The 5th Annual Stanley J. Olsen  

 

EAGLE LAKE ZOOARCHAEOLOGY CONFERENCE

July 18-19, 2009

 

We are pleased to welcome you to the 5th Annual Stanley J. Olsen Eagle Lake Zooarchaeology Conference.  It is our desire in the context of this conference to provide a collegial atmosphere where current ideas and issues in zooarchaeology can be discussed and explored.  The primary open session is entitled “Human Paleoecology: A Zooarchaeological Perspective”.

 

Saturday, July 18:

 

9:00 AM          Welcome, Introductions, and Program Announcements

 

9:20 AM          Frank Bayham and Raymond J. Bogiatto (California State University, Chico)

                             ZOOARCHAEOLOGY AT EAGLE LAKE:  A BRIEF HISTORY AND SOME PERSONAL REFLECTIONS

 

10:00 AM        Kelly Beck (University of Utah)         

                                      PREHISTORIC MARINE MAMMAL HUNTING, ZOOARCHAEOLOGICAL INFERENCE, AND THE OSTEOLOGICAL PARADOX

 

                                      Zooarchaeologists often use the age and sex structure of faunal assemblages to draw inferences about prehistoric human hunting behaviors.  In pinnipeds, life history characteristics may have made some animals more susceptible to human predation at rookeries and archaeologists have suggested such prehistoric hunting behavior.  Demographic data commonly argued to support inferences of this hunting pattern, however, may not effectively differentiate variation in prehistoric hunting practices.  The Osteological Paradox from human paleodemography outlines a number of potentially complicating variables affecting demographic inferences drawn from skeletal assemblages and argues that strong inferences need to be predicated on strong prior models.  This paper uses a common population projection method to model expected demographic effects of different pinniped hunting patterns.  These models are then compared to evaluate the efficacy of using pinniped age and sex data to differentiate between proposed hunting practices.

 

11:00 AM        Michael Cannon, Brian Durkin, Nicci Barger, Sarah Creer, and Amy Baures  (SWCA Environmental Consultants)

                              LATE HOLOCENE SUBSISTENCE IN THE LITTLE BOULDER BASIN, NORTHERN NEVADA

 

                                      The Little Boulder Basin of northern Nevada has one of the densest concentrations of excavated archaeological sites in the Great Basin.  Subsistence and technological data from the area have played an influential role both in shaping our understanding of prehistoric adaptations in the northern Great Basin and in developing evolutionary ecology theory.  A recent synthetic analysis of Little Boulder Basin data undertaken by SWCA provides a more detailed picture of late Holocene subsistence in the area than has previously been available.  This analysis suggests, in particular, that rates of encounter with artiodactyls were higher and diets narrower during the period between about A.D. 700 and 1300 than during either later or earlier periods.  This period of high foraging efficiency correlates with a period of increased monsoonal precipitation in the northern Great Basin, which may explain the higher artiodactyl rates during this time.  Evidence for human population growth after A.D. 1300, and hence for human-caused reductions in artiodactyl population densities around this time, is ambiguous.

 

   12:00 – 1:30 PM     Lunch

 

1:30 PM           Andrew Ugan and Joan Coltrain (University of Utah)

                             CHANGES IN CLIMATE, DIET, AND THE STABLE ISOTOPE SIGNATURES OF HUMANS AND FAUNAS FROM MEDIAN VILLAGE AND EVANS MOUND

                            

                             Median Village and Evans Mound are two Fremont period agricultural sites located in Parowan Valley, Utah.   Prior analysis of their faunas demonstrated substantial variability in taphonomy and human diet over the 300 years the sites were occupied and tied that variability to changes in aridity and precipitation.  Here we present additional isotopic data meant to corroborate that proposition.  These include stable carbon and nitrogen isotope values for over 200 samples of modern and archaeological deer (Odocoileus hemionus), mountain sheep (Ovis canadensis), pronghorn antelope (Antilocapra america), blacktailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), mountain cottontail (Sylvilagus nuttallii), and three sets of human remains recovered from Evans Mound.  The human remains show clear and substantial differences in diet occurred and that antilope and jackrabbits were more important than their representation in the archaeological record suggests.  While all faunas show variability in their C and N isotope values, there are no clear differences across occupational units or between sites, nor between modern and archaeological taxa where such data exists (primarily hares).  We discuss these results and their implications for interpreting the zooarchaeological record and for inferences regarding the relationship between stable nitrogen values and aridity in modern and archaeological faunas.

 

2:30 PM           Gustavo Neme and Adolfo Gil (Museo de Historia Natural de San Rafael)

                             SPATIAL TENDENCIES IN THE ARCHAEOFAUNAL RECORD FROM ARGENTINEAN CENTRAL WEST

 

                                      During the last ten years, the archaeofaunal record of southern Mendoza Province  has been used to address several subjects related to human subsistence.  Appling Optimal Foraging Theory, researchers have tried to explain differences in archaeological tendencies through time.  These approaches have been useful in the development of ideas related to the incorporation of agriculture in the region, resource intensification, the impact of the introduction of domestic animals, and the incorporation of marginal environments into hunter-gatherers’ settlement patterns.

 

                                      All of these approaches have focused on temporal tendencies in archaeofaunal assemblages. However, the high variability in the southern Mendozan landscape may have played an important role in the formation of archaeofaunal landscapes. In this presentation, we analyze the main spatial tendencies in relation to the structure of present ecosystems, and compare these results with earlier ideas about human use of animal resources in the region.

