.