Date of Award

10-2019

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.

Department

Anthropology

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark Muñiz

Second Advisor

Robert Mann

Third Advisor

Michael Fosha

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Northwest Plains Early Archaic Lithic Geoarchaeology

Abstract

The goals of this research are to come to a greater understanding of site formation processes at the Hudson-Meng site, to gain a greater understanding of Early to Middle Archaic lifeways through the material record at Hudson-Meng, and to quantify the potential for error between observers in a lab setting, using the Hudson-Meng assemblage as a vehicle for discussion. Situated in Sioux County, Nebraska, the Hudson-Meng site (25SX115) has been a site of contention for decades. Hudson-Meng has been evaluated multiple times since its original excavation in 1968, with the primary research focus being on a large Paleoindian bone bed. However, an oft overlooked Component of Hudson-Meng is an Early to Middle Archaic phase, which has been noted by each of the major undertakings at the site. More recent excavations at the site, conducted by Dr. Mark Muñiz from St. Cloud State University from 2006 to 2014, have uncovered further evidence of Early to Middle Archaic occupation of the site. It is this assemblage of artifacts which is the specific focus of this research. This find is of considerable interest, as there is a relative absence of sites at this age in the Northwest Plains. By synthesizing the geoarchaeological context of the site and region with the material record from this Component, a greater understanding of Northwest Plains Archaic groups may be realized. Additionally, assessment of measurement errors between observers will provide more robust methodological frameworks by which artifacts can be analyzed. Based on the data, three distinct cultural Components are observed; these Components represent short term occupation of the site, as evidenced by the scarcity of artifacts and lack of exotic materials. Four of the six previously observed soil anomalies correspond to two of the cultural Components observed. These four are interpreted as cultural, with the remaining two features being interpreted as naturally occurring. Lastly, measurement errors among observers become much greater as the metric in question becomes more subjective; awareness of this should serve to encourage a greater degree of specificity in measurement constraint. This Component of Hudson-Meng is also notable as being the first documented appearance of thermally altered rock within an Early Archaic setting.

Comments/Acknowledgements

This project has been the culmination of countless hours of effort, and there was simply no way that I would have been able to arrive at this point without the help of countless individuals. First and foremost, I would like to thank my advisor, Dr. Mark P. Muñiz for his guidance over the past years, for providing the initial inspiration for this project, and most importantly, for his belief in me and my potential. Additionally, I wish to extend my thanks to my other two committee members, Dr. Robert Mann and Mr. Michael Fosha. Both in terms of my thesis, and my overall time at St. Cloud State, they provided encouragement and insight that helped this project come to completion. In addition to my committee, this project necessitated the help of several students within the Department of Anthropology. Christiana Peach, Benjamin Shriar, Caleb Frauendienst, and Elizabeth Pawelk graciously took time from their own studies and schedules to provide comparative data for my statistical analysis, and by its very nature, I could not have done it on my own.

Lastly, I want to extend my gratitude to all of my family and friends who were able to keep me going throughout my graduate studies. Whether it was staying up too late at a conference, or simply taking the time to offer support, those close to me were able to provide help every step of the way.

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