The Lithic Analysis of Flaking Debris for Late Woodland Native American Archaeological Sites in the Palisades-Dows Nature Preserve, Linn County, Iowa

April 17th, 2004

Archaeological investigations were conducted at three presumed Late Woodland period Native American sites, 13LN315, 13LN316, and 13LN323, located within the Palisades-Dows Nature Area, Linn County , Iowa . This study was conducted as a field school under the joint auspices of the University Of Iowa ‘s Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA), Iowa City , and Cornell College , Mt. Vernon . Site 13LN315 and 13LN316 are located along a 1930s-vintage Civilian Conservation Corp access road on a gently east-sloping ridge immediately west of the Cedar River . The primary focus of this research was to analyze the chipped lithic materials recovered from each of the three sites. Lithic debitage was cleaned and sorted using standard methodological techniques employed at the OSA. The assemblage was entered into the Statistical Analysis for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software package where descriptive statistics were derived which served as the basis for this analysis. These statistics were useful in drawing inferences about potential prehistoric chipped lithic tool manufacturing behavior, including the possible function of the site (i.e. initial core reduction verses tool finishing, or a combination of the two), the extent of site use (trampling), lithic material preferences, and the use of heat treatment.

Andrew Sorensen, ’04 Algona , IA
Majors: Geology and History

Sponsor: Paul Garvin

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