Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

General Anthropology

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Doug MacDonald

Commitee Members

Dr. Anna Prentiss, Dr. Steve Sheriff


Archaeology, Quarry, UAS, Drone, California Creek


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


Western Montana hosts an abundance of lithic deposits useful for precontact stone tool manufacturing. Lithic sources likely factored prominently into patterns of settlement, trade, subsistence and mobility for past populations in the region. The mining of these lithic resources results in a unique land use area, a prehistoric quarry. Prehistoric quarries in Western Montana have received very little research or spatial documentation. This may be due in part to their abundance and often overwhelming size and extent. Providing even basic spatial documentation for large quarries can be prohibitively time consuming and expensive. One such understudied quarry site is the California Creek chert quarry, a high elevation quarry site near present day Anaconda, MT. The goal of this study is to address some information gaps regarding this quarry and to assess its regional significance through two main approaches. The first approach will be to develop a regional context for the quarry in which to better understand how mining at the site factored into regional patterns of trade and subsistence. Ethnohistorical sources are particularly useful in developing this context in the absence of lithic sourcing. The second approach is to acquire high resolution spatial data aimed at measuring mining intensity for the site using UAS based remote sensing. These approaches provide baseline information from which to better understand the scale and regional significance of the quarry.



© Copyright 2018 David A. Schwab