Late Holocene Toolstone Procurement and Land-Use Strategies in the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Country of Northwest Nevada
AuthorLaValley, Stephen J.
AdvisorSmith, Geoffrey M.
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This thesis tests current interpretations of Late Holocene (5,000 cal BP to present) archaeology for the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Country (BRD/HRC) through an assessment of the toolstone procurement and land-use strategies of the region's prehistoric occupants. This is achieved through: lithic analysis from Paiute Creek Shelter (PCS), a recently excavated rock shelter with stratified cultural remains spanning the Late Holocene; X-ray fluorescence analysis of artifacts from PCS, Hanging Rock Shelter, Silent Snake Springs, and Smokey Creek Cave; and spatial analysis of 623 archaeological sites in the BRD/HRC. Results indicate that no changes occurred in how obsidian toolstone was procured between the Middle Archaic (5,000-1,500 cal BP) and Late Archaic (1,500 cal BP to contact), while residential mobility intensified during the Late Archaic, likely promoting increased trade in the region.