Starch Residue Analysis from Two High Altitude Village Locations: High Rise Village, Wyoming and the White Mountain Village Sites, California
AuthorRankin, Amanda M.
AdvisorMorgan, Christopher T.
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Starch residue analysis, ground stone, and use-wear analysis on milling equipment from High Rise Village and the White Mountain Village sites reveals a subsistence system that included geophyte processing at high elevation. High altitude residential use is little understood in North America and has often been thought to relate to intensive pine nut exploitation. This research indicates that this is not the case, and that geophytes were a targeted resource at high elevation. A closer look at the archaeological record in the two regions reveals that root processing was a common occurrence in nearby lowland regions and that high altitude villages may fit into this broader regional pattern of geophyte processing, a fact that has been overlooked by archaeologists and ethnographers alike, and something starch residue analysis is well suited to demonstrate.