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Functional Analysis of Chipped-Stone Crescents from the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene of Far Western North America
Daniel Amick  1, *@  
1 : Loyola University Chicago  (LUC)  -  Site web
Institute of Environmental Sustainability 1032 W. Sheridan Rd. Chicago, IL 60660 -  États-Unis
* : Auteur correspondant

Techno-functional analysis of 591 prehistoric crescents from ancient lakeshore settings suggests that open-water hunting of waterfowl may have played a significant role in the subsistence strategies of Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene foragers in the Pacific Coastal and interior Great Basin regions of western North America. Variation in the size and shape of lunate crescents appears to be related to original blank forms as well as the individual life-histories of tool manufacture, use-wear, rejuvenation, and recycling. Strong relationships between crescents and concave based projectile point techno-complexes are suggested by patterned associations including identical toolstone preferences, manufacturing techniques, and lateral recycling of these projectile point forms as crescents. Wear damage patterns from an extensive program of experimental manufacture and use of crescent replicas in a wide range of activities best supports the frequently hypothesized use of these distinctive tools as transversely hafted projectile tips for hunting waterfowl, although use in hunting rabbits, animal butchery, and working of bone/antler cannot be ruled out completely. Patterns of landscape context and comparative cases from the archaeological and ethnographic records offer additional support in favor of the suggested use of crescents weapon tips used in waterfowl hunting. These conclusions indicate that lacustrine waterfowl hunting may have been an especially important way for early foragers in the Great Basin to cope with the depressed food resources of this region during the Late Pleistocene-Early Holocene.

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