Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High Country
Hunter-Gatherer Archaeology of the Colorado High
Country offers data on 8,000 years of cultural change across a
wide area of western Colorado and updates archaeological
methodology in the mountain West.
Synthesizing research from several important, previously neglected
sites, the book anchors its findings in a massive body of data that
Mark Stiger gathered over eight years at Tenderfoot - a large
lithic-scatter site once categorized as insignificant. Advances in
spatial analysis, theoretical approaches, and excavation methods
have allowed lithic-scatter sites, once considered less revealing
than intact structures and similar sites, to yield startlingly rich
Presenting artifactual data that reflects changes in houses, game
drives, fire pits, stone tools, and debitage, Stiger explains the
cultural sequence in the Upper Gunnison Basin and its connections
to changes across the West. He relates
environmental and cultural changes, relying on paleoenvironmental
evidence, changes in floral and faunal usage patterns, and data
recovered in multi-year, repetitive surface collections.
An overview and critique of past research in
the region complements discussion of the advantages of horizontally
extensive block excavations and other contemporary ways of
excavating and analyzing surface sites.
Stiger's findings hold promise for future research, as
high-altitude surface sites are common, under-researched, and
relatively well-preserved. The advances in archaeological method
and theory that enabled Stiger's outstanding results in the Upper
Gunnison Basin will allow many other Western sites to yield
Subjects: Sociology, Archaeology
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