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Paleoindian Lifeways of the Cody Complex

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Copyright: 2013
Trim: 7 x 10
Pages: 368 pp.
Illustrations: 51 illus., 54 tables, 20 maps



Paleoindian Lifeways of the Cody Complex

Edited by Edward J. Knell and Mark P. Muñiz

Anthropology / Archaeology

Paleoindian Lifeways of the Cody Complex represents the first synthesis in the more than fifty year history of one of the most important Paleoindian cultural traditions in North America. Research on the Cody complex (~10,000–8,000 radiocarbon yrs B.P.) began in the 1940s; however, until now publications have focused almost exclusively on specific sites, issues of projectile point technology and typology, and bison hunting. This volume provides fresh perspectives and cutting-edge research that significantly increases our understanding of the Cody complex by focusing more squarely on the human behaviors that created the archaeological record, rather than on more strictly technical aspects of the artifacts and faunal remains.

Because the Cody complex extends from the central Canadian plains to the Gulf of Mexico and from Nevada to the eastern Great Lakes—making it second only to Clovis in geographical expanse—this volume will appeal to a wide range of North American archaeologists. Across this broad geographic distribution, the contributors address hunter-gatherer adaptive strategies from diverse ecosystems at the onset of the Holocene, which will also make it of interest to human ecologists and paleoenvironmental researchers. Paleoindian Lifeways of the Cody Complex provides an innovative synthesis of a well-known but little-studied cultural tradition that opens the door for a new generation of exciting research.

Edward J. Knell is an assistant professor of anthropology at California State University, Fullerton.

Mark P. Muñiz is an associate professor of anthropology at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota.


Daniel S. Amick, Department of Anthropology, Loyola University
Douglas Bamforth, Department of Anthropology, University of Colorado
Robert J. Dawe, Royal Alberta Museum
Matthew E. Hill, Jr., Department of Anthropology, University of Iowa
Edward J. Knell, Department of Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton
Ruthann Knudson, Knudson Associates, Montana State University and California Academy of Sciences
Mark P. Muñiz, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, St. Cloud State University
Matthew J. Root, Rain Shadow Research Inc., and Department of Anthropology at Washington State University, Pullman
Jeb Taylor. Buffalo, Wyoming
Chris Widga, Research and Collections Center, Illinois State Museum

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List Of Tables

I - The Cody Complex
1. Introducing The Cody Complex - Edward J. Knell and Mark P. Muñiz

II - Cody Complex Environment and Faunal Context
2. Paleoenvironmental Change and Cultural Ecology of The Cody Complex on the Great Plains and Adjacent Rocky Mountains - Mark P. Muñiz
3. Evolution of the High Plains Paleoindian Landscape: The Paleoecology of Great Plains Faunal Assemblages - Chris Widga
4. Sticking It to the Bison: Exploring Variation in Cody Bison Bonebeds - Matthew E. Hill Jr.

III - The Cody Complex In Site And Regional Context
5. Cody Complex Land Use in Western North Dakota and Southern Saskatchewan - Matthew J. Root, Edward J. Knell, and Jeb Taylor
6. A Review of The Cody Complex in Alberta - Robert J. Dawe
7. Cody in the Rockies: The Mountain Expression of a Plains Culture Complex - Matthew E. Hill Jr. and Edward J. Knell
8. Way Out West: Cody Complex Occupations from the Northwestern Great Basin - Daniel S. Amick

IV - Modeling Cody Complex Lifeways and Reevaluating The Cody Complex as an Archaeological Construct
9. Cody Complex Land Use Organization on the Northwestern Great Plains - Edward J. Knell
10. Managing Risk on the Western Plains During The Cody Complex - Mark P. Muñiz
11. The Scottsbluff Bison Quarry Site: Its Place in The Cody Complex - Ruthann Knudson

V - Perspectives On The Cody Complex
12. A Cody Future: Comments - Douglas B. Bamforth

Appendix: Cody Site Summary for Alberta
List of Contributors

Praise and Reviews:

“Presents new information and a synthesis not available anywhere else. No other compendium of Cody data exists, and the volume presents the most current data available on the subject. It contributes greatly to our knowledge of a time period that has been without much coverage and that has no synthesis available.”
—Mary Lou Larson, coeditor of Hell Gap: A Stratified Paleoindian Campsite at the Edge of the Rockies (The University of Utah Press, 2009)

“This volume represents the most current and comprehensive compilation of data on a historically well-known, but poorly understood archaeological tradition.... I commend the editors for rounding up this group of researchers and putting this work together. Compiling an edited volume is pretty much the academic equivalent of trying to herd cats. This attempt to focus on the behavioral aspects of the Cody archaeological record is a step in the right direction toward a better understanding of this highly dynamic, flexible, and wide-ranging culture.”
—Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology Book Reviews

“Readers will find that the volume thus reflects the kinds of questions that are being posed by contemporary Paleoindian researchers and they will see how rich the ever-growing empirical record of the Cody Complex truly is. The volume is carefully edited and integrated, with chapters that are well written and nicely illustrated.”
—Journal of Anthropological Research

“Fills a much-needed void in the literature, providing a compilation of previous and ongoing research into a unique cultural and paleoenvironmental period of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountain region.”
—Great Plains Research

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