Using Particle Size Analysis to Separate the Deposition of a Bonebed and Artifact at the Wenas Creek Mammoth Site

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Brown, Genevieve
Anthropology; Geology; Natural Resources Management and Policy
thesis / dissertation description
The 2005 discovery of a 17,000 year old mammoth bonebed in close proximity to a possible artifact at the Wenas Creek Mammoth Site (WCMS) brought with it the question of whether the bones and artifact were actually deposited together. If the two are associated, the WCMS would qualify as a Pre-Clovis site, a title given to just a handful of proven archaeological sites in North America, though claimed for numerous more. A close interval particle size analysis was performed on 2 column samples from the WCMS with the intention of identifying microstratification that would separate the bonebed from the artifact. Although no conclusive evidence for microstratification was determined through this test, other processes could still explain the close proximity positioning of the artifact and the bonebed.