Skip to main content
view shopping cart

Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic?

This item is only available through the the University of Utah Press secure online store. Please note, this online store is unrelated to the shopping cart on our site. If you wish to make a purchase from this store, items must be paid for separately and will ship separately from items in your shopping cart.

Continue Go Back

Add to Cart View cart

Copyright: 2007
Trim: 7 x 10
Pages: 318 pp.
Illustrations: 108 figures, 47 tables


Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic?

Great Basin Human Ecology at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition

Edited by Kelly E. Graf and Dave B. Schmitt

Anthropology / Archaeology

Were the earliest inhabitants of the Great Basin 'Paleoindians' in the traditional sense? Were they highly mobile foragers? Did they hunt large, now extinct animals like mammoth, horse, and camel?

Great Basin archaeologists have argued that the earliest inhabitants possessed an organization strategy of mixed "Paleoindian" and "Archaic" lifeways, referring to them as "Paleoarchaic."

Recent excavations of rock shelters and caves, coupled with innovative studies of the surface archaeological record have increased our understanding of human organization in the Great Basin during the late Pleistocene and early Holocene. When did humans first inhabit the Great Basin? How do we interpret projectile point variability from late Pleistocene and early Holocene contexts? What land-use and foraging strategies characterized the early inhabitants? Did these hunter-gatherers possess a Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic lifeway?

This volume offers an updated perspective of human ecology and organization during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Great Basin, 13,000–8,000 years ago.

Kelly E. Graf is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at the University of Nevada and research associate at the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University.

Dave N. Schmitt is an archaeologist with the Desert Research Institute and a research associate at Washington State University.


Charlotte Beck, Hamilton College; Daron G. Duke, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc., Nevada; Ted Goebel, Texas A&M University; Gary Haynes, University of Nevada, Reno; L. Suzann Henrikson, California State University, Bakersfield; Bryan Hockett, BLM, Elko District; Dennis L. Jenkins, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Oregon; George T. Jones, Hamilton College, Montana; M. Long, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Oregon; Lisbeth Louderback, University of Nevada, Reno; David B. Madsen, University of Texas, Austin; Charles G. Oviatt, Kansas State University; Ariane Pinson, University of New Mexico; Rachel Quist, U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground; David Rhode, Desert Research Institute; Geoffrey M. Smith, Desert Research Institute; D. Craig Young, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc, Nevada

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

Part I. Background
1. The Paleoarchaic to Archaic Transition in the Great Basin

Part II. Chronological and Contextual Studies
2. Early Paleoarchaic Point Morphology and Chronology
3. In Pursuit of Humans and Extinct Megafauna in the Northern Great Basin: Results of the Kelvin's Cave Excavations
4. Distribution and Dating of Cultural and Paleontological Remains at the Paisley Five Mile Point Caves in the Northern Great Basin: An Early Assessment
5. Stratigraphy and Chronology of the Pleistocene to Holocene Transition at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter, Eastern Great Basin
6. Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Geomorphology and Human Occupation of the Old River Bed Delta, Western Utah

Part III. Technological Organization and Settlement Studies
7. Episodic Permanence in Paleoarchaic Basin Selection and Settlement
8. Pre-Archaic Mobility and Technological Activities at the Parman Localities, Humboldt County, Nevada
9. Pre-Archaic and Early Archaic Technological Activities at Bonneville Estates Rockshelter: A First Look at the Lithic Artifact Record
10. Artiodactyl Use and Adaptive Discontinuity Across the Paleoarchaic/Archaic Transition in the Northern Great Basin
11. Nutritional Ecology of Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene Subsistence in the Great Basin: Zooarchaeological Evidence from Bonneville Estates Rockshelter
12. Dietary Plant Use in the Bonneville Basin During the Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Transition

Part V. Afterword
13. Paleoindian or Paleoarchaic?

List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

"Provides information useful to specialists in Great Basin archaeology, updates North American generalists. Some innovative, and at times exciting, work in this volume."
Journal of Anthropological Research

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search