 

3:30 PM           Deanna Grimstead, Katherine Dungan, Matt Pailes, and Natalia Martinez (University of Arizona)

                             Applying Signaling Theory to Shell Procurement Behavior in the Southwest: A Case Study in Geochemical Sourcing of 13th – 14th Mogollon Rim Shell Artifacts   

 

                             Previous research into shell procurement behavior within the American Southwest assumes that all bivalves co-occurring within the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California are obtained from the latter. Here we present preliminary carbon and oxygen isotope data that provide a framework to source such bivalves both between these bodies of water and within the Gulf of California. These results are then used to source marine shell artifacts from a 13th – 14th C Mogollon Rim occupation in Eastern Arizona. We hypothesize, from the perspective of signaling theory, that shell procurement should follow least-cost procurement pathways where there is no ability to visually source the taxa to another, longer distance, procurement locality. When shell is visually diagnostic to a source locality requiring greater travel and transport costs, the value of the shell should increase. All archaeological shell (NISP - 15) sourced to the Northern Gulf of California, following expectations of least-cost investment into shell procurement from the Pacific Ocean and the Northern Gulf of California.

 

4:30 PM           Mary Stiner (University of Arizona)

                             A Tale of Two Caves: Prey choice, site occupation intensity and economic diversity across the Middle to Early Upper Paleolithic in the Southern Coast of Turkey

 

                             Recent excavations at Üçağızlı I and II Caves on the Hatay coast of Turkey have yielded abundant well-preserved archaeofaunas of the Middle Palaeolithic, Initial Upper Palaeolithic, Ahmarian and Epipalaeolithic periods. Patterns of small game use in this region testify to an exceptionally early shift in human diet breadth between ca. 50,000-42,000 years ago. The phenomenon is paralleled by increasing feature complexity and expanded artifact repertoires at the Middle to Upper Paleolithic transition and in later UP phases, but not necessarily by the density of material accumulations in the sediments. Intensive or long stays at sites during the Upper Paleolithic correlate with evidence for pressure on animal resources. Dense material accumulations and heavy use of local raw material and shellfish during the Middle Paleolithic is not accompanied by evidence for diet expansion. Comparisons of site use between the MP and UP is difficult because of the different technological systems and probably also some basic differences in socioeconomic organization. The zooarchaeological results expose a fundamental contrast in how Paleolithic cultures were able to fill gaps in the availability of large game. The greater flexibility in the UP has implications for population stability and demographic resilience.

 

   6:00 PM       DINNER

 

Sunday, July 19:

 

5:00 AM          SJOZC Fishing derby (Optional)

 

8:00 AM          Judging of Fishing Derby (biggest fish, ugliest fish, and most beautiful fish)

 

   9:00 AM       BREAKFAST

 

10:00 AM        Kevin Dalton (California State University, Chico)

                             THE INFLUENCE OF GROUP SIZE AND HUNTING TECHNOLOGY ON THE GEOGRAPHIC PLACEMENT OF PREHISTORIC HUNTING ENHANCEMENT FEATURES

 

                                      Understanding the resource acquisition system of foragers is critical to explaining long-term human adaptations. The formation of task-oriented groups by foraging people affords researchers the occasion to identify potential hunter-gatherer decisions and actions, and their relation to the environment. This research explores the influence that foraging task-groups and hunting technology had on hunting landscapes in prehistoric northeastern California through the application of cluster and nearest neighbor analyses. The geographic placement of hunting enhancement features such as rock blinds and rock alignments is compared with expectations derived from human behavioral ecology, ethnographies and modern accounts pertaining to hunting. Results show that there is statistically significant patterning to the spatial arrangement of hunting enhancement features, which is likely affected by group size and the performance characteristics of the bow and arrow.

 

11:00 AM        Matthew Pailes and Natalia Martinez (University of Arizona)

                             A DISCOUNT RATE APPROACH TO PREHISTORIC, HOHOKAM AGAVE CULTIVATION

 

                             The Early Classic (1150-1300) Hohokam of the upper Sonoran Desert developed a subsistence technology that permitted cultivation of agave well outside of the plant’s natural range. Despite significant investment in infrastructure to support cultivation agave was largely dropped from the diet of many Hohokam populations at the onset of the Late Classic. An experimental program was undertaken to ascertain possible motivations for this change in subsistence economy. Results indicate that agave should be included in any diet that is reliant on maize, such as the Hohokam. However, when the risk inherent to the long maturation period of agave is considered the resource becomes highly problematic. The perceived level of risk necessary to engender the cessation of agave cultivation is quantified by the use of discount rates. This approach provides insights on the social climate of the time period in question.

 

12:00 PM         Jack Broughton (University of Utah)

                             The Vertebrate Fauna from Abrigo de los Escorpiones, Baja California: A Preliminary Report

                       

                             Abrigo de los Escorpiones is a large stratified rockshelter located on the northern Pacific Coast of Baja California. Excavated by Ruth Gruhn and Alan Bryan from 2000-2004, the initial cultural deposits date to the earliest Holocene—with a possibility of late Pleistocene occupation—and continue through the late Holocene. The site thus represents one of the longest stratigraphic archaeological records on the North Pacific coast. Excavation recovered an enormous vertebrate fauna—with the materials originating from a mix of both human and raptor occupants of the shelter. We describe here key research questions the fauna will be used to address and preliminary results from ongoing analyses

 

 

2:00 – 4:00 PM                           BARBEQUE  !!!