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Identifying Cultural Migration in Western North America through Morphometric Analysis of Early Holocene Projectile Points
AuthorHartman, Amanda J.
AdvisorSmith, Geoffrey M.
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Migrations and interactions between early populations are a major focus of Paleoindian research. Because there is a paucity of genetic data, researchers use distinctive projectile point styles to infer temporal and spatial diffusion of ideas between in situ populations or population migrations. However, archaeologists often study culture areas defined by physiographic features, which may preclude observation of stylistic continuity. Stemmed points occur at least as early as ~13,500 cal BP (Davis et al. 2014) in the Intermountain West and continue throughout the Paleoindian Period (~14,500-8000 cal BP). Stemmed forms occur during both the Middle and Late Paleoindian periods (~11,500-8000 cal BP) in the northern Great Plains. Prior research has identified a likeness between Late Paleoindian points from these two regions: Windust in the Intermountain West and Cody on the Great Plains. In this thesis, I test the hypothesis that Windust and Cody projectile points bear enough morphological similarity to imply transmontane movement of people and/or ideas during the Early Holocene. The results of classification techniques performed on non-standard interlandmark distances support the hypothesis that some Windust and Cody projectile points are morphologically similar and may be considered within the same class.