Points and prey: an evaluation of the hypothesis that prey size predicts early Paleoindian projectile point form

TitlePoints and prey: an evaluation of the hypothesis that prey size predicts early Paleoindian projectile point form
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsBuchanan B, Collard M, Hamilton MJ, O'Brien M
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume38
Pagination852-864
AbstractUnderstanding the causes of variation within and between projectile point types is an important task for Paleoindian archaeologists since they rely heavily on points to investigate such things as settlement dynamics and hunting practices. One long-held explanation for the variation in early Paleoindian point form is that prey size influenced the size and shape of projectile points. The study reported here eval- uated this hypothesis with standard and geometric morphometric data recorded on Clovis and Folsom points from the Southern Plains and Southwest that are associated with mammoth or bison remains. Points used to hunt mammoth were found to be larger and of a different shape than points used to hunt bison, which supports the hypothesis. However, when both point type and prey size were taken into account, the results ran counter to predictions. Potential explanations for this discrepancy are discussed.
DOI10.1016/j.jas.2010.11.007