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Late Paleoindian Leporid Processing at the Little Steamboat Point-1 Rockshelter: An Experimental and Archaeological Use-Wear Analysis of Obsidian Flake Tools
AuthorVan der Voort, Madeline Ware
AdvisorSmith, Geoffrey M.
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Human occupation of the Little Steamboat Point-1 (LSP-1) rockshelter in southcentral Oregon began ~9,600 cal BP. Artifacts recovered from the pre-Mazama deposits include a faunal assemblage comprised primarily of leporid remains and a lithic assemblage dominated by informal flake tools. I designed and conducted an experiment using replicated obsidian flake tools to identify leporid processing strategies employed by Early Holocene occupants. I performed hide, carcass, and meat processing tasks with the replicated tools on farmed meat rabbits and documented the microscopic use-wear traces of these activities. I then compared the replicated use-wear with wear present on 35 obsidian flake tools from pre-Mazama deposits and found that hide processing, including both scraping and cutting, was the most common activity performed at the site. Leporid carcass processing was the second most common activity. These results suggest that the occupants of LSP-1 not only consumed and processed leporid carcasses, but also prepared leporid hides for rabbit skin blanket production.