Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Anthropology (Cultural Heritage Option)

Department or School/College


Committee Chair

Dr. Anna Prentiss

Commitee Members

Dr. Douglas MacDonald, Dr. Anna Klene


Human Behavioral Ecology, Field Processing Model, Central Place Foraging, Lithic Analysis, Sunlight Basin, Middle Archaic


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Archaeological Anthropology


This research examines the lithic and raw material assemblage at site 48PA551, a McKean complex hunter-gatherer site in northwest Wyoming, through a lens of human behavioral ecology, central place foraging theory, and the field processing model. The identification of lithic technological patterns through this theoretical framework results in understanding the relationship between the landscape, hunter-gatherer behavior, and raw material procurement strategies in the region 4500 BP. The goal of this research is to identify economic decision making in reference to management of toolstone within the lithic assemblage uncovered at site 48PA551 during the 2018 field season. The expectation put forth by the field processing model is if there is a greater distance between the quarry and the central place a person is more likely to partake in field processing in order to acquire the most optimal load to transport. Debitage were analyzed by sorting material types by stages of reduction with the expectation that if field processing would lead to an absence of early stage reduction flakes at the central place. Supplementary, the tool assemblage was investigated for signs of tool investment attributed to long material transport distance. The outcome of this research suggests that there is a relationship between the assemblage and lithic transport decision making for many material types in the region, but a few material types indicate involvement of other cultural processes.



© Copyright 2020 Emma Lydia Vance