Date of Award

2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Matthew Sanger

Abstract

The general assumption of Late Archaic peoples in the Northeast is that they were one homogeneous culture group, but through the study of Lamoka Lake bifaces found at the Lamoka Lake Site, as well as applying the concepts of community of practice, I have shown that tool shape variation could indicate distinct social groups. Using computer software to digitally outline bifaces I compared the shape of over 400 bifaces from Lamoka Lake and statistically analyzed their morphologies in order to provide material correlates of social diversity. Whether this morphological variation is representative of the conscious or unconscious design choices made by these peoples remains to be seen, however there exists significant statistical difference in biface morphology at this site suggesting distinct social groups. Such a development is significant for Late Archaic research in New York since it directly contradicts the idea that Late Archaic people were one culturally homogenous group.

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